Dairy

Forced to stop milk production

By Geoff Adams

Suzie and Marshal Jacobs from Rochester have ceased milk production as a result of the milk price crash.

They have sold half their herd of 140 and dried off the other half, after their company, Fonterra, told them the price was being cut back to $1.91/kg MS for the remainder of the year.

‘‘We were completely blindsided by it,’’ Mrs Jacobs said.

‘‘We didn’t think they would follow Murray Goulburn. We were gobsmacked.

‘‘We spent our money purchasing cattle to milk and then spent all our spare cash buying fodder to keep going.

‘‘We had to stop.

‘‘I think it’s all been done to prop up Fonterra in New Zealand.’’

The couple has 70 cows left.

‘‘We would like to get back into milking but it’s just not viable at this stage,’’ Mrs Jacobs said.

‘‘We had to lay our worker off last November.

‘‘The opening price will determine if we get back again.

‘‘We’re just a mum and dad operation.’’

Mrs Jacobs said the situation was particularly troubling because they wanted their son Bradley, 15, to go into farming.