Dairy dispersals are ramping up around the UK with the latest round of milk price cuts forcing farmers to think about their future.
In last week’s Farmers Guardian classified section, several auction mart adverts had notices of dairy dispersals, including sales at short notice or not previously announced.
The adverts were timely, with the effects of processor cuts on dairy farmers across the UK starting to bite.
Last month, Muller Milk and Ingredients announced a 1ppl price cut to take effect from February 15, while Arla has faced a backlash in recent weeks amid cuts to its on-account and direct supply prices.
Glyn Lucas, auctioneer at Harrison and Hetherington, Carlisle, said: “I think people are starting to look at more options now. There will be people deciding to sell cows. In the next few months there are going to be [dispersal] sales.”
Mr Lucas said since he last spoke to FG, more farmers had contacted the mart about dispersal sales.
He said: “Looking back on years gone by, it is probably no different to any other downturn there has been.
“The good thing is there is pretty strong demand for cows, even though it is disappointing for some.”
He claimed it had been a buyers’ market over recent months and people were also looking at culling less efficient cows.
Clive Norbury, auctioneer at Wright Marshall, Beeston, claimed the mart had been busy in recent weeks with people looking to sell up.
He said: “There are people who are concerned and realising they may have to get out. It is milk price-driven.”
He said prices had held up well at the mart, despite the increase in dispersals.