GB milk production reaches second highest level in 25 years

Cumulative GB milk production is up on the year to October
Cumulative GB milk production is up on the year to October

British milk production reached its second highest level in 25 years in the year up to October, figures by AHDB Dairy show.

Cumulative GB milk production for the 2019/20 milk year up to October stood at 7.44 billion litres.

This is 2 percent higher than the previous year, at 120 million litres (2%), bringing it to the second highest production in 25 years.

Over recent years milk production has shown a definite trough around September followed by production increasing again.

But this year has been unusual as the trough period has been relatively long and flat, and the trough less marked, the industry body says.

In a forecast from September, AHDB expected milk production to drop below last year in the autumn and winter.

This was because good grass growth allowed for plentiful forage, and AHDB anticipated concentrate feeding reducing as a result.

This reduction in production hasn’t happened as early as thought, although volumes have recently dropped below last year.

(Photo: AHDB)
(Photo: AHDB)

This could be in part due to the weather, the body adds. The high levels of rainfall this September and October have forced a number of farmers to move cows indoors to avoid poaching the ground.

Despite the heavy rainfall, reports suggest that grass forage stocks were good when cut and, assuming that they survived the wet weather, should still help reduce concentrate requirements compared to last year.

As a result AHDB says it still expects volumes to track below last year through the remainder of the autumn and winter period.