UK: Milk yields held back as feed costs rise

Efforts to keep cost increases to a minimum has kept the Milk to Feed Price Ratio stable
calendar icon 14 December 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

In its most recent Milk to Feed Price Ratio calculation, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Head of Market Specialists, Dairy and Livestock, Chris Gooderham said he expected average concentrate feed prices to be up at £287 (USD$380) per tonne by November, however, according to the latest numbers, the actual concentrate prices have been around £12 (USD$15.88) lower than expectations. 

"This is likely a combination of good planning by farmers who have bought ahead, and changes to blends to reduce the inclusion of the more expensive straights, replacing them with less costly alternatives," Gooderham wrote in his assessment

The efforts to keep cost increases to a minimum has kept our Milk to Feed Price Ratio in the stable zone.

"If concentrate costs had risen in line with straight prices, we would be significantly into the contraction zone by now," he said.

Despite efforts to limit the impact of rising feed costs, Gooderham said milk yields have suffered over the last few months.

"We normally expect to see milk yields rise by around 2.3% each year," he said. "However, between July and November this year average milk yields have shown no improvement compared with the same period in 2020. For the month of November, average yields were actually 1.4% down on November last year."

The drop off in milk yields is the main cause of Great Britain milk production falling further behind last season through the autumn.


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