Quarantine led to milk market overflow. It will intensify the process of gradual decline of smaller milk farms. Bigger companies have financial tools and reserves to withstand the conditions while smaller farms just close and sell the cows to butchers.
The number of dairy farmers in the United Kingdom (UK) has decreased by 5% just in one year. It is striking that the milk supply continues to rise. Milk production in April is even the second highest production in the past 17 years.
An investigation by the British Dairy Board (AHDB) shows that in April this year there were 470 dairy farms less than in April last year, a decrease of 5.3%. This brings the total number of dairy farmers to 8,380, but the end of this trough is not yet in sight. The number of dairy farms continues to decrease every month. Small to medium farms vanish while giants increase production.
In contrast to the number of farms, milk production is increasing. Supply in April reached a total of 1,094 million litres, the second highest level in 17 years. On average, about 4100 litres per day are produced per dairy farm, 1.5 million litres per year.
The increased production, in combination with the decrease in the number of companies, is the result of the more efficient division of activities within the companies.
The corona crisis also affects the dairy sector in the UK, as does the weather. For example, grazing has been made more difficult by weather conditions and the corona crisis has caused production to be partly reduced in order to relieve the pressure on the dairy market. AHDB anticipates a £ 28 million expense over the months of April and May.