Statistics just published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on GB Animal Feed production for the first three months of this year, have shown the highest feed production levels recorded ever in March of this year.
With poor weather pushing up demand, while at the same time having their grain stocks diminishing due to a poor harvest, feed producers in Great Britain have raised feed productions to record levels. While it is typical for animal feed output to rise in March, the latest figures reflect a reduction in farmers' inventories laid before winter.
With 1.122 million tonnes of feed in total produced in March, it was the highest recorded feed production figures since March of 1999 when 1.107 million tonnes of feed was produced.
The increase was the result of a bleak start to spring, which forced farmers to keep animals inside rather than turning them out to pasture.
The was also greater demand for animal feed due to a drop in on farm stocks of the three main grains barley, oats and wheat (a 5.1% drop, down to 4.27 million tonnes). This was a reflection of last year's poor harvest, which for wheat saw the worst yields in 20 years, and the lowest bushel weight on record.
The drop came despite of farmers keeping on farm a slightly higher proportion of crops, including wheat which DEFRA said appeared to have been "kept back for animal feed due to the poor quality".
Feed mills in Great Britain turned to maize in record amounts in order to fill their needs, using an estimated 29,000 tonnes during March (a five-year monthly high), the highest amount of barley used in a decade was also noted.
Full statistics can be downloaded from the following page