EU quotas operate in three commodity areas, milk, sheep and suckler cows.


How can a farmer acquire extra milk quota?
Either through land purchase, land lease, land transfer or schemes operated by the Department of Agriculture and co-ops (no land involved).

What category of milk producer has access to quota?
IFA has been instrumental in ensuring that farmers with less than 35,000 gallons have priority access to quota available through Co-op/Dept. schemes.

What amount of milk has gone through co-op restructuring schemes (1990 - 1997)?
87.4 m. gallons have been allocated, 72.7 m. gallons of which have been allocated to farmers below 30,000 gallons (or 35,000 gallons since 1996) - who have absolute priority.

How much milk has the Milk Quota Tribunal given out since it was established in 1989?
6.7 m. gallons have been allocated to 6,000 applicants. Quota is allocated for use only, it cannot be transferred and is returned to the National Reserve when a producer ceases milk production.

What about flexi-milk?
Flexi-milk is unused milk quota at co-op and national level at the end of the quota year. 70% of it is available to producers with less than 35,000 gallons.

Are smaller producers catered for under the Temporary Leasing Scheme?
Yes. 75% of the pool is available to smaller producers (less than 35,000 gallons), with special priority given to regular users.


Suckler cow quota is available for distribution free of charge annually to smaller farmers who need additional quota from the National Reserve. This quota arises due to unused quota, clawback, deductions etc. Since 1993, a total of 138,175 suckler cow quota rights have been given out to 21,628 smaller farmers, an average increase of 6.4 suckler cows per farmer.

What are the criteria for eligibility?
There are two criteria. First time applicants in 1998, who are under 35 years of age and suitably qualified, and farmers who require additional quota to ensure viability of the holding.

Is there an income criteria?
Yes. In each category the total income including spouse / partners must not exceed 16,883 and any off-farm income included in total income must not exceed 11,000. It is important to have the necessary documentation to prove your case.

How do I apply?
Apply to the Department of Agriculture (quota section), Castlebar, County Mayo, normally in early January of each year.


Like the Suckler Cow Quota, Ewe Premium Quota arises as a result of clawback, deductions, and forfeiting of rights by individuals. Since 1993, the sheep quota national reserve has allocated 354,312 quota rights to 9,100 deserving farmers, free of charge. This is an average allocation of 39 ewes per applicant.

What are the criteria of eligibility?
There are three categories.
a) Farmers under 35 years of age and who will be applying for ewe premium for the first time.
b) Where the viability of the holding is at risk due to the operation of the quota limits.
c) First time applicants in 1998 over 35 years of age.

What are the income criteria?
In each category the total income must not exceed 16,883. Any off-farm income must not exceed 13,000.

Who do I apply to?
Apply to the Department of Agriculture, Quota Section, Castlebar, County Mayo, normally in early January of each year.

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