The Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal is reporting a crisis in Wisconsin’s dairy industry that it’s linking to the ongoing meltdown in the U.S. and global economies.
The story says the industry is losing about $4 million a day, or $100 a cow each month:
“That’s largely because farmers, who received about $20 for every hundred pounds of milk they produced last summer, have seen that price cut in half this summer. They’ve slashed expenses but are losing money on every gallon of milk they produce – partly because consumers are buying less ice cream, butter and cheese.
“Some farmers have cashed out their farm equity and savings just to buy cattle feed and pay their utility bills.
“Entire herds of cows have been slaughtered as part of a national program meant to reduce milk supplies and increase the amount that farmers receive in their milk checks.” the article reads in part.
The industry is also reporting a large erosion in export markets, where the U.S. dairy industry sells roughly 11 per cent of its production.
The hard times come hard on the heels of some of the best times the industry has ever seen, which lead to expansion, overproduction, and ultimately a 50 per cent cut in the price of milk, the article states.