George Mueller at Willow Bend farms says grain is costing more and people just aren’t buying milk like they used to. Those are some of the factors that are driving up their cost to buy milk. The price to produce milk per hundred pounds has gone up $1.30 since last August.
However, the hope is that you, as customers won’t be paying more. The report had some people concerned, but Mueller says this shouldn’t hit you too hard. You might notice small changes, a few pennies here or there but nothing too steep.
Mueller says the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, allows dairy farmers to sell their milk to places like Mexico and Canada. Exporting milk and milk products helps offsets the farmer’s costs to keep the price leveled for us.
“If all of a sudden we lose exports our price will fall out, there will be no bottom,” Mueller said. “We’re very nervous about the present administration talking about doing away with NAFTA or changing it.”
In less than two weeks, U.S. officials will re-start NAFTA negotiations and you can bet farmers will be watching that closely.
Mueller also adds, in this region dairy farmers are in better shape than others downstate.
“In this part of the state we are blessed right now, the Finger Lakes, Western New York and the Lake Ontario plain,” Mueller said. “The weather is good, the soil is good, the population is good for us dairy farmers.”
Bottom line for you at home, there’s no need to worry about your grocery bill. One interesting fact: farmers say demand for dairy has decreased over the years due to a growing population choosing alternatives such as soy, almond and other non-dairy products.