Milk Price Cuts Hitting Long-term Investment

UK - Farm management company Velcourt has issued the first in a series of briefing documents examining the main points influencing the outlook for its dairy farms over the coming months.
calendar icon 21 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Livestock Director Robbie Taylor said: “As a company managing and providing consultancy services to businesses responsible for more than 12,000 dairy cows, we have to keep an eye on the overall picture, and manage our businesses accordingly.

“We are sharing some of the key trends which are influencing our decision-making on farm at the moment.”

Inevitably the recent milk price cuts, the effects that these will have on long-term investment and planning are top of the list. The effects of the weather, and the skills shortage in the industry also feature:

  • Milk price cuts put huge pressure on budgets with up to eight per cent cut in income and highlight the disparity of control in the liquid milk supply chain;
  • Milk contracts shown to be prohibitive to long term planning and re-investment due to lack of security, transparency and control on selling prices;
  • Heavy rain disrupts grazing and grassland management – cows housed and forage budgets revised;
  • Maize drilling delayed or disrupted with cold wet seed beds. Re-evaluate forage and feeding plans and plan for lower quality and yields. Re-drilling still a possibility;
  • Slow uptake of fertiliser and cold overnight temperatures delay grass growth and make key timings and management of 2012 first cut silage all the more difficult;
  • Key investment decisions needed on aging industry infrastructure;
  • Skills shortage at all levels throughout the industry, lack of uptake for training positions and vacancies.

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