Extreme August heat hampers GB milk deliveries

Friday, 21 August 2020

By Felicity Rusk

GB milk deliveries dropped back considerably in the week ending 15 August. GB daily milk deliveries averaged 32.21 million litres down 1.7% on the previous week. While milk production would be expected to decline seasonally at this time of year, this drop is considerably larger than we would expect to see.

It is likely that the extremely warm weather we saw around this period has affected milk deliveries. Most areas of England and Wales were subject to over 30-degree heat between 7-9 August. According to the Met Office, the seventh was the warmest August day since 2003, with a maximum temperature of 36.4 degrees recorded at Heathrow Airport. These warmer temperatures continued until the Wednesday (12 August) for many areas of the UK.

The upper thermal comfort zone of a cow is around 25oC. When air temperatures exceed this upper limit, the cow must re-direct energy in order to thermo-regulate. Furthermore, cows will tend to reduce their dry matter intake in warmer weather, in order to reduce heat production from rumination. This would normally be expected to lead to a reduction in milk yields.


Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Dairy market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form and select the information you wish to receive.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved. 

×