Average UK Milk Yield

Published 19 November 14

  • The average annual yield per cow stood at 7,717 litres in 2013/14, according to provisional data, resulting in an 5.3% increase in total milk production, to 13,920 million litres, from a static average UK dairy herd size of 1.8 million cows.

The latest provisional figures from Defra show a 5.3% (390 litres per cow) increase in the average yield per cow from 2012/13, to 7,717 litres per cow in 2013/14. For more information on milk production please see here.

The size of the UK dairy herd has remained stable on the year, after many years of reductions. Therefore, with each cow’s average yield increasing, the total amount of milk produced has increased to it’s highest level since 2006/7.  

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).

3The 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

2013/4**

1,804

7,717

13,920

 * Leap Year **Provisional
Source: DEFRA

Average Milk Yield

Average UK Milk Yields by Calendar Year

Figures for 2013 show that the average milk yield per calendar year has increased by 89 litres per cow per annum (1.2%) to 7,531 litres per cow per annum. The average yield in 2013 was 13.7% (910 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*

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

7,531

* Leap Year
Source: DEFRA