FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- California dairy farmers will be getting a temporary increase in the minimum price they can charge for milk.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Wednesday that a 3-cents-a-gallon hike in the minimum will be in effect from January through March 2010.

Officials say the increase is unlikely to affect the price for milk paid by consumers.

Raising the minimum comes amid record foreclosures and efforts by some dairy operators to cull their herds because the prices paid have not covered their production costs.

A reduction in global exports, coupled with a drop in demand, have cost the state's dairies $1.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2009.

Agriculture officials hope milk supplies will stabilize by the time the temporary increase expires.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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