Dutch dairy farmers were not able to cover their cost of milk production last year, according to figures from the Dutch Dairymen Board.

The Dutch Dairymen Board says that despite lower milk production costs, with concurrently higher farm-gate prices for milk in 2014, it still was not enough to cover production costs.

The Board reports that the cost of producing milk in the Netherlands, calculated for the whole of 2014, was 42.24c/kg of milk after deducting 3.03c/kg in subsidies.

The cost calculation is representative of smaller, medium-sized and large specialised, full-time dairy farms (with 24, 80 and 223 dairy cows respectively), the Dutch Dairymen Board says.

Sieta van Keimpema, the President of the DDB, says: “You have to consider that 2014 was a year of relatively high prices."

But even so it was not possible to cover costs. This caused many producers in the Netherlands to give up milk production.

Even though producing milk is a passion and we love our profession, the financial pressure gives many of us no other choice but to get out, Sieta van Keimpema says.

This pressure has increased again in 2015 with current prices in the Netherlands approximately 25-28c/kg of milk. The situation is also critical in the other European countries, Sieta says.

According to the Dutch Dairymen Board, the situation is no better at present in Ireland with a milk price of 28c/kg.

At the moment, the EU Commission is ignoring the drastic situation and refusing to implement a crisis instrument such as the Market Responsibility Programme (MRP), he said.