4 Jun 2015

Low milk price doesn't put farmers off

8:53 am on 4 June 2015

Falling dairy prices and the low milk payouts farmers are currently receiving don't appear to be putting people off entering the dairy industry.

Dairy cow.

Dairy cow. Photo: SUPPLIED

Figures from Fonterra show the number of contract milkers - who are paid a fixed price by their farmer employers- has doubled to 800 since 2012.

And the number of sharemilkers increased by about 50 to almost 3770 in the past year.

Federated Farmers' sharemilker chairperson Neil Filer, from Dannevirke, said some people believe the rise in contract milking was killing sharemilking, however, the numbers show that is not the case.

"We had alarm, bells ringing with the numbers from Fonterra about how many new contract milkers are coming onto the scene, and there was a lot of noise about the death of share-milking, so we started having a good close look at that and the number contracts being sold.

"It seems that contract milking is a growing segment of the industry, but not at the expense of sharemilking. It seems to be along side share milking at this stage."

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