Agriculture. Increased milk prices fill the hole that was created already eight years ago.
For dairy farmers, the Carina and Alvar Sonesson can transition to organic production have been crucial in order to survive.
– It has probably been our salvation, ” says Carina Sonesson.
The merciless januarivinden has a strong hold on the Gunnaröds farm in skåne, Stockamöllan. Inside in the house takes Carina and the Alvar Sonesson received. Below a slope, boasts the farm’s cow housing with around 130 dairy cows.
– We are the ninth generation to run the farm here, ” says Alvar Sonesson.
the Idea of being the last generation has beaten them. Low milk prices over a longer period of time has made that they wondered if it is worth to continue as dairy farmers.
– There has been a total disaster. When all spending is broadly constant, and the revenue drops… Yes, either you get put off or bite the bullet and try to survive, ” he says.
Many dairy farmers in Sweden have been forced to put the boots on the shelf. In the last five years has been closer to 1 500 dairy farms closed down in november 2016, the number of active mjölkföretag to 3 857. In 2011, the figure was 5 341.
– Now also has the total number of dairy cows in the country decreased, ” says Lennart Holmström, market analyst at LRF Milk.
– The large number of defunct dairy farms in recent years is due to a structural change, however, we are looking back in time has it been weighed up by the other farms have grown larger, with more cows, he continues.
“Holes to fill”
Times have been tough for a long time, says Carina Sonesson.
– Around 2009, prices began to rise and milk prices fall. Since then it has gone a bit up and down, but many have a hole to fill ever since, ” she says.
For the pair Sonesson, the decision to make the farm organic 2010 have been crucial.
– Requirements-reimbursement for milk has been good for a while and I believe that organic farms have had it a little less tough. Our financial statements have become better than before, but to sit intermittently and not know what bills we can pay… It takes on my psyche, ” says Carina Sonesson.
– Now we have many legs to stand on and it is well rescue. Now, we sell the meat, and it has been good in the past two years when köttpriserna has gone up, ” says Alvar Sonesson.
Stable level is required
After an unusually long period of low milk prices – in the summer, got the farmers over 2,40 sek per kilo of milk – turned it in the fall. In december last year, the dairy farmers 3,11 sek per kg for conventionally produced milk – 50 cents more than in september of the same year. For organic milk, the increase was 43 cents (from 3,98 to 4,41 sek per kilo).
– the Rise seems to last. Our assessment is that for at least the first half of 2017, it looks like that the positive signals will continue, ” says Lennart Holmström.
Shall there be any investment in the near future on the Gunnaröds farm, it requires a stable level of prices over a longer period, but because milk prices are governed by supply and demand in the global market, it is difficult to predict the future.
– you Should invest, it does not help, you have good prices in a few months, ” says Alvar Sonesson.
Fewer dairy farms
Number of mjölkföretag in Sweden over time:
2011: 5 341.
2012: 5 055.
2013: 4 741.
2014: 4 484.
2015: 4 239.
2016: 3 857 (november).
For the years 2011-2015, the data shows the average number of mjölkföretag in Sweden during the current year. For 2016 is it the number of active mjölkföretag during the month of november.
Source: LRF Milk.