Liquid milk production in Northern Ireland has hit a new record high as farms in the region pumped out 2,446.41 million litres of the white stuff in 2020.

The figure was 2.4% higher than the year before, 2019.

The volume of milk lifted by processors in the region has increased steadily over the last decade and a half, speeding up with the abolishment of milk quotas in 2015.

The 2020 figure sits 31% (580 million litres) higher than the amount produced in 2005 when a total of 1,866 million litres was collected.

The figures were made public in a departmental statistics notice showing the latest monthly information on the average Northern Ireland farm gate milk prices and the volume of raw milk produced.

The data is collated from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs monthly survey of raw milk purchasers.

It showed in December the Northern Ireland average farm gate price of milk (including
retrospective bonuses) was 31p/L, 2.21p/L higher than the same month in 2019.

However, the weighted average farm gate price of milk over the course of the year (from January to December 2020) was recorded as 27.01p/L, 0.2p/L lower than the same period in 2019.

The volume of winter milk also saw an uplift. In December 2020, the volume of raw milk produced from Northern Ireland farms was 202.22 million litres, 4.6% higher than in December 2019.