The coronavirus has delivered a severe blow to Wisconsin dairy farmers who rely on selling milk to restaurants, schools and the hospitality industry.
About one-third of Wisconsin dairy products, mainly cheese, are sold in the food service trade, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Farmers say the coronavirus outbreak has caused milk prices to drop to unprofitable levels this spring, at a time when money is needed for the upcoming planting season.
Dairy farmers are worried about processing plants closing or cutting production, forcing them to dump milk.
Baraboo cooperative, Foremost Farms, recently asked its members to reduce the amount of milk they produce, citing “the extreme nature of the coronavirus situation and the impact on the economy.”
“We also need to be prepared for the scenarios that would require our members to dump milk … or dispose of (it) in some other manner,” the cooperative said in a letter to its membership.
Milk prices had been slowly returning to profitable levels last month.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.