Great Britain: reasons for dairy farmers to stop producing milk

In Great Britain a survey of 600 of the 7500 British dairy farmers shows that almost 10 percent of them say they are likely to stop producing milk by 2025. Insufficient returns, volatile markets and the scale of on-farm investment required are most for this. In addition to those who are looking to stop production all together, a further 23 percent of all milk producers are ‘unsure’ if they are going to continue production beyond the next two years. Farmers producing less than 1 million litres of milk per year are more likely to stop production before March 2025, compared to those producing higher volumes. Last year 4.8 percent of the British dairy farms stopped milking. Over half (52%) of producers stopping production are unable to keep up with the scale of investment required for their enterprise to stay compliant, such as slurry storage, a factor that is highlighted as a main concern for the majority (91%) when considering whether to increase production in the future. Better access to labour is also a key component, with almost three quarters (74%) of respondents seeing this as a barrier to the growth of their business. However: over one third (36%) of those ceasing production are doing so due to retirement, with almost a fifth (18%) handing over their farm to the next generation.

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