Irish milk production growth forecasted to slow down

Published 6 July 16

Irish milk production for May increased by 4.9% to 918m litres, according to the most recent official figures. Using a similar model used to forecast GB milk production for the 2016/17 season, Irish milk production for the current milk year looks to be somewhere in the region of 6.6bn litres to 6.9bn litres. With the midpoint at around 6.7bn litres, this would mean milk production for the 2016/17 season would increase by 1.3% or 84m litres if the forecast is realised.

This compares with the previous season when milk production increased by more than 1bn litres or 18% in response to quotas no longer limiting production. Combined deliveries in April and May of this year increased by less than 1% on year-earlier levels compared to the 12% growth witnessed over the same two months last year.

This would suggest that expansion in milk production post quota is starting to slow down, as the market situation remains poor and Irish farmgate prices remain low. However, production during the rest of the season will continue to be heavily influenced by weather and grass growth conditions which may result in a different outcome than that predicted.

Irish production forecast July 16