British milk production is likely to fall 4% in the next two years as more and more farmers signal their intention to quit, DairyCo has warned.

About 13% of respondents to DairyCo’s 2011 Farmer Intentions Survey said they were planning to leave the industry in the next two years, up from 9% in 2010. Only 50% of dairy farmers expected to maintain their production at current levels over the next two years, and only 6% planned to invest more than £250,000 over the next five years, down three points on last year.

“There is a concern that Great Britain will stand to lose milk production capacity if there is not sufficient investment,” said senior analyst Matt Johnson.

Dairy UK pointed out that 31% of dairy farmers were planning on increasing milk production over the next two years, which was a positive sign for the industry’s future.