Milk production fell by 7.6% in March, compared with the same time last year, to a record low for the month of just 1.108bn litres.
With adverse weather and poor forage quality affecting milk yields for much of the year, the 2012-13 season ended up 3.6% below the previous year, at 12.97bn litres – the lowest since 2009-10. However, RPA figures show butterfat remained at a record high, of 4.13% in March and 4.07% for the whole milk year.
Provisionally, the UK ended the year 2bn litres below quota, before accounting for butterfat and temporary conversions – the greatest shortfall on record. And production entered the new milk year similarly depressed, with the cold spring and late flush putting daily deliveries 9.2% below last year, at 35.4m litres a day in the two weeks to 30 March.
“Spring is also slow to arrive across much of Europe, with milk production between April 2012 and January 2013 down 0.5% on year earlier levels,” said a report by DairyCo.
Its latest milk price league table showed just five price changes for February, with more changes announced from April onwards.