For grain farmers like me, as we watch the train wreck that is the dairy crisis, we should be at least uneasy with our consciences. To be sure, the dairy industry is caught between two government schemes: their perverse pricing system and government ethanol mandates which have raised the price of feed.
Has agricultural success for some of us been reduced to the product our lobbying prowess?
Jim Dickrell is doing high caliber work, and bravely offering pointed opinions on causes and effects.
This will be a sad summer for too many dairy farms.What’s happening is every producer is waiting for his neighbors to blink first. And prices aren’t improving. The June Class I price came in at $10.08/cwt. The May Class III price was announced last week at $9.84; the May Class IV at $10.14.At the Elanco meetings, Elam couldn’t predict when milk prices will rebound to profitability. The best he could do: “We could see fourth quarter all-milk prices at $14/cwt,” he says. “But 300,000 cows (including the 100,000 CWT leaving this month) will have to go away by the end of the year.”So the question is two-fold: Who will blink? And when will they blink? One producer I sat with at lunch last Thursday made this prediction: “Things won’t turn around until everyone is convinced things won’t ever get any better.”My advice: If you can’t survive the next six months at your current mailbox price, don’t let what equity you have left erode further. The sooner you make that decision, the better off you and the rest of the industry will be. [More]