Despite a 1.25p/l cut to its weather support payment, Tirlán/Fivemiletown remains on top of the NI milk league for the sixth consecutive month, paying an average price of 38.97p/l for milk produced during April.

Suppliers of the co-op are on a starting price of 36.65p/l, consisting of a 35.4p/l base and sustainability premium, plus a 1.25p/l weather support payment, down from 2.5p/l.

Once bonuses for milk quality are factored in, Tirlán finishes in first place and more than 1.5p/l ahead of second-placed Aurivo.

Milk quality

The April milk league is based on dairy farms producing 750,000 /litres annually, with a supply profile and milk solids matching the NI average herd.

All prices published are calculated at 4.17% butterfat, 3.28% protein, 4.78% lactose, 17 TBC and 193 SCC with these figures recorded by DAERA for the same month in the previous year.

Positions held

While Tirlán effectively cut its April price, all remaining buyers of NI milk made no changes to base prices, meaning there are no positional changes when compared to the March league table.

Aurivo finishes runner-up for the second month, with the co-op holding on a starting price of 35.81p/l, which includes a 1.25p/l input support payment.

Lakeland Dairies remains in third place for the second consecutive month, paying 37.1p/l followed by Strathroy in fourth spot with 36.96p/l.

Dale Farm is fifth, once adjustments are made for transport and also milk quality, with new base levels and higher increments for milk solids applying from 1 April 2024.

That leaves Leprino Foods propping up the table in sixth.

Rolling average

With no positional changes for April, all processors have held their places within the rolling 12-month league table, although the price gap at the top of the table has widened.

Tirlán leads on 34.84p/l, which is 0.24p/l ahead of second-placed Dale Farm, with that differential rising from 0.07p/l in the March league.

Strathroy remains in third place, followed by Aurivo in fourth with Lakeland and Leprino Foods rounding out the table.

Estimated payout

Figure 1 shows the estimated payout by each processor using their actual fat and protein values recorded in April, rather than the NI average. Cell counts and volume bonuses remain standardised.

With the highest starting price and solids for April, Tirlán is out in front on £28,299 with all other processors finishing in the same order as that when we calculate prices using a standardised litre.

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