Thursday, March 26, 2009

Farmer in USA Today

HT to World Dairy Diary.

Here is a story in a major newspaper, about the current dairy price situation. I think it contains some very telling statistics, especially that, while the price paid to farmers has declined by about 50 percent, the cost of milk in the store has only dropped about 2.4 %, with the cost of a gallon of milk only falling 14.7% in the past 12 months.

When the boss took those calves over to the sale barn the other day, he stood among three or four other dairy producers there to take their shellacking on calf prices because they simply have no other choice. They weren't anybody we knew, as this is still a farming region, although that may change. As they commiserated about trying to get by these days a kind of frightening statistic appeared. ALL of them are selling their cows in the next month. Every single one of those other dairy farmers, or dairy farmer kids are going out of the dairy business. Some of them figure on changing over to selling hay. I wonder who is going to buy it.

And just to add to the excitement, the VP of our milk cooperative showed up yesterday with the news that we are going to be shipping to a different market now. No idea how that is going to work out, just another challenge in a bowl full. Time will tell.


Floridacracker said...

6 dollars for a gallon at a local convenience store yesterday.

Frank W. James said...

Yipe. Know exactly what you're talking about. Every time food prices goes up, farmer gets the blame and the processor gets the profit.

I feel bad for the small to middle size diaries they are really getting hit hard throughout the country. Hope you guys get by. It's tough out there.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

it's a sad story, but so true...sometimes we haven't got whole lot of choices for our future in the dairy end...sad.

~ Sara ~ said...

I feel for you with the change of markets. It makes me feel woozie when I our milk hauler tells me that kind of news. Our co-op will just send a letter or let the hauler take the rap for it.:)

It's always the same story, you'll get more for your milk, BUT (there is always a but) BUT it's going farther, so all what you gain is lost in hauling plus often times more. ARGH!

Happy NEW Market to you!

threecollie said...

FC, that is obscene! About a five hundred percent mark up! I am really sorry you have to pay that.

FWJ, thanks so much for visiting and commenting. It drives my husband nuts to stand at the dairy case in the market and hear people blaming the farmers. But how can people know different? I was glad such a mainstream paper printed this story.

Anon, dairy is crashing faster than I have ever seen. Other peripheral businesses are coming down too. This is a very bad thing that needs to change quickly or we are going to wake up to a world I don't think we will like very much

Sara, thanks, I am glad to hear from someone who "gets" it. We shopped very hard when our old cooperative disbanded and have had good experiences with the one we are in now. However this popped up, as you say, in just one day. We lost our BST free premium, which was a real good one. Supposedly we will be making it up in other premium structures, but I truly don't see it. It is getting harder every day. Oh, well, thanks for your kind words!