Growth in milk yield slows down

Published 25 June 19

GB milk production has been breaking records since November last year. Estimated* GB average daily milk yields have been up by as much as 8% on the year, far greater than the average 1.5% annual increase. However in the last few months, the rate of growth has been falling, suggesting that yields may be returning to more historically normal levels.

In March, average daily milk yields were up 1.7 litres/cow (7.9%) on last year. However, this growth was amplified as extreme weather resulted in disruption to collections last year.

While the annual growth rate is still high in historical terms, since March, growth has been falling month-on-month. Yields in April and May were up 7.5% and 4.4% respectively. So far in June (1st to 15th), yields have averaged 23.4 litres/head/day, 4.2% more than the same period last year.

Estimated GB daily average milk yields

What does the future hold?

We highlighted in our latest forecast that the strong growth in yields seen throughout the winter months is unlikely to be maintained, as the inclusion of concentrates in diet is reduced in favour of forage. As such, we expect that yields are likely to return to more normal levels as we move throughout the year.

*Estimated milk yields have been calculated using our daily milk deliveries and cattle population data from BCMS. An adjustment was made to account for the proportion of cows that would be in their dry period.


Felicity Rusk