Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Milk prices rise to help farmers

The future of the Isle of Man's dairy industry is in jeopardy as production costs continue to increase, said agriculture officials.

A four-pence rise in the price of a pint of a milk will be brought into effect in an attempt to balance local farmers' income against overheads.

Howard Quayle, president of the Manx National Farmers' Union, said farmers were earning less despite the increase.

He added: "This is a modest increase in terms of costs we have to absorb."

The rise in the price of milk, which equates to 7%, will come into effect on Saturday.

But Mr Quayle explained that increases in the cost of fertilizer - which has almost doubled in price - and other products could see the dairy-farming industry collapse completely.

"Unfortunately the price that this is going to allow them to be paid as a result of the increase is still going to be less than what they were earning a year ago.

"But if all the costs were passed on to the public, the costs would have been a lot more," Mr Quayle added.

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