More than a million litres of milk has been poured down the drain by British farmers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Interim results from a survey by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) reveal more than one million litres of milk was thrown away by dairy farmers from April 6-20.
The survey, which was launched last week, asks farmers to log any losses they are incurring as a result of Covid-19.
RABDF said although the amount of milk affected seemed to have dropped since April 20, there were still some farmers receiving a reduced price for their milk, and occasionally milk was being thrown away.
The association said it had collated the first batch of results from its survey to give to Defra, in a bid to highlight the scale of the problems affecting the UK dairy sector.
“We continue to monitor the situation regarding the loss in value and all milk being discarded,” said RABDF chairman Peter Alvis.
“There are about 2m litres of milk a day that have not found a home in the retail market. What our survey shows is the negative impact it is having on those farmers most severely affected.”
He encouraged farmers to keep submitting information to the survey, which can be accessed here.
“It is imperative farmers continue submitting their information about the volume and value of milk lost so we can keep Defra informed of the size of the challenge this sector faces,” added Mr Alvis.
“We request Defra considers the seriousness of the situation and supports these farmers with a hardship payment.
“Any data we can continue feeding into Defra will only go to help this industry’s cause,” he said.
Meanwhile, Defra Secretary George Eustice has said the UK Government does not rule out giving extra assistance to struggling farmers.
Asked about dairy farmers, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We don’t rule out some type of hardship payment once we’ve got to the bottom of the data.”