Milk production costs rise as higher fuel and feed prices kick in

There is plenty of evidence of the growing cost of milk production. Aside from input price rises, freshly calved dairy heifer prices were up 10.7% to £1,235 a head in February, compared with the same period 12 months earlier.

Freshly calved cow prices rose 14.9% to £1,036.

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However, the values are not directly comparable says AHDB Dairy analyst Joanne Tuck.

Since January 2017, the figures represent only commercial animals – previously they included both commercial and pedigree animals, making the rise more significant.

Red diesel prices in February 2017 were up 18.46p/litre on the year to 55.83p/litre; an increase of 0.98p/litre on the previous month.

Feed prices

January saw higher feed prices compared with the previous month and year. Feed wheat peaked at £146/t, up 30.1% on the year, while soya meal prices rose 20.1%, to £311/t in the same period.

English prices for brewers’ grains rose £1.50 on the month, to £35-£45/t.

The latest figures show the EU farmgate-weighted average milk price stood at €33.38/100kg (29.59p/litre) in January, a rise of 0.87p/litre in sterling terms on the December price.