There was a €136/cow price gap between the best- and worstpaying milk processors in 2022, the Irish Farmers Journal milk price review has found.

Drinagh Co-op came out on top in the review, paying an average milk price of 58.40c/l excluding VAT and including annual bonuses and top-ups. This saw the typical 500,000l supplier receiving €2,920/cow. It was followed by Lisavaird with a milk price of 58.25c/l and North Cork Co-op at 58.22c/l, excluding VAT.

Tirlán paid an average milk price excluding VAT of 58.19c/l with an average revenue per cow of €2,909.

Boherbue ranked the lowest in the review, paying an average milk price of 55.67c/l excluding VAT. This saw it fall behind the leader, Drinagh, by €136/cow. Kerry Group, despite seven retrospective top-ups on milk price, finished in tenth place followed by Arrabawn and Aurivo.

The exercise looked at the milk price paid and did not look at the milk pool that was locked into fixed price contracts. Any bonuses for trading with the co-op are not included.

The extraordinary high milk price in 2022 saw milk suppliers reap huge revenue but extremely high costs for energy, fertiliser and feed saw much of that revenue leave the farm.

Milk price has fallen by between 30% and 40% in early 2023 after a series of farmgate price cuts. The reality now is the cost of production exceeds the farmgate milk price as milk suppliers and processors move through peak milk this week.