Dairy producers have just seven days left to apply for the EU Milk Production Reduction Scheme before the deadline closes on 21 September.

Applications must be submitted to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The EU initiative is an attempt to scale down milk production across the continent by paying farmers for litres they don’t produce compared with the year before.

See also: Update: EU milk voluntary supply management scheme

Facts about the scheme:

What is it?

  • EU commissioner Phil Hogan has set aside €150m (£127m) of EU funds to counter the oversupply of milk across the union, aiming to cut 1.1m litres.
  • £30m has been allocated to the UK for this scheme.

How much is it worth?

  • Producers will be paid about 12p for every litre they don’t produce compared with last year’s figures.
  • Aid will be paid up to a maximum reduction of 50% of total milk production within the three-month period.
  • The minimum producers can claim is for a 1,500kg or 1,457-litres reduction in milk supply.
  • The scheme will end when the £30m fund has been used up. Analysts are predicting the scheme will be popular, so the fund may not stretch across all four periods.
  • If the scheme is oversubscribed, you will still receive 12p/litre, but on a reduced percentage of your milk reduction.
  • Payments will be made within 90 days of each period ending.

When should I apply?

  • Experts are predicting a high take-up, so producers should apply as soon as possible.
  • The deadlines for each of the four periods are as follows:

How can I apply? 

  • The scheme is being managed by the RPA.
  • Submissions forms can be downloaded online (PDF).
  • Producers must submit which period they wish to apply for as well as figures for the volume of milk they produced last year and by how much they intend to reduce production in their chosen period.
  • At the end of the chosen period, producers will have 45 days to submit evidence of reduced production to the RPA.

Who can apply?

  • The scheme applies to producers who were delivering milk to processors in July 2016.
  • Producers who have left the dairy industry since July this year or are considering leaving.
  • If you were considering cutting production anyway.

What happens if my reduction is less/more than I applied for?

  • You will receive the full amount if your actual reduction is no more than 20% lower than the proposed figure.
  • For reductions between 50-80% of the proposed figure, you will be paid for 80% of the actual reduction.
  • For reductions between 20-50% of the proposed amount, you will be paid for 50% of the actual reduction.
  • You will receive no aid if the difference between the proposed and actual amount is more than 80%.
  • The amount you propose on the application form is the maximum reduction you can receive aid for, any reduction over this amount will receive no aid.

For more information visit the scheme’s website