“I think that in the coming months, we will have a shortage of milk in France”, alerted Friday August 5 on franceinfo Yannick Fialip, breeder and president of the economic commission of the FNSEA, while the drought affects almost all departments of the metropolis. “To make milk, you need fodder, mainly alfalfa and corn, which have grown little this year”, underlines Yannick Fialip. He also hopes for “an increase” in the price of milk paid to producers to “ensure the sustainability of the sector”. franceinfo: What is the impact of the drought for farmers? Yannick Fialip: We have animals, which are usually in the meadows during this period, which have nothing left to eat. 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. “We are hitting stocks. This is something unusual for us. We are very worried about the ability of many breeders to be able to feed their herds throughout the 2022-2023 winter.” Yannick Fialip at franceinfo This severe drought brings together two conditions: a significant lack of rain and very high temperatures which had a “hairdryer” effect on the plants which dried out many plants, especially all that is fodder. We had to harvest very early, especially corn. Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau explained that on aid, this will require an assessment after the emergency. Will you need additional help from the state? There is a calamity fund which helps stockbreeders to be able to have access to aid which would allow them to buy fodder, financed 50% by stockbreeders and 50% by the State. We have to be able to activate it in a good number of departments to give cash to breeders. The most important thing is that there is a better revaluation of the prices paid to breeders. The price of milk in France is 20% lower than the price of milk paid to other European producers, particularly in Germany and the Netherlands. One of the first measures would be to better remunerate 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 herds in the face of this situation. Are there any breeders who have to sell their cattle earlier than expected? We are starting to have an influx of animals. We saw this phenomenon in the spring when we saw a certain number of mother stock – mothers, which are calves – which had arrived on the market. We have a concern about this fall which will happen very quickly with breeders who will not have enough food, not enough cash. All of the minister’s work must be done around that to avoid the loss of livestock. If we lose the mother herd, we lose the ability to produce calves for three years. 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. So we risk running out of milk this fall and winter.
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