Britain has the cows to produce more milk this year, but will it?

Average daily milk deliveries in Britain are now closely tracking last year’s levels, having slowed in the first few months of the year, according to the AHDB.

British milk production looks set to rise by 3% on last year’s levels, as this year’s expected milk pool is set to reach 13,050m litres.

The majority of this increase will occur as dairy cow numbers in Britain rose since last year and the yield potential of cows in the UK has also increased, it reports.

AHDB data shows that the total British milk pool may rise this year, but the volume of milk supplied this spring is likely to remain at similar levels to last year.

The UK-based board suggests that the milk yield potential of British dairy farms has the potential to increase this spring on last year’s levels.

But, current ground conditions and a lower milk price could dampen any increase in British milk production.

Potential for milk in May

According to the AHDB, the normal British milk profile would suggest that milk production will peak at 37m litres per day, with the potential to produce nearly 39m litres per day, based on recent cow numbers and yields.

However, if Britain delivers 39m litres of milk each day in May, it could apply pressure on processing capacity.

Also, in May last year, the country coped with a peak of 37.5m litres and this year there is an additional 1m litres capacity from Yew Tree Dairies, it says.

However, British processors will only be able to process this volume of milk if they operate at full capacity.

In the past, it would be unusual to see all the main processing sites in the country running at capacity without a hitch or breakdown for the entire spring peak, it suggests.

Indeed, in 2015, although the country coped with a peak of 37.5m litres, it was not without incident caused by site operational issues.

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