Dairy quota increase could mean more cows on P.E.I.
'It's a welcome impact': Harold MacNevin, chair of the Dairy Farmers of P.E.I.
Dairy quotas in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec are going up five per cent on July 1, and that could mean some Island dairy farms will start planning for big growth.
This is the largest one-time increase since the five provinces started managing their milk regionally in the mid-90s.
Demand for butter and butter fat is driving the increase, which is being spurred on by changing dietary recommendations.
"Higher fat products are now considered a healthy part of the diet," said Harold MacNevin, chair of the Dairy Farmers of P.E.I.
MacNevin said growing to meet the new quota will be a big challenge, but one that farmers are glad to face.
"That means you have to have five per cent more cows, five per cent more feed, five per cent more space available in your barn, five per cent more labour," he said.
"It's quite an impact. It's a welcome impact."
Not every farmer is in a position to expand, said MacNevin.
Those farmers will sell their excess quota to other farmers. Some farms could potentially double in size, he said.
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With files from Laura Chapin