GB milking herd projected to grow

Published 27 September 17

Milk production looks set to continue rising into next spring based on the projected growth in the size of the milking herd. Based on the average retention rate of cows in the different age groups, and the number of youngstock currently available, the milking herd has the potential to reach 1.8 million heads by April 2018.

This is an increase of 38,000 heads (2.1%) from April 2017, with the slight decrease in 4-6 year olds offset by rising numbers of cows in the 2-4 year and 6+ year groupings.

28.09.17.herd progression

The 2% increase in the number of cows would equate to roughly 300 million litres of additional milk production based on average yields*. This represents an increase of 2.5% on 2016/17 milk production.

However, these numbers do not take into account the variation in yields that can be expected from cows of different ages nor other factors such as weather or feeding strategies.

*3 year average from data provided by Defra