Crisis Continues for Minnesota Dairy Farms
GREENWALD -- Small dairy farms are continuing to struggle.
Don Pylkkanan is with Minnesota Citizens Organized Acting Together. He says milk payments have dropped 23 percent over the past five years, resulting in a 25 percent loss in the number of dairy farms in the state.
The payments that the dairy farmers are receiving for their milk is just so unsustainable that friends of mine have been forced to sell off their herds over recent years.
Minnesota lost 315 dairy farms last year and has lost 810 dairy farms over the past three years.
He says small farms are struggling to compete with much larger operations.
All I can say is that there's been a decrease of family-sized operations of a few hundred cows or so, and there's been a growth of multi-thousand cow operations.
Pylkkanen says he'd like to see a federal subsidy that would make up the milk payment difference that large operations get compared to smaller operations. He says that would have to come through the Department of Agriculture.
A dairy crisis meeting has been scheduled for this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Greenwald Pub in Greenwald.
University of Minnesota economist emeritus Richard Levins will be there talking about balancing producing enough milk to make a living, but not producing so much milk that the product is being overproduced.