by SUSAN MANN
Ontario’s dairy farmers are getting a two per cent quota increase effective Dec. 1 and additional incentive days in December and January to produce more milk.
Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s board approved the recommendations from the P5 quota committee at its meeting this week. The same increases were approved in Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Those four provinces along with Ontario are part of the Agreement on Eastern Canadian Milk Pooling, also called P5. They share revenue from industrial and fluid milk markets plus cooperate on other matters of mutual interest.
Phil Cairns, senior policy adviser for Dairy Farmers, says the quota increase is needed because there is steady and modest growth in the cheese and butter markets. The increase is also needed to replenish butter stocks, which are currently at a minimum level required to sustain growth.
During the past 12 months, production has “tended to lag our market requirements” resulting in industry butter stocks that are down to the minimum level, he explains.
For the incentive days, dairy farmers will be getting two days in December and one day in January 2012. Cairns says the incentive days are being added to address short-term market needs and to “smooth out the transition from the fall incentive days.” BF