Improved fat and stabilised protein percentages have broken the trend of a recent decline in milk constituents, according to the latest NMR annual production report.
For the Holstein breed, which represents 92% recorded lactations, average fat has now returned to 2001/02 levels of 3.87%. Although accounting only a small percentage of herds, Island Jerseys recorded the highest increase, by 0.08 to 5.14%, followed by 0.03 increases in Jerseys and British Friesians.
Furthermore, overall milk yields have increased, with Jerseys measuring a rise of 1.9% by 100kg to 5481kg. Holstein averages have also risen by 0.7% to 8270kg, with the second highest yielding group being Brown Swiss with an average 7225kg, an increase of 70kg on 2006 data.
For the second year running, somatic cell count (SCC) averages across recorded herds have increased to 197,000. Increases have been recorded in Holsteins, Jerseys and Shorthorns, whereas there has been a drop in SCC across Ayrshire, Guernsey, British Friesian and Island Jersey breeds.