Dairy

The dairy industry is no exception when it comes to the trend of intensification and concentration. Over the past decade dairy farm numbers have declined (39 producers) while herd size per producer has increased to an average of 144 head. The dairy industry remains the province’s biggest agricultural commodity.

The dairy industry in the country is supply managed and is administered by the provincial marketing board. Quota is very expensive to obtain (upwards of $25,000 per head) and only those with quota may produce milk for commercial sale.

A surplus of dairy production is shipped out of province, as there is no secondary processing on the island (cheese, butter, ice-cream), a cost which the farmer absorbs. The farmer may also be fined for producing over quota.

As the dairy industry continues to intensify on the island, one of the challenges is noted as,“Many farms have become surrounded by spreading communities which may be reluctant to permit farm expansion on these sites. This may hinder a new owner from increasing in size to increase the profit margin”