Higher quality and larger farms standard litre amendment

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

By Chris Gooderham

Every year we review our standard litre for the Milk Price Calculator, to ensure it is in line with the ‘average’ farm in the country. The latest review shows how farmers have increased in average size, and improved compositional quality compared with last year.

The standard litre from April 2020 will be based on:

  • 1.5m litres per year
  • 4.10% butterfat
  • 3.35% protein
  • 162k somatic cell count
  • 26k bactoscan

Our survey of milk buyers now allows us to estimate the number of producers in the country, which in turn allows us to estimate the average size of each of those producers. The latest results show average farm size has risen to 1.5m litres per year, up more than 6% compared with the first survey back in February 2019.

Compositional quality in the UK has increased significantly over recent years, with the 3 year average* rising from 4.02% butterfat and 3.27% protein in 2014/15 to the latest averages of 4.10% and 3.35% respectively. 

The profile of the standard litre has also been amended to reflect the average profile of milk production in the country. It is recognised that this is simply a combination of the wide variety of profiles in the country, but the standard litre is only a guide to allow us to track movements in overall prices. The Milk Price Calculator gives farmers the ability to enter their own individual data, that way covering the diverse range of farming systems operating in the country.


* The 3 year average is calculated based on a 50:30:20 weighting, giving more weight to the most recent year.

Chris Gooderham

Head of Market Specialists - Dairy & Livestock

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