By FW reporters and FWi staff

DAIRY companies have followed in the steps of Milk Marque by cutting the price they pay farmers for milk.

Milk Marque last month cut 1.8p off its standard litre value. Now MD Foods has also re-jigged its payment structure, paying slightly less for butterfat and protein content but slightly more for cleaner milk.

A premier milk producer with 100 average-yielding cows selling to MD Foods and receiving the 0.5ppl group bonus will now get about 19ppl for 4.1% butterfat, 3.25% protein milk.

Unigates standard litre price has come back to about 19.22ppl, before transport charges of 9.50 for EODC. That is just over 1p lower than March. Volume, butterfat and protein payments are all slightly down, other payments remain the same.

But group bonuses and stockmanship bonuses, worth 0.5ppl and 0.3ppl, respectively, will now be paid monthly to aid cash flow, says the companys Brian Pocock.

Robert Wiseman Dairies has announced a cut of 0.9p for a standard litre. Its base price for 3.5% butterfat, 3% protein milk is now 18.1ppl in England, 1p less in Scotland. Other compositional quality and seasonality payments remain the same, as do hygiene bonuses.