Milk production in the North continues its upward trend
Milk production in Northern Ireland in 2015 was up 2.7% on the volumes produced in 2014, the latest statistics from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) show.
Between January and December 2015, the volume of raw milk produced in the North was 2264.90m litres.
The statistics also show that in January 2016 milk volumes produced on farms in Northern Ireland were up 2.2% on year earlier levels, continuing the trend of increased production.
In January 2016 some 187.59m litres of milk was produced, up from the 183.49m litres produced in the corresponding month last year.
Milk production in the North, comparing 2005 and 2015 production figures, volumes have increased by 398.83m litres – a 21% increase.
Meanwhile, the average farm gate price of milk (including retrospective bonuses) in Northern Ireland for January 2016 was 18.50p/L (23.93c/L).
According to the DARD statistics this was 3.88p/L (5.01c/L) drop in price compared to January 2015.
Overall for 2015 (January to December) the weighted average farmgate price of milk during was
20.75p/L (26.84c/L), some 8.56p/L (11.07c/L) lower than the corresponding period in 2014.
Dairy herd numbers see an increase
Along with an increase in milk production, there has also been an increase in the dairy herd in Northern Ireland.
Figures from DARD show that the dairy herd in Northern Ireland stood at 313,600 cows in December 2015, a year-on-year increase of 2%.
Northern Ireland cow numbers are currently at their highest level on record.