Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish dairy herd decline continues with 11 farmers quitting in 2021

Almost 200 dairy farmers have quit the industry in Scotland in the past 10 years.

The number of dairy herds in Scotland continues to decline with 11 farmers quitting the industry last year, however new herds started in the far north and south-west, according to new figures.

Data from the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association (SDCA) reveals there were 832 dairy herds in operation across Scotland on January 1 – this represents a net loss of 11 herds on January 1, 2021, and a loss of 195 herds in 10 years.

Although the number of herds continues to fall, the figures show an increase of 3,023 cows to a national herd of milking cows of 179,361, with the average herd size increasing by seven cows to 216.

The Kintyre and Lanarkshire regions lost three herds each in the year, while Fife, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Roxburghshire, Stirlingshire and Wigtownshire each lost one herd.

New herds established

Herd numbers remained stable in most other regions with 14 dairy herds reported in Aberdeenshire, seven in Angus, one in Inverness, three in Kinross, five in Moray, 16 in Orkney, four in Perthshire, one in Ross & Cromarty and two in Shetland.

A new herd was established in Caithness and Sutherland, bringing the total number of herds in the area to three, while herd numbers also increased by one to 151 in Dumfries.

“Although farm gate prices increased during the latter part of 2021, the pandemic continues to be challenging, especially due to labour shortages and the rising cost of living, affecting costs such as fertiliser, fuel and energy prices,” said SDCA secretary Janette Mathie.

“But there is still commitment within Scottish dairy farmers to produce high quality milk and dairy products and breed superior dairy cattle.”

She said the figures also reveal an increase in the number of herds somatic cell count monitoring and disease testing, while pregnancy diagnosis through milk samples continues to grow in popularity.

Already a subscriber? Sign in