The recent farmer survey has produced some really interesting results, which provide a useful insight into how dairy farmers see their businesses today and their thoughts on the way ahead in an ever-changing world.
We hear much about the difficulties that milk producers are facing, with increasing costs, a growing burden of legislation and red tape and market that continues to deliver an inadequate return for our endeavours. These pressures, when combined with increasingly complex systems of producing milk on farms, threaten to undermine the control farmers have over their farms and the distance them from those who consume milk and dairy products.
Through the survey we have attempted to understand to the following:
- How simple or complex milk production has become on farms.
- What threatens the profitability and sustainability of the farm business and what action can farmers take in managing their herds to improve performance.
- Who farmers involve in making decisions on the farm and where to they go to learn more about improving practice.
- The role of grass and grazing on farms and the way in which they feel cows should be kept.
- How farmers think their milk and their farming methods are perceived by consumers and others.
- What farmers would like to tell people about their farms, their cows and the milk they produce, given the opportunity to engage.
The eighteen questions contained in the survey were never intended to provide an in depth analysis of our industry. However, with almost 600 responses, we did get a good sample of farms from all over the UK. The results convey some clear messages about what is important to farmers and it is quite apparent that many believe pasture-based milk production is not only a profitable way forward for them but, also, there is an opportunity to instil value in milk produced from grass.
Follow this link to find out more.