Dairy farmers buying more cows

Despite a further fall in the total number of dairy farms in Scotland over the past six months, there are also some signs of confidence within the industry.

According to the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, the first six months of 2021 saw a net loss of seven dairy farms in the country, with the total number of herds now standing at 836.

However, overall cow numbers increased by 1,611 to 177,949 increasing the average herd size by four cows to 213.

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In the country’s main dairying areas, Ayrshire, Kintyre and Lanarkshire each lost two herds while Dumfriesshire gained two new dairies, highlighting the fact that some had confidence to invest.

The total number of cows being officially milk recorded totalled 126,762 with an average herd size of 226 cows, representing more than 71 per cent of all Scottish dairy herds.

Janette Mathie, secretary of the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association who maintains the data base, said that the majority of dairy herds continued to be monitored for disease to ensure healthy cows and profitability.

“Compared to this time last year there is more stability in the dairy industry with increased milk and cattle prices,” said Mathie.

“Cow numbers have also increased but so has investment with new parlours and cattle housing being installed,” she said.

However, she added that she was aware of some herds who planned to cut back or even cease production during the next few months, creating the opportunity for others to invest in good breeding cow families.

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