Milk production on dairy farms in Northern Ireland rose by 2.8% in May, compared to production figures for the same month in 2016.

This is according to figures recently released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

During the fifth month of this year, the volume of raw milk produced from Northern Irish farms was 229.15 million litres; this compared to 222.81 million litres in the corresponding month last year.

This is the eighth consecutive monthly milk production increase to be recorded in Northern Ireland; figures dropped to a low of 151.72 million litres in September 2016, before continuously rising to their current level.

In May 2017, dairy farmers in the North received an average farm-gate price – including retrospective bonuses – of 26.39p/L (30c/L).

This was 8.69p/L (10c/L) higher than it was in the same period 12 months ago; prices have remained relatively static all year.

Meanwhile, milk production during the first five months of the year totalled 1,011.8 million litres, according to figures from DAERA; this was 1.3% higher than the first five months of 2016.

Between January and May in 2017, the average farm-gate price of milk equated to 26.20p/L (30c/L). This was 8.01p/L higher than the same period last year.

ROI milk production continues well ahead of 2016

At the end of June, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that milk production on Irish farms this year has continued well ahead of 2016 levels.

During the month of May, production increased by 7.3% compared to the same month last year.

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 997 million litres during the fifth month of this year; a rise of 67.4 million litres, the CSO added.

Comparing year-on-year figures, the total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 0.5% – to 45.1 million litres – in May 2017. Meanwhile, butter production was up 14.9% – to 28,060t.

These production figures represent the third consecutive monthly increase on Irish farms in 2017.