05/11/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/11/2023 06:02
In our most recent survey of major milk buyers, it is estimated that there were 7,500 dairy producers in GB as of April this year. Compared to the April 2022 survey, this represents a reduction of 380 dairy producers (-4.8%), and a fall of 350 (-4.5%) versus our last survey in October 2022.
Compared to previous years, more producers have left the industry. Despite the fact that the latest Agricultural Price Index indicates input cost inflation has eased, input costs remain historically high. In combination with falling milk prices, this has squeezed profit margins for many dairy farmers. The current high level of cull cow prices, as well as ongoing uncertainties about changes to agricultural subsidy schemes has led to some producers changing their future direction.
Despite the number of producers dropping over the last 12 months, good weather conditions last Autumn and the vestiges of higher prices at the end of last year, has meant that average milk production by farm remained high over the autumn and winter months. Milk volumes per farm remain high with the latest figures suggesting that the average GB dairy farm produces 4,500 litres per day, equating to 1.65mn litres per year.
Historic data can be found on our producer numbers page.
Why do we carry out the survey?
Getting a true picture of the number of dairy producers in the country is often difficult due to the different reporting methods used.
AHDB's estimate represents the number of producers actively contributing to GB milk production. It is based on the number of active producers and temporary inactive producers from the milk buyers that contribute to the Daily Milk Deliveries survey. This covers approximately 83% of volumes in GB, and so the estimate has been adjusted accordingly.