1 December 1999
Expansion warning to dairy farmers
DAIRY producers who have expanded their herds in an attempt to combat low prices are exposed to high risks, according to Jim Walker, president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland.
He told delegates at the Scottish Dairy Association conference in Edinburgh that they were gambling with such an investment at the present time.
Walker emphasised the importance to the milk sector of negotiating an exit from the Over-Thirty-Months-Scheme (OTMS), which was still imposing a limitation on the value of cull cows.
He also called for imaginative ways of restoring value to dairy cows including the suggestion that they might be exported to Europe but held in special units until they had reached the age of six months.
Jim Begg, director general of the Dairy Industry Federation, said it was important for farmers to work with processors against competition in the marketplace.