The latest analysis of the Drumlin Farm model produced by local dairy consultants Jason McMinn and Ian Carrick puts breakeven milk price at 39.5p/l.

The model, based on a farm with 100 cows averaging 7,700 litres, replicates typical performance across McMinn and Carrick dairy farmer clients in NI, and includes drawings of £29,400 to cover reasonable living expenses for a family.

Back in May 2020, breakeven milk price calculated by the consultants stood at 27.5p/l, and in September 2021 the model showed it had risen to 31p/l.

In just six months it is up by a further 8.5p/l.

The main changes in the model since last September sees meal price now inputted at £420/t, fertiliser adjusted to £700/t, the annual fuel bill up £3,000, contracting up 20% and the farm’s electricity bill doubled.

Cull cow prices have been increased by £50 per head, but calf income is down 25%.


As well as surging costs, the consultants point out that farmers are now handling a lot more money, and this is putting pressure on overdrafts at present.

“There is clearly a bigger working capital requirement, with bigger cashflow fluctuations within and between months, hence a requirement for more facility in many cases,” added Jason McMinn.

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