Agri-Business is big business in Galloway. Farmers in the region are embracing modern technology as an essential tool for farm management, be it a bespoke IT software farm plan system or the latest in farm machinery, remote sensing techniques, high yeild milk parlours, even silage yields are making the most of the latest technology. The Chamber welcomes members from the Farming Community, after all, business is business, be it office, factory or farmyard!
The Scottish Government Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture (2013) reveals some interesting statistics about our beef, milk and sheep:
In 2012 there were 1.79 million cattle in Scotland. The greatest number of cattle were located in Dumfries & Galloway 416,277 cattle, or 23 per cent of the Scottish herd. The adjoining county to our north – Ayrshire – accounted for 187,101 cattle, or ten per cent of the Scottish herd. These high numbers make for very good milk and beef yeilds.
Dairy cows in Scotland totalled 182,184 in June 2012, of which three quarters were located across south western areas such as Dumfries & Galloway 74,530 or 41 per cent, Ayrshire 40,259 or 22 per cent and the Clyde Valley 23,679 or 13 per cent. The number of beef cows in Dumfries & Galloway stood at 85,317. That’s 19 per cent of the Scottish beef herd. Clearly, Galloway would make an excellent location for a Baby Milk Powder processing plant, given our large dairy herd, and our famous ‘Galloway Beef’ is a exportable product too.
The production of milk and milk products (in Scotland as a whole) accounted for an estimated £365 million of output in 2012, equivalent to just over half the output from beef. The value has increased by 53 per cent since 2003, with increases from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2009 onwards.
Milk production has been fairly steady in the last ten years, with a less than one per cent difference between 2012 production and the 2003 level. After a settled period between 2003 and 2005 where prices and production remained stable, production fell by 60 million litres between 2006 and 2009, but has now recovered to a level close to that of a decade ago.
The average price of milk reached 27.8p/litre in 2012, up from 26.8p/litre (eight per cent) in 2011 and 18.0p/litre (54 per cent) in 2003.
There were 6.74 million sheep in Scotland at 1st June 2012. Dumfries and Galloway had 998,088 or 15 per cent of the Scottish flock.
Figures extrapolated from the Scottish Government Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture, 2013.