Tirlán/Fivemiletown has a commanding lead at the top of the NI milk league with a final price of 40.33p/l, which is close to 3p/l ahead of the next best-placed processor, Aurivo.

As well as adding 1p/l to its base price, taking it to 35p/l, Tirlán also paid a 2.5p/l weather support on all milk supplied in March.

When added to a 0.4p/l sustainability payment, it put suppliers on a starting price of 37.9p/l.

Once the usual premiums are applied for milk quality, it means Tirlán finishes on top of the milk league for the fifth consecutive month.

Milk quality

All prices published in the milk league are based on the average dairy farm in NI supplying 750,000 litres annually.

Monthly supply volumes and milk solids are based on actual NI data recorded by DAERA for the same month during the previous year.

For March, that means the outlined prices are calculated at 4.19% butterfat, 3.28% protein, 4.77% lactose, 15 TBC and 188 SCC.

All change

Aurivo is the biggest mover for March, jumping four places to finish second on 37.48p/l. That gain is made possible by a 0.5p/l base price increase, plus a 1.25p/l support payment, putting suppliers on a starting price of 35.81p/l.

Lakeland Dairies also shoots up the table, gaining two places for March, thanks to a 0.5p/l increase to base price plus a 0.8p/l support payment.

Moving in the opposite direction are Strathroy, Dale Farm and Leprino Foods with all three processors dropping two places from the previous league rankings.

Strathroy finishes in fourth, while Dale Farm drops to fifth and Leprino Foods slides to the bottom of the table.

Rolling average

Having dominated the milk league for the last five months, Tirlán overtakes Dale Farm for first place in our analysis of rolling milk pricing over the 12 months ending March 2024.

Dale Farm slips to second, with Strathroy holding on to third. There are no changes in the lower half of the table.


While the March milk league is calculated at average solids to allow prices to be directly compared across processors, those figures for milk solids will differ across the various companies. Figure 1 shows the butterfat and protein percentages recorded by each processor in March, as well as an estimate of the monthly payout made to a 750,000l producer.

Unsurprisingly, Tirlán has the highest payout at £28,695. The positions in Figure 1 are the same as those published in the March league table.

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