Thursday, 28 November 2019
By Jennie Tanner
Cumulative GB milk production for the 2019/20 milk year up to October* stood at 7.44 billion litres. 120 million litres (2%) higher than the previous year. This brings it to the second highest production in 25 years.
Over recent years milk production has shown a definite trough around September followed by production increasing again. This year has been unusual as the trough period has been relatively long and flat, and the trough less marked.
In our forecast from September, we expected milk production to drop below last year in the autumn and winter. This was because good grass growth allowed for plentiful forage, and we anticipated concentrate feeding reducing as a result. This reduction in production hasn’t happened as early as we’d thought, although volumes have recently dropped below last year. This could be in part due to the weather. The high levels of rainfall this September and October, particularly in England and Wales, have forced a number of farmers to move cows indoors to avoid poaching the ground.
Despite the very heavy rainfall, reports suggest that grass forage stocks were good when cut and, assuming that they survived the wet weather, should still help reduce concentrate requirements compared to last year. As a result we still expect volumes to track below last year through the remainder of the autumn and winter period.
*Includes estimated figure for October.
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