AHDB forecasts small drop in milk production for 2018-19

Published 20 March 18

AHDB forecasts that milk production for 2018/19 will be 12,330 million litres, slightly lower than the previous year and 1.5% below the high of two years ago.

While numerous, unforeseen elements will affect milk production over the coming year, we have considered known factors to deliver a sensible estimate of overall volumes including:

  • Decisions about inseminations in 2015 have affected youngstock numbers and BCMS data shows the total herd population was down 1.4% in January
  • Calving patterns continue to shift each year, pushing milk volume up in the autumn and bringing them down in the summer
  • Milk yields and cow retention rates are impacted by milk prices and feed costs, and while we don’t know how these will move over the year, we do know the position at the start of 2018.

 GB milk production forecast chart Mar18

GB milk forecast table Mar18 

Figures in red are forecasts. It should be noted that this forecast includes a number of projections and assumptions, that are based on information currently available, but still involve risks, variables and uncertainties. Consequently, no guarantee is given to the accuracy of the forecast, but it is simply put forward as our best estimate at the time of publication.

Last year we introduced a milk production tracker into our daily deliveries to help monitor volumes as the year progressed. For 2018-19 we will be using the above forecast as a starting point to track actual milk production, and help determine whether volumes are rising or falling more rapidly than expected. The aim is to update the forecast every three months and extend the monthly figures at that time.