Average UK Milk Yield

Published 23 June 16

  • The average annual yield per cow increased by 0.9% in 2015/16 to 7,912 litres, according to provisional data.
  • This resulted in an increase of 3.0% in total milk production, to 15,078 million litres, from an average UK dairy herd size of 1.9 million cows, up 2.1% on the previous year.

The latest provisional figures from Defra show a 0.9 % (68 litres per cow) increase in the average yield per cow from 2014/15, to 7,912 litres per cow in 2015/16. For more information on milk production please see here.

The average size of the UK dairy herd for the 2015 milk year has increased on the year by 40,000 cows (2.1%). The total amount of milk produced has increased by 440m litres (3.0%) to 15,078m litres.  

Average UK Milk Yields by Milk Year

 

 

Average Size of Dairy Herd (thousand head)¹

Average Yield (litres per cow per annum)²

Total Milk Production From Dairy Herd (million litres) 3

2001/2

2,229

6,449

14,373

2002/3

2,224

6,450

14,343

2003/4*

2,185

6,631

14,492

2004/5

2,060

6,886

14,183

2005/6

2,003

7,001

14,020

2006/7

1,989

6,963

13,852

2007/8*

1,954

6,950

13,579

2008/9

1,894

6,974

13,209

2009/10

1,853

7,056

13,073

2010/11

1,836

7,406

13,599

2011/12*

1,799

7,641

13,749

2012/13

1,795

7,361

13,215

2013/14

1,805

7,712

13,920

2014/15†

1,866

7,844

14,638

2015/16*†

1,906

7,912

15,078

* Leap Year Provisional
Source: DEFRA

¹From 1999/00 to 2004/05 the average size of the dairy herd is estimated by taking the size of the herd at June and December from the agricultural census information, and calculating the population trends during the remaining months of the year. The average herd size shown in the table below is therefore consistent with, but not the same as, Defra's published agricultural census data. From 2005/06 data is obtained through the Cattle Tracing System (CTS).

²The average yields have to be taken with a degree of caution as they are based only on the total milk production recorded divided by the size of the dairy herd.

3Please note that total milk production is based on all milk produced on farm, including the milk which is delivered to dairies, milk used on farm in the production of dairy products, milk consumed in farm households, milk fed to livestock and farm waste; suckled milk is excluded.

Average Milk Yield

Average UK Milk Yields by Calendar Year

Figures for 2015 show that the average milk yield per calendar year has decreased by 4 litres per cow per annum (0.1%) to 7,893 litres per cow per annum. The average yield in 2015 was 13.0% (907 litres per cow per annum) higher than ten years previously when the average stood at 6,986 litres per cow per annum.

For more information on average milk yields click here

 

Average Yield (litres per cow per annum)

2001

6,346

2002

6,493

2003

6,621

 2004*

6,763

2005

6,986

2006

6,977

2007

6,931

  2008*

6,972

2009

7,061

2010

7,303

2011

7,563

  2012*

7,477

2013

7,543

2014

7,897

2015

7,893

* Leap Year
Source: DEFRA