Saturday 25 November 2017

Milk target under threat as farmer levels slump

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

THE number of dairy farmers here is set to fall by 5,000 over the next 10 years.

New entrants will be needed if Ireland is to achieve the government target of boosting milk output by 50pc in the next 10 years, farm advisory body Teagasc said yesterday.

However, it will not be possible to meet the target if the rate at which farmers leave the business continues, the Dail Agriculture Committee was told.

There are 18,294 dairy farmers in Ireland, but up to 700 are leaving the business each year.

Teagasc projected that the number of dairy farmers could fall to 13,288 by 2020, meaning that even with more intensive production it would only be possible to boost output by 17pc.

Irish Independent

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