Next Thursday, September 15, is the closing date for farmers to return completed forms to their milk purchasers, if they want to apply for the EU voluntary milk supply management scheme.

Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, said: “Farmers wishing to reduce production in a three-month period, starting in October, will be able to do so and receive EU aid to the value of approximately 14 cents/litre. 

"It will be an individual decision for each farmer to weigh up the pros and cons of any route, taking issues such as market conditions, farm efficiency, and costs into account”

The first reduction period is from October to December of this year. Any reduction in output will be measured against the same period in 2015. 

There are plans for further three-month reduction periods, but only applications for the first period are being accepted now. Roll-out of the scheme beyond this first period will depend on some of the €150m budget still being available.

Interested parties may apply via their milk purchaser, who will have theforms. They must state the amount by which they propose to reduce output, from October to the end of the year.

Minister Creed said last Friday: “This scheme is now launched and I would encourage farmers who have an interest in finding out more, or wish to avail of the scheme, to contact their milk purchaser, who can supply them with explanatory material and application forms, if needed. 

"This launch is the first implementation of the agreement on the €500m package, from the July Council meeting of Agriculture Ministers. I expect to be making further announcements, in the near future, on the implementation of the second package of direct aid, of €11.1m, to Ireland”.


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