Milk forecasting forum Feb-19

Published 13 February 19

GB milk production has reduced over the last couple of weeks, but volumes continue to run ahead of last year, and January looks to have come out at another 23-year record high.

At the recent AHDB milk forecasting forum*, the key conclusion was that milk yields had driven the rise in milk volumes through the autumn and early winter.

Overall, the herd size has reduced due to a lower retention rate of animals and insemination decisions. However, milk yields have more than compensated for this reduction in herd size. During the summer months, yields were supported by farmers needing to use a higher proportion of bought-in feed to supplement low forage levels. Whilst this feeding approach has boosted milk yields, it has been driven by necessity rather than a choice to optimise financial performance. The approach is expected to hit farmer’s profitability levels, which could have a knock-on impact on milk volumes in the future.

AHDB presented three potential scenarios for how milk production could pan out over the coming year. The resultant milk production forecasts, as well as a projection for butterfat and protein levels are available in the milk forecasting forum pack, which can be found here.


* Twice a year, AHDB brings together key industry experts to discuss national milk production, and the factors that could impact on it over the coming 12 months. This group includes consultants, milk processors, farming unions and government officials.