Autumn production boost pushes forecast into growth

Thursday, 17 December 2020

By Kat Jack

Our forecast for GB milk production has been revised up to 12.56 billion litres for the 2020/21 season. This is up 0.05bn litres from the September forecast, and would be a 0.2% increase on 2019/20 if realised.

Strong production in the autumn has boosted the total, with November in particular showing strong growth . Yields have shown strong year-on-year growth in the last few months, which has in turn lifted our yield and production expectations for the winter. Another factor for strong autumn production was an increase in autumn calving as part of a longer-term shift in calving patterns.  August calvings were also particularly high this year, which also served to boost autumn production – but we expect that boost to level out going forwards, now that those cows have passed peak production.


 It is difficult to predict how milk production could develop as we move into the new year. Although we have an idea of yields and cow numbers going forwards, the markets are particularly hard to predict right now. There remains some risk of volatility in farmgate prices as the markets adjust to new trading conditions, and this could influence how milk production develops over the first half of 2021.

Katherine Jack

Analyst - Dairy

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