Strathroy Dairy tops the NI milk league for the second consecutive month, paying 42.95p/l for milk collected on alternate days during February.

While all processors, with the exception of Aurivo, opted for a 4p/l price cut for milk supplied last month, Strathroy was the only processor to pay from a base above 40p/l. With a 1p/l winter bonus included, the Omagh company paid its suppliers from a starting price of 41.5p/l.

February is the final month that any winter bonus payments apply to NI milk until the autumn.

Milk quality

The NI milk league is calculated on a standard litre for a dairy farmer producing 750,000 litres annually, with milk solids and supply profile in line with the NI average.

This means our February analysis is calculated on milk supplied at 4.17% butterfat, 3.30% protein, 4.79% lactose, 17 TBC and 190 SCC, which are the figures recorded by DAERA for the same month last year.

Changing positions

Tirlán is the only other processor outside of Strathroy that paid a winter bonus for February milk and this helped it to hold on to second place in the monthly league.

Tirlán paid 41.91p/l under its hybrid model where 50% of supply is priced using A+B-C, with the remaining 50% based on a conventional payment system similar to other processors. This hybrid price is 0.4p/l higher than what we calculate if all Tirlán milk had been paid using its conventional model. Just over 90% of Tirlán suppliers have moved to the hybrid payment.

Outside of the top two, there are various positional changes for February. Lakeland Dairies climbs one place to finish third, as does Dale Farm in fourth. Aurivo slips two places to fifth with Glanbia Cheese in sixth.

12-month average

During the 12-month period ending February 2023, Tirlán leads our rolling milk price analysis, paying 46.75p/l, followed by Lakeland on 46.06p/l. Aurivo edges ahead of Dale Farm into third.

Co-op averages

While the main price analysis is based on a standard litre, butterfat and protein will differ from the actual monthly figures recorded by each processor.

Figure 1 shows the average butterfat and protein for each processor in February, which is then used to calculate an estimated pay out to a 750,000 litre producer in that month.

Strathroy leads followed by Tirlán. Aurivo finishes third with Dale Farm fourth. Lakeland’s price has been adjusted to include the average payout under its five year scheme to incentivise higher milk solids.

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