The NI milk league is published monthly with the lead analysis based on a dairy farmer producing 750,000 litres per annum.

Monthly production volumes reflect the NI supply profile, which peaks in May and reaches its lowest level in September.

Each month, the analysis aims to compare what each processor would pay a 750,000l producer at one standard set of milk solids and cell counts.

Those milk qualities are taken from DAERA statistics for the same month in the previous year.

But every year is different, and factors such as silage quality and concentrate levels being fed will impact butterfat and protein percentages.

It is also the case that dairy farmers have been increasingly selecting bulls for higher fat and protein, which will have a positive impact year-on-year.

High solids

Based on information collated from milk statements, butterfat and protein for October 2022 are significantly higher than the DAERA figures for the same month last year (4.24% butterfat, 3.43% protein).

Lakeland Dairies suppliers averaged 4.32% butterfat and 3.42% protein. Glanbia Cheese recorded similar butterfat, but protein was higher at 3.50%.

Dale Farm suppliers averaged 4.39% butterfat with protein on 3.47%.

In all three instances, the higher fat and protein values would add approximately 0.5p/l to the prices published in our milk league.

Cell counts are also lower than the NI average from October 2021, which would also see higher premiums being paid. This is particularly the case for Glanbia Cheese, where milk below 200 SCC gets its 0.4p/l mozzarella bonus.

Across all the processors, the highest milk quality we noted was produced by Tirlán suppliers, with butterfat at 4.45% and protein at 3.55%.

This would boost its published price in our milk league by close on 1.1p/l.

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