Milk volume forecast impacted by 2015 inseminations

Published 15 February 18

AHDB expects milk volumes in the spring to reach levels close to, but slightly below those achieved in 2015. That was the conclusion from an industry milk forecasting forum organised by AHDB this week.

The forum, made up of representatives from across the industry analysed and discussed some of the key factors impacting on milk production in the country.

The outputs show that, GB milk production has the underlying potential to reach a record high level this spring, but a number of factors are expected to dampen the volume.

The most critical is the hangover from the low farmgate prices of 2015, when a number of farmers moved from using dairy inseminations to beef. At the time we also saw a reduction in the proportion of sexed semen used. The result, nearly three years later, is a reduction in the number of herd replacements coming into the herd, and an expected drop off in milk volumes as a result.

GB dairy herd Oct17 

The Milk to Feed Price ratio is at a record high level, which should encourage farmers to push for higher yields. However, the downturn in dairy wholesale prices a few months ago, and announced price drops from a number of milk buyers, appears to have dampened enthusiasm to push for higher volumes. 

A copy of the milk forecasting pack that was shared with the group, is available here.