dairy cows© Tim Scrivener

Dairy farmers’ margins over purchased feed fell by an average of 7.28p/litre in the year to March, according to results from Promar’s latest MilkMinder report.

Its clients’ margins averaged 17.7p/litre, based on yields of 26.7 litres/day and a milk price of 25.97p/litre – 8.08p/litre lower than March 2014.

Although the average herd size was up by four cows, to 194.7 head, daily yields were 0.5 litres a head down on the year. Concentrate use was slightly higher, but lower feed costs meant that total feed costs for the herd fell by £1,164 to £11,611. Overall herd margins over purchased feed fell from £35,154 to £24,833, before labour and other overheads.

DairyCo’s latest league table revealed further price cuts in March for many of the contracts.

See also: Target greater dairy feed efficiency instead of cutting ration costs

“Trade is stagnant as buyers wait for the EU spring flush before securing longer-term product,” said the report.

“UK milk production is tracking at similar levels to last year, suggesting the flush will be just as high. If countries on the Continent perform similar to last year that could place further pressure on prices.”