French Farmers' Union Official Warns Of Milk Shortage
The president of the largest farmers' union in France has warned that a shortage of feedstock caused by severe drought may lead to a milk shortage.
"I think that in the coming months, we will have a shortage of milk in France. To make milk, you need fodder, mainly alfalfa and corn, which have grown little this year," said Yannick Fialip, president of the economic commission of the FNSEA and a breeder (translated).
"So we risk running out of milk this fall and winter," he told France Info.
According to Fialip, during normal seasons animals are typically grazing in the meadows this time of year. Thanks to severe drought, however, "It is necessary to bring fodder stored this spring, which was intended to feed the animals in winter, which is used from July and August."
"This severe drought brings together two conditions: a significant lack of rain and very high temperatures which had a "hair-drying" effect on the plants which dried out many plants, especially all that is fodder. We had to harvest very early, especially corn." -Yannick Fialip
He also noted that the state does provide a "calamity fund" which helps breeders to buy fodder by splitting the cost, and which many breeders have tapped with success.
That said, Fialip also notes that the price of milk paid to breeders in France is 20% lower vs. other European countries, and he's calling for a measure to "better renumerate our breeders, which would allow them to have better cash flow and ensure the sustainability of the sector," because "there is a big risk that some breeders will decide to decapitalize their livestock in the face of this situation."