The National Farmers' Union has added its voice to the growing clamour for higher producer prices for milk. "The increased prices we have seen so far will certainly not put the majority of producers back in profit, let alone allow them to reinvest for the future," said milk and dairy produce committee chairman Terrig Morgan. In September the NFU predicted a rise of at least 2ppl, but the average return of around 18ppl is still short of the mark. "Producers need a bare minimum of 21ppl to cover costs and, in my view, at least 24ppl to ensure a viable, sustainable industry," added Morgan. The NFU blames poor quality forage and the "continuing forced exodus of producers from the industry". They face "increased costs of fuel, compound feeds and fertilisers". Morgan points out that there is a healthy demand for dairy products: "The market factors have remained buoyant and we have a continuing and accelerating decline in milk production. We know that this is already affecting prices on the spot market, where prices of up to 30ppl have been reported." Given the buoyancy of burgeoning secondary markets, Morgan said: "It is about time that producers received the full benefits of them." {{PROVISIONS }}

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