11 January 2002

December milk output above quota

DAIRY farmers delivered just under 1.136bn litres of milk in December, according to the latest provisional figures from the Rural Payments Agency.

That equates to almost 1.148bn butterfat-adjusted litres, 6.8m above the Charles Holt/farmers weekly profile. But this is only the second month this milk year that output has exceeded quota. With the cumulative deficit at 152.5m litres, it seems most unlikely that the UK will go over quota, says Charles Holt of the Farm Consultancy Group. That could take pressure off the leasing market.

Butterfat held up well, at 4.11%. This means the cumulative figure is likely to stay at or above 3.97%, so butterfat regulations are likely to be triggered. Even if quota was exceeded, that would mean "white-water" producers operating below their individual butterfat base would benefit from their extra quota butterfat. &#42