Tipperary Co-op has re-adjusted its rule book, so that all supplies in November gather the 3c/l winter bonus. It had been conditional on a proportion of May supplies but that condition has been taken away. Hence, including this means Tipp rises to the top of the November monthly milk league from where it was at the bottom of division three for October.

The rest of the players more or less held the same price they had in October for November. It’s easier to hold price when volumes at this time of the year are a fraction of what they are in April, May and June.

I had more queries this week, as the year draws to a close, on the ‘cumulative’ column, which shows the comparison between processors at the national average fat and protein to allow comparison between processors. This shows the seasonal difference, ie those at the top of the league in April, May and June, inevitably pay out more than those at the top of the league in November, December and January.

The November milk league brings the last significant milk cheque into spring-calving households. Yes, of course, all will have milk supplies into December, but most start drying off young cows, thin cows, etc, that are in calf for calving again in early February.

What is taken off the cow in December, even at exceptionally good prices, often costs the farmer a lot more to put back on in February when demands on the cow increase again.

Arrabawn, Tirlán, Kerry, Lakeland and North Cork all have significant bonuses that are paid to all milk supplied in November on top of the base price.