Tuesday, 23 March 2021
By Kat Jack
GB milk production is expected to reach 12.59bn litres for the 2021/22 season, up 0.4% (50m litres) on where we expect 2020/21 to end.
The 2020/21 season looks set to finish out around 12.54bn litres, in line with 2019/20. Although the spring flush was limited by the pandemic, strong production later in the year balanced out the total compared with the 2019/20 season.
Heading into the new milk year, we are expecting April to start at a similar level to last year, despite high production this March. We then expect the 2021 spring flush to rise to levels closer to 2019 than 2020, with the industry not expecting a need to repeat the curbing of production seen last spring. However, production between now* and the spring peak will be highly dependent on the weather. Consistent, excellent weather in this time would lift us above the forecast, but history suggests that, at some point, a cold or wet snap will temper the rise.
As always, there are many factors feeding into milk production. Overall, we expect the general trend of improving yields and a shrinking herd to continue. There were some interesting shifts in 2020, including a rise in registered youngstock and shifts in calving patterns. We have incorporated these as best we can, based on the data available and feedback from our latest Milk Forecasting Forum. Another key watch point currently is high feed prices, particularly in comparison to milk prices, which could influence farmer decisions.
This forecast will continue to be updated quarterly to reflect the latest information and developments.
*At the time of writing daily deliveries are available up to 13 March, with the rest of the month forecasted.
Analyst - Dairy
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