How long will we continue to break production records?

Published 8 February 19

GB milk production hit a 23-year high in December, and January is looking like coming out at a similar record at around 1,062m litres despite a 1% drop in the final week (w/e 2 Feb).

At the AHDB milk forecasting forum, the consensus was that the low levels of forage from the summer had forced farmers to turn to concentrate feed to support production. The higher level of concentrate feed per cow is evident in the latest Promar Milkminder results*. This feeding mix, with a higher proportion coming from concentrates, has pushed milk yields to record high levels.

Concentrate use per cow in milk

Despite pressure coming from lower milk prices and higher concentrate prices, it was felt that, for the most part, farmers’ feeding regimes would now be set until the start of spring. As a result, the forum expects milk yields to remain relatively high through to March.

From March onwards, yields will once again be determined by the weather and grass-growing conditions. Therefore, although volumes are high now and are likely to remain high through to March, spring peak volumes continue to be unpredictable.

* December Milkminder results are provisional at the time of publication. Latest figures can be found here.