For a farmer producing 1m litres annually, Table B outlines the prices paid for milk supplied at the three different qualities shown in Table 1.

With all processors increasing their monthly base price, and once winter bonuses are added in, starting prices for November milk averaged 33.79p/l, which is the highest we have ever recorded in NI. Prior to that, the next highest was the 33.77p/l seen in November 2013.

Across all processors, 1m-litre suppliers of good-quality milk averaged 37.09p/l, which is up 1.4p/l on the 35.69p/l paid in October 2021.

Three processors paid above the 37p/l mark, with Lakeland Dairies leading the pack on 37.91p/l, followed by Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown in second.

Both processors’ league positions are boosted by “super hygiene” bonuses on milk with a TBC and SCC below 10 and 100. However, in reality, few suppliers will qualify for this premium.

Average quality

With a butterfat of 4.25% and protein of 3.36%, the prices paid for average-quality milk are probably much closer to what dairy farmers in NI actually received for November milk.

Across all processors, the average price paid is 36.05p/l, an increase of 1.57p/l from the previous month.

Lakeland is first on 36.67p/l, edging out Glanbia Ireland and Dale Farm. Both Lakeland and Glanbia do not charge for milk collected on alternate days, whereas a 0.34p/l collection fee is deducted from the Dale Farm price.

Glanbia Cheese slips from second to fifth, while Aurivo drops three places to sixth, leaving Strathroy bottom.

Rolling average

With base milk prices rising in eight out of the past 12 months, the rolling average prices have been steadily rising over the last year, and have increased by a further 0.4p/l on the previous league.

For good-quality milk, Glanbia Ireland leads with 32.73p/l.

It also holds on to top spot for average-quality milk, paying 31.69p/l over the last 12 months.

Glanbia has now led this particular analysis for 24 consecutive months. The only positional change for average-quality sees Dale Farm overtake Lakeland for fourth.

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