Dairy farmers need a range of products to stay liquid

UK - As each day passes at least one dairy farmer in the UK gives up what appears to be an unequal struggle to stay in business.
calendar icon 17 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
The underlying economic analysis suggests that this is the right course of action. Ian Potter, a leading broker of milk quotas, necessary for the right to milk cows and sell to a range of buyers, has been once again considering the market situation.

His latest summation will not sit easy with farmers. Potter says: "The official ex-farmgate milk price for the UK in August was 17.61p per litre, compared to 18.63p 12 months previously.

"Ten years ago, in August 1996, the price was 26.82p per litre. That is equivalent to a drop of 35 per cent, and everyone knows full well what has happened to costs over the same period."

But strangely, the latest census figures tell a slightly different tale. During the past year the number of dairy cows in Scotland has actually increased, albeit marginally - by 1 per cent - to just short of 200,000 cows. In England there has been a decline of 2.7 per cent to 1.2 million animals.

Scotland has, by some distance, the largest average herd size in the European Union at more than 130 cows. The conclusion to be drawn from these statistics is that, despite low milk prices, the 1,200 dairy farmers in Scotland who remain in business still see a profitable future for their expanding enterprises.

Source: business.scotsman.com
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