Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Survey reports dairy optimism

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

More than 90pc of Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers intend to stay in production and 61pc aim to increase output ahead of 2015.

A recent survey of more than 500 co-op suppliers found that just 65pc had a successor to run the farm but 30pc aim to invest in farm buildings or land in the coming years.

One in four of the respondents said they planned to invest in their dairy facilities. A further 8pc indicated that they intended to invest in stock, roadways, machinery, reseeding and land improvements.

Interestingly, just 72pc of the farmers were members of discussion groups.

Lakeland Dairies chairman Padraig Young said he was pleased with the survey's findings.

"Our dairy farmers have an optimistic outlook for milk production in the years ahead. In spite of recent volatility in the world dairy markets, we have a very progressive dairy farming community who intend to grow their businesses in the run-up to 2015 when milk quotas will be abolished," Mr Young said.

"Dairy farming is a major economic contributor in this area. It is vital for every initiative to be pursued to ensure a thriving dairy industry throughout the northern region of Ireland."

The survey was conducted by the co-operative among its milk suppliers in late January and early February.

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Meanwhile, ICMSA dairy committee chairman Pat McCormack has called on Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to impress upon Brussels the absolute necessity of delaying the release of intervention dairy stocks until later in the year and after peak production months.

Until the EU Commission was willing to confront the reality that the EU dairy market had to be actively managed, and not simply allowed to drift along in the general direction of world prices, the possibility of another price collapse was all too real, Mr McCormack said.

Irish Independent