Milk production dropped sharply in September, with provisional figures from the Rural Payments Agency putting UK deliveries at 993.5m litres. That was 69.2m litres less than in August, making it the largest drop for the month since September 2005.
Cumulative production totalled 6.814bn litres – 110.9m litres less than the same time last year. However, butterfat remained high at 4.11% for the month and a record 4% cumulatively.
Production across the EU was also lower than last year, with the EU-27 producing 11.7m tonnes in July – 2.7% less than July 2011. However, cumulative production was 0.4% higher, at almost 49m tonnes, said a report by DairyCo. “The five largest milk producing members in July (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and Poland) produced a combined 7.26m tonnes – 3.9% less than the previous year.”
A rise in EU production of 1.1% in 2012 and 1.2% in 2013 was forecast, with higher yields offseting declining cow numbers. However, this did not take account of higher feed prices and reduced forage production this year, which could curb yield growth, said the report.