Westland's dairy company has lifted its milk payout forecast to within range of Fonterra's $6.05 a kilo of milk solids, as it continues its recovery from a disastrous past season.
Westland Milk Products' 390 supplying farms had a final payout of $4.50 for the 2008-9 season, the lowest in the country.
It capped off a season in which the co-operative significantly lowered its forecast twice and also had to claw back some of the advance payment made to farmers.
Chief executive Rod Quin says the company is forecasting between $5.60 and $6.00 per kilogram of milk solids, and while this sits below Fonterra's, Westland's suppliers won't have to pay as much for shares to match their milk supply.
West Coast milk production is running 3-5% ahead of last season, Mr Quin says.