UK Dairy Industry Becoming Polarised

UK - The UK dairy industry is becoming increasingly polarised, with a larger percentage of producers with both less than 50 cows and more than 200 cows, according to a new report.
calendar icon 24 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The report, based on the Farm Business Survey (FBS) also highlights that annual milk production in 2005/6 was at its lowest level since 2001/2, despite an increase in yields.

Milk consumption has fallen by 23 per cent since 1985 while butter consumption has halved in the same period.

The report ‘Dairy Farming in England’ is one of a series published by the FBS Consortium, which consists of the universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Reading, and Askham Bryan and Duchy colleges.

The equivalent report on pig farming revealed that the 2006 census data showed a slight increase in numbers on 2005. This report also presented data on net margins for pigs (derived from the FBS) for the first time.

The average net margin across 60 specialist pig farms that took part in the survey was £15,804, but there was a huge variation in performance with 43 per cent of farms showing a negative net margin.

The highest net margins were recorded by those farms selling weaners, reporting margins four times higher than those selling fat pigs.

The poultry report revealed significant growth in broiler numbers due to increasing consumption of poultrymeat.

Egg prices have risen faster than the costs of production and poultry meat prices have not kept in line with increasing production costs.

The UK is 90 per cent self-sufficient in poultrymeat and 86 per cent in eggs, but this has declined in recent years.

Source: Farmers Guardian
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