Increased autumn calving signals strong UK winter milk production

Registered births of dairy calves in the UK during August and September totalled 276,564, up 10,000 head or (4%) on the same months in 2013, according to latest figures from DairyCo.

It says the increase in calving’s indicates that milk production will remain strong over the winter.

DairyCo says if UK calving rates remain high through the remainder of the milk year, and there is no significant increase in the cull rate or adverse weather events, milk production could continue to outperform previous years into the flush.

It says this may lead to a situation where processing capacity could be tested, potentially placing further pressure on farmgate prices.

Recent analysis by DairyCo of UK milk production showed that it is currently running at around 8% above last year’s levels, supported by favourable weather and forage conditions through the year.

It says that the dairy herd in the UK is in growth, with both England and Scotland reporting higher cow numbers compared to year earlier levels and, as yet, no observable increase in the cull rate has been seen. In addition, lower feed, fertiliser and fuel prices had contributed to a period of improved margins until recently.

DairyCo says with the lag in farmers’ ability to easily react to market signals and adjust production levels, milk production is likely to continue along its current path as we move into the winter months.