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Dairy farmers squeezed by declining milk prices

glass of milk
Andrew Unangst/Getty Images
glass of milk

Summer demand for ice cream and other dairy products usually contributes to higher milk prices during the summer, but this year that's not the case.

Market prices shifting upwards and downwards is a typical thing, but farmers said this situation is new and not sustainable.

In May of 2022, the price of milk was released at $25.21 per 100 pounds of milk. Now in 2023, the July price is projected at under $14 per 100 pounds.

And while there are years with highs and lows, this major decline in milk prices now comes with an oversupply of milk, and a decline in demand.

"Demand has been decreasing on a decent scale for years and years and years so as the slight increases are happening and demand is going down it becomes a wider and wider gap and eventually something has to give," said James Juedes with Pleasant View Dairy.

This come as some producers in the badger state have had to see their milk go down the drain due to an overabundance of the product, but so far, Central Wisconsin farmers haven't had to take those measures.

"Our handler, Mullins Cheese, has made a commitment to his farmers that despite anything going on he will not ask us to dump milk he will run his business at a loss if he has to in order to keep his patrons happy," said Juedes.

He said if this continues, family dairy farms will likely continue to struggle, and during peak milk production season, lack of demand isn't helping.

He also said national dairy organizations may be part of the issue, and he won't rest until farmers everywhere are heard.

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