How has COVID-19 affected producers across GB?

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

By Felicity Rusk

At a GB level, we estimate that around 25% of producers have, so far, been highly impacted by the ramifications of the pandemic. But how does this vary between the devolved nations?

 

With almost 75% of British dairy producers farming in England, the breakdown remains broadly in-line with the GB averages.  However, the trends vary considerably in both Wales and Scotland.

Almost half of Welsh producers have been highly affected by COVID-19. This is due to the higher occurrence of farmers affected by reductions to milk prices and requests to reduce production volumes. With such a considerable proportion of Welsh producers affected, the Welsh Government has introduced funding support. Nevertheless, COVID-19 has the potential to re-shape certain aspects of the Welsh dairy industry.

In contrast, we estimate that 46% of Scottish dairy farmers have seen no impacts on their business as a result of COVID-19. For those who have been impacted, the majority (38%) have seen a ‘low’ level of disruption. There has been some isolated incidents of milk disposal on-farm, and a handful of buyers have announced price drops. As such, we estimate that less than 5% of Scottish dairy farmers have been highly impacted by the pandemic, at this time.

Click on the panels below for a more in-depth break down by GB country.


Of the dairy producers within England, so far:

  • 56% have suffered a reduction in farmgate prices during the spring
  • 20% have been asked to reduce milk output
  • 7% have had the volume they are paid a full price on reduced
  • 6% have had payments deferred
  • 4% have had milk collections cancelled
  • 23% have seen no changes

However, a number of farmers have suffered more than one of these impacts.

 

With almost 75% of British dairy producers farming in England, the proportion of producers affected by each impact remain broadly in-line with the GB averages.

 

Of the dairy producers within Wales so far:

  • 58% have suffered a reduction in farmgate prices during the spring
  • 45% have been asked to reduce milk output
  • 8% have had the volume they are paid a full price on reduced
  • 4% have had payments deferred
  • 4% have had milk collections cancelled
  • 24% have seen no changes

However, a number of farmers have suffered more than one of these impacts.

 

So far, around 73% of Welsh producers have seen some impact on their farming business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Of these, we estimate that 46% have seen a ‘high’ impact.

 

Of the dairy producers within Scotland, so far:

  • 29% have suffered a reduction in farmgate prices during the spring
  • 26% have been asked to reduce milk output
  • 4% have had the volume they are paid a full price on reduced
  • 13% have had milk collections cancelled
  • None have had payments deferred
  • 42% have seen no changes

However, a number of farmers have suffered more than one of these impacts.

 

So far, just over half of Scottish producers have seen some impact on their farming business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Of these, we estimate that just under 5% have seen a ‘high’ impact on their business, considerably lower than the national average (21%).

 


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