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Dairy Farmer magazine's October 2019 digital edition

Don’t miss this month’s new look Dairy Farmer. Take a look at the digital edition today.

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A word from the Editor

We may be just a short month away from Boris Johnson’s ‘do or die’ deadline, but we are still nowhere near reaching a Brexit deal yet. Despite all the Parliamentary pressure prior to prorogation, Mr Johnson is hell bent on October 31, or as he so colourfully confesses, he would ‘rather be dead in a ditch than delay’. A lot hinges on nding a solution to the backstop conundrum and how the UK interfaces with the EU without either a hard border with the Irish Republic or a so er one in the Irish Sea.
This is critical as the prosperity of the whole dairy industry largely depends on the Irish border resolution, and although Parliament has technically vetoed a ‘no-deal’ solution, clearly that end point cannot be categorically ruled out. e advice at UK Dairy Day from Kite Consulting, therefore, was to get ready for what might be a shock to the system. It says vulnerable businesses – currently those non-aligned businesses supplying the liquid market – need to inform their bank managers if there is any bad news coming their way to avoid any surprises. So despite all of the shiny new kit tempting punters in the Telford halls, the advice for producers was to keep the cheque book rmly under lock and key, seize every opportunity for repayment holidays and put o all routine maintenance work.
In short, if you have cash, hang on to it as you may need it. Okay, so what about incomings? Well, we are seeing liquid processors struggling, as witnessed by Muller’s colossal 4-5ppl shortfall on Arla following summer’s commodity crash. While it will take some time for the depression to fully work its way through, the good news is that cream prices, and to some extent bu er prices, are starting to edge up. Which in normal circumstances would be highly welcome news to o set the higher costs of winter milk production. But these are far from normal times as we face the prospect of being catapulted into the turmoil of trade barriers and tariffs. It’s perhaps li le wonder then that as things stand at the moment, Kite is recommending we reach for our hard hats!
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