Milk production still falling

Published 8 September 08

Milk production still falling

DairyCo's daily production figures show that by the end of August daily milk production was running at around 1.9 million litres below the three year average - that's a drop of 5%.

This is backed up by figures from the Rural Payment Agency showing August milk production at 4.3% below the three year average.

The UK reported a total milk delivery figure for the month of 1.056 billion litres, the lowest August figure since the deregulation of the milk market in 1994/5.  This was 5.3% down on July's figures and although a seasonal fall in production between July and August is expected, it is usually smaller at between 3 and 4%.

The reason for this dramatic fall in production is due to the poor weather.  Met Office figures show rainfall 59% up on the three year average for the month of August and only 105.5 hours of sun were recorded - the lowest August figures since records began in 1929.

Significantly, milk production normally starts to flatten off at this time of year after a summer drop, but it has not done so yet.  With the continuing poor weather this may lead to a very low milk production trough in a couple of months if the weather does not improve.

Cumulatively, production in the first five months of the milk year stands at 5,664 million litres.  This is 3.8% below the three year average and 2.0% below the 2007/8 milk year when milk production for the year totalled 13.2 billion litres - almost 1 billion litres below the UK's quota limit.


8 September 2008
For further information, graphs etc:
N:    Philippa Stagg
T:    01285 646519

Notes for Editors:

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:
•    The provision of a world-class information service
•    Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through better business management.
•    Helping promote the positive perception of dairy products and dairy farming with the general public
•    The development of DairyCo towards a self-sustaining model.

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £7m.

DairyCo co-funds the industry's nutritional and issues management resource - The Dairy Council - with the processors' trade body Dairy UK.

DairyCo Limited was set up in April 2008 following a fundamental review of agricultural levy boards by Defra. The five existing levy boards (including the Milk Development Council) were replaced by one statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Reporting in to AHDB are six sector companies - DairyCo covers the milk sector.