Wales No Milk Expansion

Wales No Milk Expansion
10th Apr 2012


WHILE Ireland was planning to increase milk production by 50 per cent within the next 10 years and other major players were also pushing up output, there were few signs of Welsh producers following suit. Reports the Farmers Guardian
This, delegates at the first DairyCo Wales conference in Llanelli were told, was despite the fact Wales had some of the best natural production advantages in the world.
Independent consultant Ian Browne said: “With the level of rainfall, a good range of air and soil temperatures promoting year-round grass growth, conditions are near perfect for dairy farming.
“The brakes are off too, in terms of quota and the opportunities in world markets are legion.”
But according to Julie MacLeod, a senior market analyst, only 33 per cent of Welsh producers were planning to increase production, with 47 per cent simply maintaining output.
With world population expected to rise to nine billion by 2050 with Brazil, Russia, India and China emerging as the market giants it was time to ‘BRIC’ it and take advantage of an alternative source of trade to Europe.
Pat Dillon, who heads up Ireland’s animal and grassland research activities, said Irish milk producers were already taking steps to take advantage of growing worldwide demand by
increasing milk volume by 50 per cent, beef value by 20 per cent and pigmeat value by 50 per cent over the next decade.
Production rise
The target was for an annual 5 per cent production rise, based around a 3 per cent increase in dairy cow numbers and a 2 per cent increase in yield per cow.
Glanbia’s Paul Vernon also forecasts a growing global demand, while emphasising market volatility would be an ongoing feature driven by the weather and supply and demand.
Pembrokeshire farmer and First Milk director Nigel Evans said no longer was it good enough for UK producers to be passengers. They had to be drivers in the fast changing dairying world.
“If change continues to happen everywhere else in the world but here we will be left behind and may even lose our existing markets,” he added.
DairyCo’s Richard Davies said the latest Wales-based performance analysis showed there was plenty of scope for improvement - the top 10 per cent of producers for example were achieving 1.9kg of milk from 1kg of feed, while the bottom 10 per cent were getting 0.9kg from the same amount.
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