Dairy farmers are watching the international dairy markets as prices continue to drop.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has been notified that further cuts to milk prices have been announced by some processors with the others expected to follow suit.

UFU Deputy President William Irvine said, “The dairy processors were frank about milk price cuts during meetings at the Balmoral Show. The news cast a nervousness among dairy farmers at the show and has plummeted their farm business into a great deal of uncertainty. An extremely difficult few months lie ahead as the income for dairy farming families will take a significant hit affecting the business and the home. Again, it seems to have been forgotten that farmers are dealing with the cost-of-living crisis and food inflation like everyone else.

“On top of this, our dairy farmers have now lost the confidence to invest in their farm and to push on with developments to become more efficient and sustainable. Money is needed to support these types of endeavours on farm which require financial backing from banks. It’s vital that banks engage with dairy processors and gain an outlook as to where this situation is likely to go.

“In the meantime, we encourage farmers to shop around when buying inputs and focus on margin per cow. Global markets would indicate that markets are slowly beginning to stabilise and processors are projecting improvement for quarter four of 2023.”