Struggles in the Dairy Industry - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Struggles in the Dairy Industry


It's a tough time for some of the farmers who work the hardest.
Currently, dairy producers aren't even breaking even.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin gets expert advice on what to do about these on-going struggles in the dairy industry.

With rising costs at the farm, it's hard to get rich milking cows.
J.W. Schroeder is a dairy specialist at North Dakota State University.
Schroeder says while 21 dollars per hundred weight is a higher price than producers are used to seeing, it's still not enough to break even.
Schroeder says high feed prices are to blame and things don't look to improve anytime in the near future. 
(J.W. Schroeder / NDSU Dairy Specialist) "It looks a little gloomy for dairy producers right now, I know that there is a lot of tension, people starting to grumble about the price of milk at the store, but keep in mind the people that are producing it, if they can't stay in business to provide it locally, prices will only go higher."
Schroeder says there are little things producers can do to save a few extra pennies on the farm, such as reducing feed waste and spoilage in the yard, as well as not overfeeding the herd. 
(J.W. Schroeder / NDSU Dairy Specialist) "Dairies tend to put more than enough feed in front of their cows, so they are never without feed. Now, we are talking about trying to get down to 1-2% of waste in the bunk and that could save anywhere from 9-27 cents per cow per day."
NDSU Livestock Stewardship Specialist Gerald Stokka says producers also need to start connecting more with their consumers.
(Gerald Stokka / NDSU Livestock Stewardship Specialist) "We've lost some communication with those in the food production business, whether it's in dairy or it's in beef or crops and the majority of the people that live in the United States are concentrated in population centers and they are generations in some cases, many generations removed from food production."

Schroeder says another negative outlook for dairy producers is the U.S. corn crop for 2013 is projected to be nearly 13% short of current needs.


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