November 14, 2013
UK milk production hit record high in October
In October, UK milk production was the highest for 10 years, according to provisional data from the Rural Payments Agency.
The UK dairy herd produced 1.09 billion litres during the month – 27.9 million litres more than in September and almost 10% (96.2 million litres) more than the same time last year. It was the most produced in October since 2003, when the herd reached 1.12 billion litres.
For the second consecutive month, cumulative production for the year was above last season, with the open autumn and good quality corn harvest in stark contrast to last year's woes. Between April and October, the UK produced 7.94 billion litres, compared with 7.81 billion litres last year and a five-year average of 7.8 billion litres.
However, the high yields were starting to affect butterfat contents, which only increased slightly in October, to 4.08%, compared with 4.19% last year. Cumulative butterfat was pegged at 3.96%; 0.06 points below last year but on par with the over-year mean.
Dairy farmer numbers continued their steady decline, with 10,488 producers recorded in England and Wales in November, 200 fewer than the same time last year.