Irish milk production continues to fall in 2017

Irish milk production has continued to fall in 2017, with production last February dropping by 7.8%, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 264.8m litres for February 2017.

This represented a decrease in milk production on Irish dairy farms of 22.3m litres during the second month of the year.

The level of milk production also decreased from 434.7m litres in January of this year to 413.5m litres last February. This equalled to a decrease of 4.9%.

CSO, milk production
Source: CSO Ireland

These decreases in milk production follow on from a fall in production of 4.6% in the first month of 2017.

When comparing last February to the corresponding month in 2016, the total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 4.9 % to 39.4m litres, according to the CSO.

Meanwhile, butter production also dropped by 11.5 % to 8,200t, it added.

Milk Reduction Scheme Payments

It was announced earlier this week that payments under the EU Voluntary Supply Management Scheme, totalling €6.5m, would begin to be issued to dairy farmers across the country.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced that payments will start to run this week in respect of Phase I of the scheme.

The scheme was designed as a short-term market stabilisation mechanism and it was introduced by the EU Commission last year.

It was introduced as part of a range of tools to mitigate price volatility in the dairy sector.

I am pleased to announce that my Department has commenced payments under Phase 1 of this scheme which will see almost €6.5m paid out to 3,500 Irish dairy farmers, who applied for aid to reduce their production in the last quarter of 2016.

“This will provide a significant cashflow boost to dairy farmers at an important time of year,” Minister Creed said.

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