By FWi staff

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

The average milk price last November was 17.92ppl, 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.

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Total daily yields were down 0.2 litres at 21.7 litres a cow. However, inferior winter silage quality has led to a significant drop in daily yields from forage.

These were 3.9 litres/cow, compared with 5.3l litres/cow a year ago.

To compensate for the poorer forage, concentrate intake rose by 17kg to 209kg/cow.

Together with a 4/t hike in feed costs, this has led to a drop in the margin over purchased feed. This was 13.5ppl in November, down from 13.7ppl 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.