The most important thing for the future of milk is to encourage the young generation to invest in farming. That was one of the conclusions from SLU’s Milk Week 17–21 October, with participants from agriculture, consultancy, authorities, and research.
It was second year SLU’s Milk Week took place – partly as a webinar, partly as a conference at the Elmia fair in Jönköping.
– There is a lot of exciting research going on and it is very important that the results come out quickly. Quick feedback from practice to research can lead to new angles on research, Mjölkveckan’s organizer Margareta Emanuelson said.
At the conference Brian Kuns from SLU talked about a survey, showing that many farmers have a socially unacceptable existence. It is connected to the fact that some farms are not big enough to have employees or that there is a lack of colleagues in the area.
Systems for economic support were also discussed. Håkan Rosenqvist and Christel Cederberg (Chalmers) came up with a proposal for a new support, a so-called ”square meter support that would benefit ecosystem and biological diversity and give greater support to smaller fields. Another suggestion was to introduce a subsidized replacement system, like the one in Finland.
Everyone agreed that long-term profitability in the business is essential. With the current high milk price, the opportunities are there.
– I think the future seems hopeful! The high milk price is very positive, and I think it gives farmers faith in the future. The Swedish Agency for Agriculture emphasizes the importance of long-term sustainable milk production and the fact that they also emphasize the need for investment support as an important parameter to bring in more young farmers gives hope, Margareta Emanuelson concluded after the discussions.
She added that there is a need for an independent meeting place where research meets practice.
– We have received many positive comments from, for example, farmers who are happy about the initiative and think that SLU should continue to run the milk week. We succeeded well in matching researchers and practitioners.
Read the full resume HERE