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Frequent Contributor

Bit of a UK Dairy update...

Well autumn is finally here though so far it is looking October will be a drier and helpful month. A lot of guys here had cut second or third cut grass silages to make up for the lack of yields from what was cut in May- the very dry spring kept grass bulk down, although the quality of all the silages I have seen made haev been excellent- drier than usual and also good fresh young growth so good D value and crude protein values. Similar to what we had last year in fact.


Cows have milked very well I would say in general the last 12 months or so, again, this is entirely down to the weather and the excellent forage stocks people have produced. Only downside this year is a pretty lacklustre maize harvest. With conditions being too dry throughout the spring planting, and a lack of moisture in the early stages really pegging back crops.


Feed prices in May and most of the summer were pretty high across the board, so it was good we had a dry spring as people had an opportunity to let their cows out and graze what grass stocks they had.  The milk price was pretty unspectacular however there have been some recent rises this autumn with more to follow to help people stay in the black. Feed prices are dropping into the winter as the cereals and some of the mid proteins fall back. Even soyabean meal is pretty weak recently, with rapemeal and sunflower meal being equally slow. Sugarbeet has fallen from its highs too, and we're back getting good old UK beet delivered fresh from the factories as the UK beet lifting campaign began on about 19th Sept. Nearly a month earlier than last year when for some reason British Sugar didn't get going until we had evil frosts which scuppered a lot of the crop.


UK cereal prices are pretty week, I was quoted £151 per metric tonne for wheat collect from the farm for October and £149 for barley. Imported maize grain is about £200/t at the docks. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Bit of a UK Dairy update...

Ollie thanks for the update!


So what is the price youare recieving for milk right now?


Your corn price is roughly 40 pouinds more than what I would be paying if I bought corn.


Has the EU cleared all of it's intervention SMP stock piles as well as it's butter stocks?  I haven't heard anything for a while and I was wondering how that came out.


So would you say that the dairy industry is doing better than two years ago?


Thanks for any info. 


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Frequent Contributor

Re: Bit of a UK Dairy update...

Hi, I'm glad you found it interesting.


I have this months October issue of the Dairy farmer magazine, which has a complete price league table for milk price ex farm, in pence per litre. You can find this same info at


Highet milk price paid in July 11 before seasonality payment or other bonuses or deductions was by Robert Wisemans Dairies dedicated supply contract for Tesco (big retailer like Walmart), who paid 29.78 PPL.


Lowest was First Milk liquid contract- 26.4 PPL.


Average milk price paid to UK diary producers was 27.4 PPL in July 11.


The rolling 12 month average across the league table was 25.94 PPL.


I don't know about the EU intervention SMP stocks I'm afraid.


Corn today at the docks, As soon as availible at Portbury Dock, Bristol is £199/ metric tonne.


Wheat and barley prices Ex farm for Oct  spot movement was £144 and £143 respectively. EU rapemeal for october collection is £167/t ex the docks today. 


 Some industry bodies estimate the average on farm cost to produce milk at around 31 PPL. This is why dairy farmers are going out of business fast and the milk processors are very concerned about their ability to find enough milk in the coming years.

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