GB milk production up 350m litres in 2017-18

Published 9 April 18

According to AHDB Dairy’s daily deliveries, GB milk production finished the 2017-18 milk year at 12,402m litres, up 349m litres compared to the previous year. Production though, was still around 113m litres lower than 2015-16, which was the highest level of GB production since the 1980’s.

This year has been hampered by terrible weather conditions in 2018, which saw an estimated 19m uncollected late February/early March. As well as this, the cold temperatures and rainfall have resulted in a number of areas being affected by sodden fields. While it does appear to be getting warmer, it does not look likely that the rain will stop – in the short-term.

09.04.18 GB dailies

Weather is the crucial factor to the start of 2018-19 milk year. Fields can recover quickly if the weather changes for the better soon. However, feed supplies are likely to be dwindling and the next few weeks could potentially force a farmer’s hand – turnout onto unsuitable ground or purchase more feed.

In Ireland, conditions are just as bad, if not worse in some areas, and there are those who have turned out, so field management will be crucial for Irish production. In addition, the demand for imported forage is said to have increased, highlighting the anxious situation.