Dairy co-operative Dale Farm has announced its price for February milk supplies, following on from its 0.5p/L increase for January supplies.

However, February supplies will see returns of a base milk price of 25.7p/L, plus a 0.3p/L loyalty bonus.

This is down on January's price of 26.2p/L plus the same loyalty bonus.

Dale Farm is the third of Northern Ireland's 'big players' to cut their prices for February's milk supplies.

On Wednesday (March 20), LacPatrick announced that it would be cutting its price by approximately 0.7p/L.

The co-op lowered its price for February from 26.5p/L to 25.7p/L; however, the price for the Republic of Ireland was held at 31.75c/L, plus a 2c/L early calving bonus.

On a brighter note, LacPatrick announced that its 1,300 suppliers, regardless of what side of the border they are on, would have their transport charges removed for the month.

Cartage is usually paid by all members of the co-op and averages at around 0.25 cent or pence per litre.

Meanwhile, Lakeland Dairies also dropped its price for February milk supplies by a similar amount.

Its Northern Irish suppliers will see a return of 25.75p/L, down from last month's figure of 26.5p/L.

Like LacPatrick, Lakeland decided to hold its price in the Republic of Ireland.

Earlier this month, the merger between Lakeland and LacPatrick was given the go-ahead by competition authorities in the UK and Ireland.

The two co-ops are expected to start trading before the end of this month.