Decline in Irish dairy farmers

Related tags Dairy farmers Future

Analysis from Teagasc economist, the agriculture and food
development authority, has revealed that dairy farmers may see
mixed fortunes in the near future. There is to be a decline in the
number of dairy farmers, but those who remain are set to increase
the size of their businesses.

The survey has concluded that around 15 per cent of dairy farmers have said that in the next two years they plan to exit milk production industry. And 32 per cent have said that they would leave the industry between 3 and ten years.

The Teagasc economist predicted that there would be a drop in the number of dairy farmers from 26,500 at present to 18,000 by 2012.

However, the findings also revealed that three out of five dairy farmers in Ireland that opt to remain in the industry plan to increase their herd size by an average of 20 cows.

Slippage in milk prices contributed to a decline in 2 per cent in margins for dairy farmers claims the report. This follows a 20 per cent drop in margins from 2002.

Head of the Teagasc National Farm Survey, Liam Connolly who addressed the Teagasc Situation and Outlook in Agriculture conference in Dublin, claimed that farmers will see a small drop in incomes due to declining output and rising costs in the future.

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