According to figures released by the European Commission, 48,288 dairy farmers from across the European Union have applied to voluntarily reduce their milk production. By the last quarter of 2016 and the end of January 2017, some 861,000t of milk has been taken out of production.
While there was a recovery coming in the global markets even at the time of the launch of the scheme, the European Commission is claiming that the reduction scheme further helped to drive the recovery.
EU average farm gate milk prices have increased by 31% since last summer. The average February milk price was 33c/l across Europe.
Farmers who signed up to the voluntary milk reduction scheme receive 14.1c/l for every litre taken out of production.
In Ireland, payments to some 3,500 farmers who signed up to the first phase of the scheme were made at the end of March. Initially, 4,500 farmers had applied to the milk reduction scheme, but according to the Department, 1,000 farmers opted not to follow through with reducing their milk supply.
The average per-farmer payment is €1,850.
The Department confirmed that phase two of the scheme is oversubscribed.
How many applied for the milk reduction scheme in your county?