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California dairies going broke

milk prices exorbitant feed costs department of food and agriculture

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#1 Hum

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 13:54

Across California, the nation's largest dairy state, dozens of dairy operators large and small have filed for bankruptcy in recent months and many teeter on the edge of insolvency. Others have sold their herds or sent them to slaughter and given up on the business.

Experts say California dairymen face a double whammy: exorbitant feed costs and lower milk prices. The Midwest drought has led to corn and soybean costs increasing by more than 50 percent this summer, stressing dairymen from Wisconsin and Minnesota to Missouri. But in California, milk prices have also lagged behind those in the rest of the nation, exacerbating the crisis.

And while milk revenues in California have soared to over $7.5 billion in 2011, making milk the top agricultural commodity, higher revenues mean little, famers say, because it costs so much more to produce the milk.

"I don't think there's a milk producer in the state who is profitable right now," said Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen.

Since 2008, California has lost nearly 300 dairies, with 1,668 remaining as of January, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. There are no official estimates on how many dairies have shuttered in 2012 — but interviews with dairymen and experts indicate several hundred dairies could be in danger of going under.

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#2 *RedBull*

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:29

With the millions of new workers every year from Mexico, you'd think they'd over come this.

#3 rfirth

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:47

With the millions of new workers every year from Mexico, you'd think they'd over come this.


Overcome what?

#4 Biotoxic_hazard_835

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:59

And this is only the tip of the iceberg, it is going to get way worse before it starts to get better.

#5 remixedcat

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:14

My breast milk has put them out of business

#6 *RedBull*

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:17

Ewww :p


#7 OP Hum

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:47

I guess we'll only have milk if we buy our own cow. :s

#8 SupportGeek

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 14:09

With the millions of new workers every year from Mexico, you'd think they'd over come this.


How would that help in any way?
Its feed costs that are hurting them the most, and thats because of a drought in the midwest leading to vastly lowered yields, as well as stupid high oil prices, and that affects everything from fertilizer costs to transporting the feed and milk.
It all adds up, additional workers aren't going to help at all, especially when the milking is automated anyhow

#9 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 14:22

Does California not have a subsidy program for dairy farms the way that the midwest does? Here, if you show your herd was somehow negatively affected by the drought you can ask for government assistance in paying for the losses.

#10 seta-san

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 14:24

California dairies going broke

fixed.

#11 Anibal P

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 14:33

Does California not have a subsidy program for dairy farms the way that the midwest does? Here, if you show your herd was somehow negatively affected by the drought you can ask for government assistance in paying for the losses.



Califronia is full of crazy vegans who think doing anything to animals is cruel, they won't help, they'l cheer till the last dairyman goes bankrupt

#12 *RedBull*

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 15:18


I guess we'll only have milk if we buy our own cow. :s

Or have remixcat as a neighbor. Which I do see an uptick in the breast milk market. Wonder where I can get some breast milk stock....


#13 remixedcat

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 17:34

my milk is the best tasting milk as well....

#14 ahhell

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 17:53

my milk is the best tasting milk as well....

:huh:

#15 Praetor

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 18:11

my milk is the best tasting milk as well....

:rolleyes: