Omagh-based Strathroy Dairy tops the NI milk league for January, paying 29.78p/l to a 650,000 litre producer of milk collected on alternate days.
Strathroy last topped the milk league in June 2019, and at the time had spent three consecutive months leading the table.
The January league sees plenty of positional changes from the previous month after a number of processors increased base price. In addition, winter bonus payments no longer apply in some cases.
Strathroy started on a base 28.5p/l, which includes a 0.5p/l increase and 1p/l winter bonus. Only Glanbia Milk/Fivemiletown matched the Omagh processor on base price.
However, Strathroy pays a 0.2p/l premium for Red Tractor-assured milk and has zero transport charges, giving it the edge over Glanbia Milk.
The January league is based on a farmer producing 650,000 litres annually. Milk quality figures are taken from DAERA statistics for the same month last year.
This puts butterfat at 4.08%, protein at 3.26% and lactose at 4.74%, with 18 TBC and 189 SCC.
Behind Strathroy, Glanbia Milk/Fivemiletown finishes joint second for the third successive month on 29.59p/l.
Without its 3p/l winter bonus, Lakeland Dairies slips three places to finish fourth for January on 29.04p/l.
NI’s largest processor held on a base of 26.55p/l, but did pay a 1p/l co-op bonus on all milk produced last month. The co-op has now paid this bonus for three months in a row.
Aurivo raised its base by 0.5p to 27p/l and pays a 1p/l winter bonus for January. The west of Ireland-based co-op is also to make a 0.75p/l back payment on all milk supplied from January to March 2020. This will be included in the February milk statement. For a 650,000l supplier with a normal seasonal production profile, it is worth slightly over £1,200.
Behind Aurivo, Glanbia Cheese and Dale Farm slip two places to finish sixth and seventh, despite adding 1p/l to base price.
However, both processors had higher solids last month compared to the DAERA average from January 2020 (used in our calculations to make a fair comparison), so the actual average price paid out by each processor was approximately 0.4p/l higher than shown.
Looking at the average price paid over the past 12 months, Glanbia Milk continues to lead for both alternate and daily supply, paying 27.27p/l and 27.04p/l respectively.
Lakeland holds third place for alternate day milk, narrowing the gap to Glanbia Milk to just 0.09p/l.
On daily collection, Strathroy is now the closest competitor to Glanbia Milk, followed by Lakeland.