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Falling Prices Mean Dire Times for Dairy Farmers

Dairy Prices Continue to Plummet, Leaving Farmers Frenzied

It goes without saying that the economic crisis has left everyone from automakers to financial services firms in shambles. But you might be surprised to hear who the latest victims of job loss are — dairy cows.

At a time when costs of all other foods seem to be on the rise, we saw the downward movement of dairy prices as the silver lining. But as industry conditions have worsened, hard-hit farmers have been forced to contemplate whether it would be more profitable to send their cows to a slaughterhouse.

Farmers have been struggling to feed their herds, as prices for milk are currently half of what it costs for farmers to produce it. With dairymen in such dire circumstances, industry insiders are estimating that nearly 1.5 million of the country's dairy cows could be slaughtered this year as a result. The falling milk prices were caused by a weakened international consumption, a stronger US exchange rate, and the melamine scandal that broke out in China last year.

This situation is disheartening, and I wonder how many people have taken notice of it. I'll certainly make an effort by continuing to support the dairy industry. What about you? Will this news affect your dairy-purchasing habits?


Join The Conversation
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
We have a toddler at home so we go through 2 gallons a week now and it'll probably go up as he gets bigger. So we'll be doing are part in trying to save the dairy business.
CJaneTyp CJaneTyp 8 years
I wonder if this affects the organic dairy market as well. I sincerely hope EVERYONE stops buying meat and dairy from tortured factory farmed cows.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I love dairy and buy from my local farmer's market. I get the milk from grassfed cows (although still can't get raw until I rent a car and visit the farm itself).
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
I have to have my milk, so this news will not affect my dairy spending habits.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Sell them to Mcdonalds they only use dairy cow meat in their burgers.
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
Just say no to dairy! LOL, do whatever you want really, I'm just being silly. I personally am vegan so this doesn't really affect me.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
I definitely drink a ton of milk - glad to hear I'm helping the cows! I do have a question though. I grew up in a rural town with a lot of dairy farms. I was under the impression that different species of cows are preferred for dairy purposes vs. beef purposes. However, this article seems to suggest that they are one and the same. Am I wrong about this?
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
Since milk and milk products are my absolute favorite foods/drinks, I will definitely do my part to help the industry...I will be buying MORE milk. :) Hafta help those Happy Cows in California! ;)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's so interesting how it all yoyos if you think about it. remember just a year ago when people were talking about how the cost of a gallon of milk was through the roof and now this is the situation. it's hard for everyone i guess . for me though - lactose makes my stomach less than happy - so i'll have to say that i'm not going to change my purchase habits - even if it would help stimulate the economy.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Nope, I skip the dairy products. I've never been a huge fan of them anyway though.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Growing up with a farmer for a grandfather, I know exactly how hard it is when the market is bad and the expenses of running the farm just keep climbing. I'll keep buying my dairy.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I live in a really rural area with lots of agriculture and this has been a big topic of discussion. It's really sad how much they're losing. Feeding and housing the cows can be expensive and when there's no turn on the investment it can get ugly in a hurry. I am a huge fan of all things dairy so I'll continue to buy lots of these products.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Unfortunately, no. These days, I buy very little dairy products for health reasons.
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