Hundreds of farmers are planning to quit milk production in the next two years because they are being driven out of business by the rising cost of food production.
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Milk farmers are set to quit the industry over soaring food production costs

A survey by the National Farmers’ Union said 7 per cent of dairy farmers will quit by 2024 – which in national terms would mean 840 producers.

Over the next two years, dairy farmers were most concerned about prices of feed (93 per cent), fuel (91 per cent), energy (89 per cent) and fertiliser (88 per cent).

In addition, a third of arable farmers plan to swap from growing wheat for bread to growing it for animal feed as it needs less fertiliser – the price of which has shot up in recent months.

The findings, based on a survey of 610 dairy farmers and 525 arable farmers, highlight how the crisis caused by rising costs is affecting Britain’s ability to produce food and feed itself.

The NFU is calling on the Government to introduce a statutory duty for ministers to assess the impact of new policy on domestic food production.

NFU president Minette Batters said costs were rising rapidly on farms across the country.

‘It’s already having an impact on the food we are producing… as well as leading to a crisis of confidence among farmers,’ she said.

‘With fertiliser prices doubling, feed and fuel prices rising, and the variable role of the weather, the decisions farmers are making now will feel more like a gamble than ever before.’

With calving underway, dairy farmers are being urged to plan ahead to combat feed shortages.

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