Farming: ‘Pivotal year’ for Scottish dairy

This is a pivotal year for Scottish dairy, NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chair Gary Mitchell has said in his latest blog.

Figures released last week week by the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, who administer the data base of Scottish dairy herds, highlighted that Scotland has lost a net total of 13 dairy herds in the six months to 1 July 2022 compared with a loss of 11 herds for the whole of 2021.

The total number of milking herds is now 819, and the number of dairy cows in Scotland at the start of July fell to 178,464, down by 897 from 1 January 2022.

Mitchell states that it will be fascinating to see the data the Association produces in January 2023 given that inflation in agriculture has soared to over 30 per cent, the highest level for decades.

Not only are many dairy farmers receiving the highest milk price they ever seen, but they also have a long list of costs and invoices to match.

He said: “In an article written by myself in November 2021, I stated that for too long, 30 pence per litre (ppl) had been seen as the great target for dairy farmers.

"And at that time, I suggested that 40ppl was to be the new 30ppl. That was a statement that raised an eyebrow amongst many.

"Well, who would have thought how quickly outdated that figure now looks as prices move towards 50p?

"That price momentum must be maintained if the size and scale of Scotland’s dairy herd is to be preserved.”

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