Dairy production recovers from lows

Dairy production continues to increase, reflecting a rising trend after the trough reached in 2009-10. Provisional data from DEFRA shows that dairy farmers produced 6.9m tonnes of liquid milk in 2010, 3.2% more than the previous year.

Milk deliveries in December rose by 4.4%, to 588,260t. Butter production jumped by 8.5% in December, to 9,330t, with cumulative production up by 1%, to 118,700t. Cheese stood at 27,370t in December, 4.9% more than the previous year. Cumulatively, manufacturers made 371,190t of cheese in 2010, 3.9% more than in 2009.

In January, UK milk deliveries reached 1.1bn litres, 5.1% more than in January 2010, says a report by DairyCo – GB production increased by 3.7%, to 947m litres, while Northern Ireland deliveries rose by 14.4%, to 159m litres. Cumulatively, farmers have delivered 11.15bn litres so far in 2010-11, 3.9% more than 2009-10 and the highest amount since 2006-07.

Butterfat content in January fell to 4.03% – 0.08 points below last year – while cumulative fat content has fallen 0.04 points to 3.94%.