Monthly UK milk production fell by 6.4% in June, according to the Rural Payments Agency.
At 1.17bn litres, it was 8m litres below last year. However, following a strong start to the season, cumulative production was 57m litres ahead of 2010, at 3.6bn litres.
Dairy producers continue to make better use of forage to combat soaring feed prices, according to Promar’s latest report.
In the 12 months to May, farmers in its Milkminder benchmarking group boosted yields from forage by 20%, to 2,513 litres a cow per year. Overall, yields averaged 7,916 litres – up by 3% on the previous year. Concentrate use per litre fell by 9%, to 0.31kg/litre, but feed costs increased by £35 per cow, pushing total feed costs to 6.66p/litre, compared with 6.43p/litre in the previous 12 months.
Milk prices averaged 26.25p/litre, up by 1.57p/litre. Combined with higher yields this improved overall milk value by almost 10%, to £2,078/cow. That increased producers’ margins over purchased feed by 1.34p/litre, to 19.59p/litre, said Promar.