Dairy farmer fears losing business as industry struggles with spiralling costs

Credit: PA/ITV Calendar

A dairy farmer in Rotherham fears she will have to find another way of making a living as the industry struggles with the spiralling cost of spiralling costs of feed, fertiliser and fuel.

The price of a pint of milk is predicted to double, and dairy farmers say their businesses are "on the borderline"

Helen Smith of Breck's Lane Farm is one of the many in the industry struggling. She had to sell around 40 of her cows to tackle costs, and fears more will have to go. "If things change any more then these will all go and we will have to find another way of making a living."

Helen believes the price of milk will more than double with the price of tillage having more than tripled in a year.

"It's got to go up, otherwise, farmers are going to be a thing of the past and especially milk. Last year it was £345 to buy a tonne of tillage at this time of year, now it's £1,200 pound.

"And then the dairy chemicals we buy has doubled the, black wrap what we put the silage in to keep for the cows for the winter is doubled in price."

According to Kite Consulting, which advises Dairy Farmers, the price of four pints of milk could increase from £1.15 to £1.70, while a pack of butter could rise from £1.55 to over £2.

In Rotherham, there have been mixed views over paying more for a pint of milk.

Farmers don't set the price of milk, so the National Farmers Union has called for fairness in the supply chain in order to help farmers through this difficult time.

The concerns go beyond just dairy farmers, with those trading in cattle warning it wont be long before the price of meat goes up too.

Rod Cordingley, at the York Auction Centre said: "They are seriously worried about their cash flow. No doubt about that, because they're tying up more money and that's more money for the same output.

"It's a matter of time before you see those prices rise, because otherwise I'm afraid it doesn't add up for a lot of people."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it has set up the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group to engage with the challenges facing the sector.