Milk production on dairy farms in Northern Ireland witnessed a jump of 5.5% in July of this year, compared to the figures from the same month last year.

This is according to the latest figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). The volume of raw milk produced on Northern Irish farms was 200.57 million litres in July.

An increase of 2.2% was reported in relation to the level of milk produced in the North for the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2016.

Between January and July of this year, there was a total of 1,422.76 million litres produced on farms. Monthly milk production decreased by just over 9,800L between June and July of this year, the second consecutive monthly decrease.

Meanwhile, the average farm-gate price of milk - including retrospective bonuses - in the seventh month of this year was 28.23p/L (31c/L), department figures show. This is the third consecutive monthly price increase reported in Northern Ireland.

This milk price is 9.73p/L (11c/L) higher than the price that was offer in July 2016; the difference represents an increase of slightly over 50%.

Meanwhile, the weighted average farm-gate price of milk during the first seven months of this year was 26.35p/L (29c/L). This was 8.26p/L (9c/L) higher than the same period in 2016, representing a difference of about 45%.

Irish milk production surge continues

Figures released at the end of August by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that milk production on Irish farms this year has continued well ahead of 2016 levels.

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 856.6 million litres for July 2017, according to the CSO. This was 9.5% above the corresponding 2016 figure.

The total milk sold for human consumption actually decreased by 1.2% to 44.1 million litres, compared to July 2016. Butter production, however, was up 14.1% to 23,110t during the seventh month of this year, compared to the same month last year.

Regarding milk production for the January to July period of this year, the total production equated to 4,676 million litres - which is up 7.4% on the same period last year (4,344.3 million litres).