19 January 2001

Dairying no better

ADAS Milk Cheque figures for November 2000 show dairy farmers are no better off than they were a year ago, despite last Octobers increase in milk payments.

The average milk price last November was 17.92p/litre, up only 0.32p from the same month in 1999. This modest rise has been more than offset by increasing feed costs and decreasing milk yields.

To compensate for poorer forage, concentrate intake rose by 17kg to 209kg a cow. Together with a £4/t hike in feed costs this has led to a drop in the margin over purchased feed. This was 13.5p/litre in November, down from 13.7p/litre over the same period last year.

"Despite all their efforts dairy farmers are still not seeing an increase in returns, which is disappointing," says Milk Cheque manager Ian Powell. &#42