Dairy farmers paying more to produce milk

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.



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One Comment;

  1. Jackie Schmidts said:

    There is so much wrong with this story. Mr. Mueller is a good farmer I’m sure but he doesn’t really spell out what is going in in the industry. The cost of grain has nothing to do with the price charged at retail. Sure grain might cost dairy farmers more but that doesn’t get translated to consumer milk prices. And I can’t find any reports where grain is costing more, feed prices seem pretty stable.

    Mueller is right, if our exports decline, it will back up the pipelines here in the U.S. and depress dairy farm prices, but then consumer prices should fall after that. NAFTA is a complete unknown, I’m sure though the Trump Administration and negotiators understand what NAFTA means for dairy exports and won’t allow any changes to disrupt the flow of goods out to Mexico or Canada. That being said, Canada needs to play fair and come to the negotiation table!

    Mueller or someone is wrong, the demand for dairy products increases in the U.S. every year, just not as fast as dairy farmers can make the milk. For example cheese consumption is over 35 pounds a year per person, new record. Yogurt consumption is up, ice cream consumption and other cream products are up. Fluid milk is down but over all we are consuming more dairy products each year, not less! And we need to get FDA to uphold the law, milk is milk and plant based beverages should not be allowed to use the term. Stop calling plant based beverages milk!


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