About 4,300 Irish milk producers applied in the EU-wide €150m EU-wide measure to compensate farmers for reducing their milk output in the final quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015 (at a rate of 14c/kg).
They included 227 from Co Clare, 1,153 from Co Cork, 711 from Co Kerry, 494 from Co Limerick, 329 from Co Tipperary, and 118 from Co Waterford.
Irish farmers in the scheme propose to reduce milk production by a total of 72m litres in the three-month period starting October 1, 2016.
The number of applications in other counties was 16 in Carlow, 175 in Cavan, 65 in Donegal, 13 in Dublin, 134 in Galway, 26 in Kildare, 110 in Kilkenny, 65 in Laois, 10 in Leitrim, 36 in Longford, 29 in Louth, 93 in Mayo, 105 in Meath, 203 in Monaghan, 63 in Offaly, 39 in Roscommon, 58 in Sligo, and 33 in Westmeath.
Sources in ICOS have pointed out that it is a voluntary scheme, without penalties, should a farmer applicant decide against reducing his supply, for cashflow reasons.
However, a sliding scale would reduce aid will if the actual reduction by a farmer does not correspond to his planned reduction. Unused monies return to the EU.
The European Milk Board, representing about 100,000 dairy farmers in 16 countries, has credited the milk reduction scheme, and the European Commission “breathing down the neck of dairy processors by investigating the distribution of margins along the dairy chain”, for what it called “spectacular” milk price increases for October (more than 4c), compared to warnings a few weeks ago from some processors of even lower milk prices.