Did poor spring weather also affect European milk?

Published 30 April 18

The snow and rain that dampened the usual March production increase in the UK also correlates with dips in German and French production, according to weekly delivery data.

German weekly production had notable drops during the poor weather weeks in March, and though it started the year tracking above 2016 weekly collections it has tracked below 2016 levels since March. It has, however, consistently tracked above 2017 weekly collections.

France’s weekly collections in March showed a similar pattern in relation to the weather. January and February production this year ran above 2017 production, but while 2017 production rose steadily through the spring, 2018 production stayed more flat and so fell behind around mid-March. This year’s volumes have been consistently lower than 2016.

In terms of the seasonal increase from February to March, both Germany and the UK experienced slower increases than normal, based on the 5-year average. France’s increase in production was level with its five-year average, based on current estimates.

March Production FR UK DE

Overall the impact on production hasn’t been especially severe, and production levels in both France and Germany appear to have recovered in the first week of April. It will, however, be a while before the impacts of poor weather conditions in March on the availability and quality of feed, and therefore production later in the year, can be assessed.