Dairies Are Not Riding Agricultural Profit Wave


While other agricultural products are doing well for growers, U.S. dairy farmers are not doing as well. Feed prices combined with an over supply of milk products are pushing prices and profits down.

Dairy farmers expanded herds following the 70 percent jump in prices to a record in 2007, just before the U.S. began its longest recession since before World War II and unemployment rose to the highest level in a quarter century. Weaker demand was compounded by this year’s drought, floods or freezing weather from Canada to Kazakhstan that ruined crops and boosted competition for U.S. grain that dairies require.

It is anticipated that there will be some dairy operations that will fail in the coming months. It is also believed that the next year will continue to be rough on dairy producers because of continued market pressures from animal feed corn.

Corn futures have risen 48 percent since the end of June, the biggest gain in the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials after sugar. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate for the crop on Nov. 9 for a third straight month because of flooding in Iowa and Missouri and hot, dry weather from Illinois to Ohio.