UK milk production appears to be stabilising, after five years of decline, according to the latest DairyCo data.

British dairy farmers produced 993m litres of milk in September, 2% higher than September 2008. However, cumulative deliveries to dairies stood at 6622.7m litres, still fractionally below the same time last year.

“UK milk deliveries have fallen for the past five years and the 2008/09 total was the lowest since the 1971/72 milk year,” said a DairyCo report. Although GB production have increased by 1.1%, cumulatively, this year, Northern Irish deliveries fell by 7.5%.

Meanwhile, dairy producer numbers have continued to fall in England and Wales, dropping by 0.5% between August and September, to 11,632. This represents a reduction of 3.5% over the past year, with greatest losses in the north west, north and far west.

Meanwhile, Defra figures show that average UK farmgate prices increased by 0.27p/litre in August, to 23.26p/litre. However, the percentage increase, traditionally seen due to changes in seasonality payments, was smaller than last year, and prices were still 3.04p/litre below August 2008.