DEAR SIR: Having read in last week’s Irish Farmers Journal about the increased cost of gas used for drying milk powders and the knock-on effect on milk price, could I ask our Northern Ireland milk buyers why we are holding onto a 30 or so year old milk pricing model which values our milk solids at a milk price of 18-20ppl?

We now have one of the lowest milk solids percentage in Europe (due to farmers seeing that volume pays better than solids) and our dairy farmers will now have to bear the increased drying costs of our low solids milk.

With base price approaching 30p, we are being paid 10p for water, only to be charged for taking it all out again.

What’s the long-term environmental impact of this do-nothing policy?

What long-term future have our dairy farmers when our national milk price is getting more and more uncompetitive?