Milk supplies have hit a record low during the normal high production period of May. Latest data from the Rural Payments Agency show milk supplies were down 6.2% on last May’s levels, and the lowest on record.

A number of factors are being blamed, the first being the fact that milk output was curbed earlier in the year to avoid paying super levy charges. This led to some cutting back of cow numbers through culling and this will take some time to recover.

On top of this, significant numbers of farmers are pulling out of milk production because of falling milk prices.

The third element is that many dairy companies are now offering price incentives and penalties to encourage farmers to level off their milk output through the year.