The newly released Ornua purchase price index (PPI) for March indicates that an increase to farmers’ March milk prices is justified, according to Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) dairy chair Stephen Arthur.

Despite milk prices of 40c/l plus indicating strong market conditions under normal circumstances, such prices do not signal good farmer prices in 2022, with input prices climbing “significantly”, Arthur argued.

“In a normal year a milk price in the 40s would indicate a strong year for dairy farmers, but this year isn’t normal. Like the processors, our costs are also spiralling. It’s essential that we get the milk price the market is returning and we are relying on our processors to deliver this,” he said.

Almost 50c/l

“Based on what the market is returning, a substantial increase in milk price is justified for March milk which reflects the current Ornua PPI of almost 50c/l,” said Arthur.

The IFA has stated that March milk deliveries are receiving 42.5c/l to 45.2c/l on farms.

The Ornua figure quoted by the IFA reflects a 9.7c/l rise in co-operatives processing costs.