Milk cost of production has already reached 31.5p/litre as dairy producers face the prospect of a long and difficult winter.
"Average farmgate milk price is still a good 2.5p/litre below the cost of production. The price rises have been welcomed, but the reality is that 29-29.5p/litre are headline prices, not necessarily achieved by everybody," said NFU dairy adviser Luke Ryder.
Milk production going forward was a concern and supply was going to be extremely tight, while some producers were already questioning how they would be able to manage this winter, he added.
"As an industry we have to stop the exodus of producers - the risk is that we are losing critical mass and that's what processors and retailers need to be mindful of."
The delay to the publication of the voluntary code of practice, which is currently being looked at by competition lawyers, was hampering progress and once the document was published, producers must familiarise themselves with it, he added.
"Producers need to get their milk buyers to realise how significant the voluntary code of practice is."
Laurence Gould senior consultant James Miller said rising feed costs had resulted in the increased cost of production.
Variable grass and maize silage quality and quantity meant a lot of producers would be going into the winter with a shortage of energy, he said.
"Farmers need to shop around for feed and consider the use of by-products - buy them in now and talk to a nutritionist as they need to be balanced into the diet. They should also cull harder - any animals they identify with problems should go," said Mr Miller.
Another way to mitigate rising feed costs is to consider dropping yields. "No one is expecting to have a fantastic winter going forward in terms of production. It's about the relationship between milk price and feed costs, so assess the cost of getting that extra litre or two," added Mr Miller.
Dairy Group consultant Nick Holt-Martyn said there would be a profit squeeze on producers in the future and the true impact of winter feed contracts was yet to be felt by many.
To mitigate rising input costs, he said producers should ensure they are meeting their contract requirements. "Farmers should look at the market and try to maximise the value of the milk they produce," he added.
Making the most from grazing and becoming involved in a buying group for inputs such as feed and fertiliser were also measures farmers could adopt, he said.
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