THE MOST “complicated” changes to milk quota rules ever have just been agreed as part of CAP reform, says quota broker Ian Potter.

The new regulations will come into effect if the UK as a whole goes under the butterfat trigger from this year onwards.

Mr Potter said: “It could only be the UK that will be affected by this, most other EU members are way above their butterfat bases.”

In the past, if the butterfat trigger was not hit there was no adjustment and each farmer‘s volume figures alone would have counted towards milk quota and super levy.

Under the new rules there will always be an adjustment for all farmers even if the trigger level is not breached at a UK level, said the Milk Development Council.

For those producing milk over the butterfat level of their quota there would be no changes.

But the uncertainty would be for those farmers producing under their butterfat base who could have their milk production volume reduced by up to 0.18% for every 0.01% they go under.

“This will make it very difficult to market surplus quota as the amount of scaleback will not be known until the end of the quota year,” said Mr Potter.