Lakeland Dairies tops the NI milk league for the second month in a row, paying 36.81p/l for milk collected on alternate days during December.

While all other processors opted for a 0.5p/l increase in base price, Lakeland raised its base by 0.4p/l to 31.9p/l.

As Lakeland’s base trailed that of Dale Farm and Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown by more than 1p/l, it means that, once again, its 3p/l winter bonus was key in deciding the final league positions.

After all premiums for milk quality, volume and winter bonus payments are factored in, Lakeland finishes out in front, 0.35p/l ahead of second placed Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown.

Milk quality

For the calculations used in the December league, the actual NI average milk quality figures recorded by DAERA for the same month in 2020 are used.

That means butterfat is set at 4.19%, protein at 3.32%, lactose at 4.72%, with TBC of 17 and SCC at 185.

Positions unchanged

Behind Lakeland, Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown holds on to second place for December with its price on 36.46p/l, followed by Dale Farm, which is also unchanged in fourth spot. Across all processors throughout 2021, Dale Farm has paid from the highest monthly base to suppliers. However, others offer free collection, and a 0.5p/l charge on December milk leaves Dale Farm trailing Lakeland and Glanbia in the table. Thereafter, the table remains unchanged from the previous monthly league, with Glanbia Cheese holding fifth spot, ahead of Aurivo and Strathroy.

12 month rolling average

Over the 12 month period from January to December 2021, Glanbia Ireland paid the highest price for milk on alternate and daily collections. It was also top of this analysis at the end of 2020.

For alternate day milk pricing, Glanbia finishes 2021 on 31.75p/l, up from an average of 27.14p/l recorded over the same 12 month period in 2020.

For a farmer supplying 650,000l per annum, the outlined price difference is worth an additional £29,965 in annual income.

Dale Farm also had a strong year within our monthly league analysis. Along with paying the highest monthly base price during 2021, the co-op finished in first or second place in eight of the 12 monthly milk leagues.

Dale Farm ends the year by overtaking Lakeland for third place on 31.48p/l.

For daily collections, Glanbia Ireland paid an average 31.47p/l for 2021, followed by Glanbia Cheese on 31.25p/l, with Aurivo taking fourth place.

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