World

EU dairy farmers concerned over milk surpluses rally in Brussels to protest lifting of quotas

  • People look at a trailer of plastic cows as they are pulled by a tractor during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    People look at a trailer of plastic cows as they are pulled by a tractor during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A farmer walks next to the tractors of dairy farmers during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    A farmer walks next to the tractors of dairy farmers during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belgian Dairy farmer Yvan Deknudt drives his tractor during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Belgian Dairy farmer Yvan Deknudt drives his tractor during a demonstration against the lifting of milk quotas in front of the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Dairy farmers hit the streets of Brussels to protest against the lifting European Union milk quotas amid concern the move will flood the market with surplus milk. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

Dairy farmers have hit the streets of Brussels to protest the lifting of European Union milk quotas amid concerns the move will flood the market with cheap surplus milk.

Belgian milk farmer Yvan Deknudt said Tuesday that "with quotas being lifted, we're really scared that production is going to explode and we won't be able to pay our costs anymore."

The quotas were introduced more than 30 years ago to try to halt massive overproduction that had resulted in so-called milk lakes and butter mountains in the EU.

They will be lifted altogether on Wednesday.

The system is being removed as world demand for milk grows so that European producers can compete with U.S. and Australian farmers targeting the burgeoning markets of countries like China and Korea.