Scottish milk surplus highest on record

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

By Chris Gooderham

The milk surplus in Scotland is set to surpass 200m litres in 2019/20.

A rise in milk production and loss of some smaller processing sites means that the surplus has more than doubled over the last 5 years.

Milk collections off farms in Scotland are estimated at 1,478m litres in 2018/19, an increase of 55m litres (4%) compared with 2014/15. If the current trends on milk yield growth continue, milk collections are expected to surpass 1,500m litres in 2019/20.

Processing volumes are estimated at around 1,294m litres for 2018/19, slightly down on the 1,327m litres estimated in 2014/15. This is because of the closure of some processing facilities, including First Milk’s Arran and Muller’s Aberdeen and East Kilbride sites, but partially offset by expansion elsewhere.

As a result, the overall surplus of milk in Scotland for 2019/20 is estimated to be around 214m litres.

Additional information

We estimate Scottish milk production using milking herd numbers and an estimate of yields. The milking herd in Scotland grew to 176K head in 2019, a 1K head year on year increase. The increase in the size of milking herd, alongside an increase in average milk yield per cow has led to the continued growth in production.

Image of staff member Chris Gooderham

Chris Gooderham

Science and Environment Director

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