Increase in milk production levels reported on Northern Irish dairy farms

Milk production on Northern Irish dairy farms during the month of March increased by 1.59% compared to the same month last year, the latest figures show.

205.53 million litres of milk were produced on dairy farms in Northern Ireland during the third month of the year, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

During the first three months of 2017 combined, the volume of milk produced amounted to 575.60 million litres – 0.44% higher than the same period in 2016.

With regard to prices, the average farm-gate price of milk (including retrospective bonuses) during the month of March this year amounted to 26.29p/L (31c/L).

This was 8.09p/L (9.6c/L)  higher than the price recorded during March 2016, according to DAERA.

The weighted average farm-gate price of milk during January to March 2017 was 26.11p/L (31c/L) – 7.71p/L (9.2c/L) higher than the same period last year, DAERA revealed.

Meanwhile, milk production climbed by 3.9% on dairy farms in the Republic of Ireland in March, compared to the same month last year, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

This was the first monthly increase in milk production reported in 2017. Falls of 4.6% and 7.8%, versus 2016 figures, were recorded in January and February respectively.

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 617.6m litres for the third month of the year, according to the CSO.

Upward trend continued at last GDT auction

The upward milk price trend continued at the most recent GDT auction, as the price index jumped by 3.6%.

This followed on from consecutive increases of 3.1% and 1.6% at the previous two events.

Skimmed Milk Powder decreased marginally by 0.9%, while Whole Milk Powder rose by 5.2%. However, Butter Milk Powder jumped by more than one fifth, with an increase of 21.8%.

The Cheddar index also registered an increase of 4.6% during the event, which lasted for close to two hours and 20 minutes.

A total of 548 bidders were registered at the most recent event. There were 106 winning bidders over the course of the 15 bidding rounds.