DAIRY FARMERS delivered 1.218bn butterfat-adjusted litres of milk in March, substantially over quota, according to the Charles Holt/FARMERS WEEKLY profile.

The production figures just published by the Rural Payments Agency show that farmers finished the year on a high note, with production on an upswing.

Charles Holt of the Farm Consultancy Group said: “For the first month for a long time we were substantially over quota in March, largely due to butterfat.

“The weather is reasonable and I think cows are beginning to milk better again, so there’s a pretty fair chance we’ll be above quota again in April.”

But farmers were a little more optimistic about milk prices and better prepared with quota cover than they have been in past years, he added.

John Allen of Kite Consulting said he was advising his clients not to assume that quota was out of reach in the new milk year.

It could come down to how milk prices changed in coming months, he added.