Milk production could fall by over half a billion litres

GB milk production could fall by up to 605 million litres (5.3%) over the 2022/23 season according to new analysis by AHDB.

With uncertainty about how prices and availability of key inputs will develop through the year, and the impact on cash flows, AHDB have looked at the potential impact on milk production.

Five alternative scenarios show that production could fall between 0.8% and 5.3% depending on how changes impact decisions on farm.

Patty Clayton, AHDB lead dairy analyst said: “Access to key agricultural inputs and feed ingredients have been severely affected by the war in Ukraine, which is forcing decisions to limit production.”

In March, AHDB published a baseline forecast based on discussions from the Milk Forecasting Forum, which set production for 2022/23 at 12,250 million litres, an 0.8% fall on the previous season.

AHDB have updated this forecast to reflect a range of scenarios from mild to very high impact based on changes to feed, cull cow and farmgate prices as well as retention rates.

“The current uncertainty makes forecasting milk production for the upcoming season an even trickier task than normal, but we know it’s going to be a tough year for farmers,” said Mrs Clayton.

“Reviewing input costs, feed strategies and making the most of home-grown forage can all help. Farmers could also use the cost benefit calculator on our website to understand whether it makes sense to apply fertiliser to grassland,” said Mrs Clayton.

The full analysis and details of the alternative scenarios can be found at ahdb.org.uk/production-fall

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