Cows in a shed© Wayne Hutchinson/FLPA/Rex/Shutterstock

Only a tiny portion of money remains for the second round of applications for the EU’s milk reduction scheme, which is now open.

Dairy producers have until 12 October to send their completed forms to the RPA for the reduction period of November to January, but the remaining quota is minimal following a hugely subscribed first round.

See also: Checklist: How dairy farmers can get ready for EU milk scheme

Enough funding for just 11,400t of milk reduction will be available for the second round of applications, equating to £124,000 or 0.01% of the initial money set aside. There will no longer be a third or fourth round.

If the second round is oversubscribed, a coefficient will be applied to reduce the amount of litres that qualify for aid payments, which is likely considering the limited funding available.

The EU set aside €150m (£129m) for the scheme aimed at reversing global liquid milk overproduction.

Substantial EU reduction

More than 52,000 farmers across the 28 EU member states applied to reduce their milk production in the first round of applications by a huge 1.06m tonnes of milk, or 0.7% of annual EU production in just a three-month period.

1,849 UK dairy farmers took up the first tranche of the scheme, which pays producers 12.2p for every litre of milk reduced on the same three-month period the year before.

This equated to 120,228t of milk – 11.3% of the total amount applied for across the EU.  

The UK was one of the biggest applicants by volume for the scheme, largely down to the fact UK production was already down and many producers qualified for funds without having to further reduce output to qualify for payments.