It’s been seen in different parts of the country, dairy farmers are forced to dump milk, because they have nowhere else to put it.
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Texas A&M AgriLife says that is not the case in the Texas Panhandle, but dairy farmers are seeing less demand for their products.

“I think some of our problem with having an over supply of milk right now is not totally that we have an over supply of milk, but that we have really changed the usage of milk,” said Marcel Fischbacher, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent for Moore County.

Local dairy farmers and agriculture experts says the abundance of supplies, like milk and cheese, is due to packaging issues.

“The big question is, why are those not cancelling out, the increase on retailer sales with the decreases in the food service industry. That can be due to, as we talked before, due to packaging issues,” said Juan Piñeiro, dairy specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

With the demand for household groceries increasing, restaurants, schools and hotels not purchasing as many dairy products, manufacturing companies are having to switch how they package items for household use and not in bulk.

“With this Shelter-in-Place policy and people not going to restaurants, those are piling up in warehouses. You cannot just shift from day to night and send all those back to grocery stores, because the packaging has to be different,” said Piñeiro.

Texas A&M AgriLife says this is what manufacturers are working on now. Supply and demand should even out when dairy products can be packaged differently.

“You have to change the packaging. Those are the efforts that nowadays the industry is now working on, basically trying to switch the products and packaging that was meant to go to the food service industry to go to grocery stores,” said Piñeiro.

As for now, Piñeiro says there is not a shortage of milk in the Texas Panhandle, and he is encouraging people to continue to buy dairy products.

“There is no such thing as a shortage, so if you see anything like that in a grocery store, please let us know, and we can talk with those retailers to help them with any issues they may have,” said Piñeiro.

Texas A&M AgriLife also says the way milk is processed cleans the product for any germs of virus, making it safe to drink during this pandemic.

Dairy farmers can do more together than individually.

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