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by SUSAN MANN
A sharp increase in January butter stocks turned out to be a one month blip rather than a market trend, sending Dairy Farmers of Ontario officials scrambling to make sure there will be enough milk to meet demand later this year.
The milk board decided by conference call Wednesday to give dairy farmers some extra room to produce more milk this spring and avoid a potential shortage in the fall. Farmers are getting production incentive days starting next month and continuing until the regular fall milk incentive program begins in August. Farmers will get half day credits in both April and May, one day in June and one-and-a-half days in July. The fall milk incentive program, announced earlier, gives dairy farmers two days each month from August to November. A one day credit allows a producer to ship three per cent more milk than normal quota holdings allow.
Bill Mitchell, DFO assistant communications director, says milk supplies are tight and wants to ensure enough is available to meet demand later. For farmers, implementing quota incentive days this spring “allows for a smoother entrance into that fall period.”
Earlier this year the board reported that poor feed quality last summer meant milk supplies throughout Eastern Canada were tight. But the board delayed a decision in February on measures to encourage more milk production after learning there was a sharp increase in butter stocks in January.
The butter stock build up didn’t continue after January, Mitchell says. Analysts still don’t know why the increase occurred but “it’s not a market trend.”
Recent production information shows Ontario will fill 98.5 per cent of its quota this dairy year. BF © AgMedia Inc