Milk production continues to limp along

British dairy farmers have had yet another unremarkable month in terms of milk output, continuing the trend of lower production that began in April.

When adjusted for butterfat, farmers delivered 1.042bn litres to buyers in November – 18m litres short of the Charles Holt/Farmers Weekly profile.

The total shortfall for the year is estimated at 263m litres – a total that Charles Holt of the Farm Consultancy Group said could not be recovered this year.

All the same, none of the milk buyers were yet returning withheld milk cheques to producers, he said.

Leased quota is being traded in very small quantities at about 0.2p/litre, but sale prices have seen a slight rally in recent weeks.

Permanent transfers of quota are taking place at nearly 5p/litre – an improvement of some 0.3p/litre on the month.

The upturn was due to poor availability, as very few vendors were coming forward, explained Mr Holt.