UK dairy farmers produced 1.2bn litres of milk in April - 11.1m litres more than the same time last year and the highest level for the month since 2007. Butterfat came in at 4.06%, compared to 4.02% last year.
Daily deliveries appear to have reached their seasonal peak early, with UK production for the two weeks to 28 April averaging 40.4m litres a day, said a report by DairyCo. That was 0.3m litres a day more than the same time last year and 1.3m litres more than the three-year average. However, cold, wet weather was likely to bring the spring flush to an abrupt halt, leading to a rapid drop in production, said industry observers.
In its latest report, the Rural Payments Agency cut its March production estimate from a provisional 1.221bn litres to a confirmed 1.198bn litres. That put the country's total production for the 2011-12 milk year at 13.495bn litres (or 13.456bn litres accounting for the leap year) - 124.8m litres more than the previous year and the highest since 2006-07. The UK therefore ended the year 1.43bn litres under quota - the seventh successive year below quota.