Increases in average milk yields due to on farm feeding

Published 19 September 19

Despite the 2018 drought, average milk yields were higher than anticipated in 2018/2019.  Milk yields were above the five-year-average every month from July 2018 to April 2019, peaking at 29 litres/day in February according to Promar milkminder data. This was mainly due to an increase in the use of concentrates, although genetic improvements in the milking herd will also have contributed. 

With the higher use of concentrates, feed costs per litre increased alongside the rise in milk yields. Total feed costs per litre remained above previous year levels between July 2018 and March 2019, only moving down as cows were able to return to grass. On average, feed costs per litre were 10% higher over this period than in the previous year.

Milk Yields

This year has been much better for grass growth and silage, with reports that stocks are high. This is expected to reduce concentrate use over the coming winter months, and mean yields will return to more typical levels.


Charlie Reeve