Dairy Farmers Consider Selling Herds As Milk Price Row Rumbles On
Evidence has emerged that younger dairy farmers are considering selling their herds in the face of low milk prices and the need to invest in buildings.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) specialist EnviTec Biogas UK has seen an increase in enquiries from farmers thinking about moving out of dairy and concentrating solely on power and heat generation.
This is particularly the case, said EnviTec, where younger farmers are having to find capital to replace or refurbish ageing parlours.
John Day, UK Sales Manager at EnviTec, said: "In the short term I suppose it could benefit us, but in the longer term, the sustainable expansion of farm-scale renewable projects is largely dependent on having a healthy farming industry as a whole.
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"Dairy farmers already produce the grass and maize silage that can be used as feedstocks for AD plants.
"Now some of them are looking at the viability of getting rid of herds and giving the land over to growing feedstocks and making money from electricity and heat production and then re-using and selling the digestate as fertilizer.
"The younger generation doesn't seem to find the prospect of getting up to milk at 5am particularly appealing. That can be the catalyst for a complete rethink about how they use the land when the necessity for large-scale investment in infrastructure is looming.
"They are in this position because their only volume route to market is the supermarkets – and no-one's making money doing that."
EnviTec Biogas UK plans, builds and services anaerobic digestion biogas plants on farms across the country.
It is part of EnviTec Biogas AG, which is listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange and which operates worldwide through subsidiaries, joint ventures and sales offices.
All EnviTec Biogas UK specialists are based in the UK, leading to quick response times from initial enquiry, through planning and construction, to service.