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IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary today (Monday) said that, with the prospects of government formation now more certain, a new Minister for Agriculture will have to hit the ground running and engage immediately with the challenging income and cash flow situation on farms.

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IFA President Eddie Downey and National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary were in Brussels this week to meet with members of Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s cabinet to discuss the IFA’s case for an increase in the dairy intervention safety net level, and the use of superlevy funds to support dairy farmers. They urged Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to work on achieving support from as many fellow Agriculture Council members as possible ahead of their early September meeting to deliver on both issues.

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IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has welcomed the announcement that, as stipulated by IFA, the 3-year superlevy repayment scheme would not exclude farmers with smaller superlevy bills, and would allow farmers to move to a new milk purchaser without the full bill becoming immediately due, provided a new agreement under this scheme is established with the Department and the new milk purchaser.

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IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary today (Fri) said that the CSO April milk production figure, which shows a significant 14.5% increase on the same month last year, must be considered in its full context. Milk supplies for a single month are not significant in isolation, they must be considered in the round of a full year. In this respect, the CSO figures show supplies for the January-April were 4.2% up and the EU Commission’s own forecast for the full year 2015 is that Ireland’s milk supplies would increase by 4%.

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