June is dairy month in the U.S. – a tradition that began in 1937.
“Most cows at that time were on pasture and of course in the spring lots of rain, lots of pasture and cows produced lots of milk. And, we discovered that we had lots of milk. And, as a result to try to increase consumption of the milk and maintain better prices for milk, June was decided as dairy month to try to increase consumption of dairy products,” says Mike Hutjens, animal science professor emeritus with the University of Illinois.
While prices are low for consumers right now – milk at $2.50 a gallon in certain markets – he says dairy producers are again going through a downturn.
Hutjens says it’s, “Pretty tough times right now here in the U.S. for dairy producers – I mean -in most cases they’re producing below break-even.”
After recovering last year from three very tough years – he says higher amounts of milk coupled with high input prices and increased production in New Zealand and Australia have contributed to the current struggles for dairy producers.
Hutjens tells Brownfield Ag News prices paid to dairy farmers have dropped 20-percent at the farm gate.