For the past several years, dairy farmers, especially those in the Badger State, have been struggling. The ebb and flow of supply and demand, milk prices, and trade agreements have left many struggling. So, throwing a global pandemic into the mix suggests things will only get worse, right?
Actually, there is hope on the horizon for Wisconsin’s dairy industry.
Steve Strey, with the Eau Claire chapter of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, said farmers are actually seeing positive changes, and noted the pandemic really hasn’t hurt local farmers too much due to so many other factors impacting the industry.
«I don’t think that COVID has affected the positive rise in the dairy markets,» Strey said. «The demand for dairy products is steady and the price is going up. Now, we’re back to a profitable level so the guys are trying to pay off the debt that they had to leverage against their farm the last five years just to stay alive.»
Strey continued by saying that one of the main reasons for the increase in profits is that exports are steady, given other countries have not been hit as hard by COVID-19 as they have in the U.S.
Strey added that two years ago, four herds of dairy cattle were being sold each week; now it’s just down to one to two herds a week. Strey also said the mass exit out of the industry, as a whole, is slowing.