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Smith Again Warns About Risk Of Super Levy

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, today reminded milk producers that they need to continue to exercise caution in the management of their milk supply given the continuing threat of a super levy at the end of the 2010/2011 milk quota year.

The Minister said: "the acceleration in milk production that we saw in 2010, and particularly towards the end of the year, has continued into 2011. Butterfat - adjusted deliveries in January have brought the national position to 1.88% under quota, up from 2.35% under at the end of December. Given that we have already seen changes of the order of 1% from one month to the next on three occasions during the current milk quota year, there is every possibility that deliveries in the remaining two months could leave us over quota nationally at the end of March".

As the calving season gets under way in earnest, the Minister urged all dairy farmers to carefully plan their activities this spring.  He said they must balance the understandable desire to maximise profitability while milk prices remain firm with the need to avoid incurring a super levy liability that could prove very damaging to their businesses.

Concluding, the Minister said: "The avoidance of super levy is something that should now inform every dairy farmer's approach to the operation of his or her business, if that is not the case already.  Dairy farmers must equip themselves with all of the necessary information, including in relation to potential mitigation strategies, that will allow them to make informed decisions about the running of their farms and avoid the effects of a super levy fine".

Date Released: 16 February 2011