Waikato dairy co-operative Tatua has kept its place at the top of the milk payout stakes.
The small co-operative is paying farmers $5.38 a kilogram of milk solids for the milk they supplied last season, down from $8 a kilogram for the previous season.
Tatua's payout is higher than the Fonterra payment of $5.21 per kilogram with one cent of that being retained.
Tatua is not holding back any earnings, it says, because of the tough conditions dairy farmers are experiencing.
The company says its milk supply returned to normal levels of 12.3 million kilos of milk solids last season, as the effect of the one in 100 year drought which hit Waikato in the summer.