15 April 1999
Dairy exodus threatens Welsh farming

SO many Welsh milk producers are ready to quit that there is a risk of land, stock and quota values going into freefall.

The warning, from Mansel Raymond, chairman of the NFUs Welsh milk committee, is one of many issued over the last week by Welsh farming leaders and follows Milk Marques announcement of an 18p/standard litre milk price from 1 May.

“Nobody was expecting a cut, and many of the producers I talk to are telling me they have had enough,” Mr Raymond said.

“The milk price is already below the true cost of production on many farms. Unless returns improve, a sizeable exodus now seems certain. I am afraid we could see the break up of the dairy industry in west Wales, where remoteness and a limited number of buyers keep the milk price lower.”

Farmers were not prepared to go on milking cows twice a day and seven days a week for no reward, especially where their sons and daughters had rejected the idea of farming.