MILK PRODUCTION slipped further below profile during November and many observers now suggest the UK has little chance of reaching quota this milk year.

Dairy farmers delivered 1.055bn butterfat-adjusted litres of milk during the month – 5.7m litres below the Charles Holt/farmers weekly profile. That means national output has failed to make profile for each of the eight months of this milk year, and takes the cumulative, butterfat-adjusted deficit for the milk year so far to 195m litres – almost five days” supply.

Dairy industry consultant Charles Holt of the Farm Consultancy Group said: “The chances of reaching quota this milk year are now virtually nil. It is a good time for anyone who does want to push on and produce as much as they can to buy up cows.”

But quota broker Ian Potter said the mood of the industry was too low for chasing production. “There”s no enthusiasm to do that at all, because the milk price keeps getting cut,” he said.

“Never before have I found dairy farmers so despondent.”

The quota market remained sluggish, with the leasing price for 4% clean quota at 6.5-6.7p/litre.