Average UK Milk Yield

Published 17 October 13

  • Provisional figures for 2012/13 show that the average milk yield has decreased by 277 litres per cow from 2011/12.
  • The average yield per cow stood at 7,327 in 2012/13, according to provisional data.
  • There was a provisional 0.2% fall in the national herd size over the period, to 1.8m in 2012/13.

The latest provisional figures from Defra show a 3.6% (277 litres per cow) decrease in the average yield per cow from 2011/12, to 7,327 litres per cow in 2012/13.

Total herd size fell by 4,000, to 1.8m over the period. This combined with the decrease in milk yield resulted in an overall 534 million litre decrease in the total level of milk produced in the UK in 2012/2013, to 13.2 billion litres.

¹please note that total milk production (in the table below and used to calculate average yield) is based on all milk produced on farm, including the milk which is delivered to dairies, milk used on farm in the production of dairy products, milk consumed in farm households, milk fed to livestock and farm waste, suckled milk is excluded.

²From 1999/00 to 2004/05 the average size of the dairy herd is estimated by taking the size of the herd at June and December from the agricultural census information, and calculating the population trends during the remaining months of the year. The average herd size shown in the table below is therefore consistent with, but not the same as, Defra's published agricultural census data. From 2005/06 data is obtained through the Cattle Tracing System (CTS).

The average yields have to be taken with a degree of caution as they are based only on the total milk production recorded divided by the size of the dairy herd.

 

Average UK Milk Yields by Milk Year

 

Average Size of Dairy Herd (thousand head)

Average Yield (litres per cow per annum)

Total Milk Production From Dairy Herd (million litres)

2001/2

2,229

6,449

14,373

2002/3

2,224

6,450

14,343

2003/4*

2,185

6,631

14,492

2004/5

2,060

6,886

14,183

2005/6

2,003

7,001

14,020

2006/7

1,989

6,963

13,852

2007/8*

1,961

6,924

13,579

2008/9

1,902

6,944

13,209

2009/10

1,861

7,026

13,073

2010/11

1,844

7,375

13,599

2011/12

1,808

7,604

13,749

2012/13**

 

1,804

7,327

13,215

 

 

* Leap Year **Provisional
Source: DEFRA

Average Milk Yield

Average UK Milk Yields by Calendar Year

Annual data shows that the average yield per cow increased between 2012 and 2013. Figures for 2013 show that the average milk yield per calendar year has increased by 93 litres per cow per annum (1.2%) to 7,535 litres per cow per annum. The average yield in 2013 was 13.8% (914 litres per cow per annum) higher than ten years previously when the average stood at 6,621 litres per cow per annum.

For more information on average milk yields click here.

  

 

Average Yield (litres per cow per annum)

2001

6,346

2002

6,493

2003

6,621

2004 a

6,763

2005

6,986

2006

6,977

2007

6,913

2008

6,943

2009

7,031

2010

7,273

2011

7,528

2012

7,442

2013

7,535

a Adjusted for leap year
Source: DEFRA