The latest national update on superlevy shows that butterfat adjusted milk supplies for the April 2011 to January 2012 period are just 0.3% below quota. IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey called for carefully tailored, mindful advice from Teagasc and co-ops to help farmers minimise their exposure without damaging their herd’s long term productive potential.
“A national superlevy fine is now almost certain, and over quota farmers in over quota co-ops cannot afford to relax their efforts to reduce or eliminate a potentially hugely financially damaging exposure,” Kevin Kiersey said.
“I urge Teagasc and co-ops, through their advisory services, to give those farmers any assistance to help them minimise production this month and next, without damaging the long term productive potential of their herd and their enterprise,” he said.
Reiterating IFA’s commitment to seeking a genuine “soft landing” for Ireland from the EU before 2015, Mr Kiersey said he was currently planning a series of meetings in Brussels in early March to outline the Irish case. “The EU Commission is due to review the “soft landing” provisions at the end of this year. I want them to recognise that Ireland is not benefiting from the “soft landing”, and then engage with them on the issue of providing greater flexibility for Irish dairy farmers in the run up to quota abolition,” he said.
Mr Kiersey however warned of strong opposition from the majority of EU member states: “Irish dairy farmers should plan their business prudently for the next three years, and factor in potential superlevy right out to 2015,” he concluded.