Dairy farmers supplying Muller will see their milk price increase by 1.5p per litre (ppl) from September 1st, taking the Muller Direct standard litre price to 29.5ppl.

The move will be welcomed by dairy farmers who are under pressure from increased costs. Feed prices have been on the rise in recent months, with average concentrate prices increasing by £25/tonne since the start of the year.

Weather concerns and trade turmoil has driven up raw ingredient prices, and now with the additional pressure on winter supplies due to the drought, managing feed costs will be a key priority.

Industry reports suggest that concentrate prices are likely to be in the £240-250/t region over the winter period.

Ron Hutchison, Muller's Milk Supply Director said: "On the demand side we have seen the value of bulk cream and butter decline with exceptionally hot weather across Europe also contributing to subdued demand for liquid milk, affecting market returns.

"However, farmers are suffering the effects of the dry, hot weather, with many already feeding the first cut of silage to cows. There's uncertainty over how quickly fields will recover to provide grazing and whether there is enough winter feed.

"Under these circumstances we want to do what we can to support our farmers. It is fair to say that the whole supply chain is currently under considerable pressure."

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold a couple of prime heifers in Dumfries on Wednesday to a top of 235p per kg and an average of 232.5p, while a couple of prime bullocks peaked at 161p and levelled at 158p.

In the rough ring there were more leaner cows forward with 26 beef cows selling to 127p and averaging 115p, while 22 dairy cows peaked at 130p and levelled at 92p.

The firm also sold 330 prime lambs to a top of £84 per head and 197p per kg to average 175.3p (-8.3p on the week). In line with the national trend the auctioneer reports that leaner lambs were difficult to sell.

A larger show of 369 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £144.50 for Texels and average £72.47, while light/export-type ewes peaked at £74.50 for Blackfaces and levelled at £59.21.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 431 prime lambs in Newton Stewart yesterday to a top of £92 and 190p to average 173p (-8p).

There were also 49 heavy cast ewes forward that sold to £95.50 for Texels and averaged £77.20, while 74 light ewes peaked at £78 for Cheviots and levelled at £38.80. Good fit ewes were easily sold, while leaner, lighter types were harder to cash.