New figures released by the UK government shows that the UK average farm-gate milk price for October 2021 is 32.55p/l.

This represents a 3.1% (0.98p/l) increase on September 2021 and a 8.5% increase on the same month last year.

Butterfat is up 3.6% on last month at 4.32%. Compared to last year butterfat is 0.8% higher than October 2020.

Protein is up 1.6% on last month at 3.41%. Compared to last year protein is 1.0% lower than October 2020.

October volumes are 1,198 million litres up 3.8% on September 2021 and 0.5% lower than October 2020.

The annual average price for farm-gate milk in 2019, including retrospective bonus payments, is 29.10p/l, 0.23p/l more than the annual average price without retrospective payments (28.87p/l).

In 2019 total retrospective payments were 2.0% lower than 2018 at £34.7 million.

A retrospective payment is when a company makes a payment to a farmer that is outside the normal contract price they receive and is generally paid on prior production, for example profit sharing.

Lakeland announces new payment system

In other milk price news, Lakeland Dairies has announced a new payment system for milk suppliers in Northern Ireland which it says will encourage suppliers to produce milk with higher protein and butterfat content.

The new system offers Northern Irish suppliers an “equal opportunity” to benefit from enhanced payments for increased constituents over current levels, the processor said.

“In the first instance it will ensure stability and fairness for all Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers in Northern Ireland, as it will not impact any supplier’s base payments going forward,” according to Lakeland.

The move will see suppliers who wish to focus on increasing milk solids receive additional payments in line with the future increased levels of protein and butterfat they are able to supply.