IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary today (Wednesday) said the EU production reduction scheme has been very slightly undersubscribed, which means that applicants who delivered the reduction they committed to will receive payment on their full volume, but also means limited funds remain available for a second round of reduction for the November to January period.
As the EU Commission yesterday confirmed it would proceed with this second round, Mr O’Leary urged the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to ensure Irish farmers who did not apply for the first round had the opportunity to do so for the second.
“Commissioner Hogan yesterday stated that the scheme was 98.9% subscribed, with 52,000 farmers from 27 member states participating. This leaves a further potential incentivised reduction of 11,407 t of milk, equivalent to approximately €1.6m, for which EU dairy farmers who did not apply for the first round must apply by 12th October,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Irish farmers applied in relatively large numbers for the first round – 4,447 applicants – which was not surprising as most spring calvers had extended production well into last year’s back end, which they were not going to be able to do this year because of poorer weather conditions and tighter cash flow,” he added.
“While the leftover fund is very small, especially bearing in mind that the scheme is EU wide, and first-come first-served, we believe the Minister must ensure those Irish farmers who had not applied for the first round are given every opportunity to apply for this one,” he concluded.