A dairy herd waiting to be milked© Tim Scrivener

There is plenty of evidence of the growing cost of milk production. Aside from input price rises, freshly calved dairy heifer prices were up 10.7% to £1,235 a head in February, compared with the same period 12 months earlier.

Freshly calved cow prices rose 14.9% to £1,036.

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However, the values are not directly comparable says AHDB Dairy analyst Joanne Tuck.

Since January 2017, the figures represent only commercial animals – previously they included both commercial and pedigree animals, making the rise more significant.

Red diesel prices in February 2017 were up 18.46p/litre on the year to 55.83p/litre; an increase of 0.98p/litre on the previous month.

Feed prices

January saw higher feed prices compared with the previous month and year. Feed wheat peaked at £146/t, up 30.1% on the year, while soya meal prices rose 20.1%, to £311/t in the same period.

English prices for brewers’ grains rose £1.50 on the month, to £35-£45/t.

The latest figures show the EU farmgate-weighted average milk price stood at €33.38/100kg (29.59p/litre) in January, a rise of 0.87p/litre in sterling terms on the December price.