05 September 1997
Most dairy farmers plan to lease quota

By FWi staff

FOUR out of five dairy farmers are planning to acquire more quota during the current year, according to a survey of Milk Marque members.

In a survey of 820 members, 78% said they would acquire more quota this year, of whom 61% were planning to lease, 10% to buy and the rest keeping their options open.

But according to the Milk Marque Quota Agency, which carried out the survey, dairy farmers are driving a hard bargain when leasing or buying quota.

Quota Agency head Huw Rees said: “These findings show that there are many farmers looking to acquire quota this year. But they are looking closely at what they can afford to pay, and price is the major issue”.

“Many farmers have been delaying their decision until quota prices bottom out. During August, volumes traded nationally were running at a lower level than last year, with prices staying level at 9p a litre,” he said.

Mr Rees said trading volumes normally pick up during the run-up to the leasing deadline in December, which may prompt prices to rise. With this in mind, farmers might be wise to acquire extra quota now rather than later in the year, he said.