June milk production well up on 00 figure

13 July 2001

June milk production well up on 00 figure

MILK production has hit target for June, almost 4% above last years volume. The Intervention Boards provisional figures put production for that month at 1.21bn litres, not far below the peak-production month of May at 1.3bn litres.

The IB also increased its May figures by 14.6m litres, bringing the cumulative production 48m litres ahead of this time last year (or 25m butterfat-adjusted litres).

Quota agent Carver Knowles believes this lifts the UK much closer to profile, and if milk producers continue to exceed last years volume, by 30-35m litres a month, the UK stands a better chance of meeting quota.

Although herd sizes are up, because the Over-30-Months Scheme is shut, overstocking means that winter fodder is being used. This could lead to falling milk output over winter months.

Tony Carver of Calver Knowles adds that while the recent rain has helped grass growth, which will ease overstocking, there are many uncertainties in the market.

"When a scheme becomes available for cull cows, milk production will drop." But he reckons they are herds in Canada, Holland and Denmark ready to be used as replacements for cattle culled due to foot-and-mouth.

Leased quota markets have risen by 14% to 0.8p/litre at 4% butterfat, he believes there has been more interest recently, but trade is yet to pick up.

"Sales are still in short supply, due to the lack of voluntary herd sales, but demand is strong, with 4% butterfat quota selling quickly at 14p/litre."

Butterfat content has been low this year, at an estimated 3.84% for both May and June. If this trend continues – as is likely, due to increased yields – a penalty charge could be triggered, as in previous years, he says. &#42

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