Efforts to grow the dairy industry along the Interstate 29 corridor of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are starting to show results.
University of Minnesota dairy economist Marin Bozic says the I-29 corridor will need to add another 100-thousand dairy cows over the next two years to meet the growing demand from milk processors in the region.
“The plants are coming,” says Bozic. “We see Bel Brands building right now—they’re building a new plant in Brookings, South Dakota. And Agropur has announced that they are going to expand their plant in Hull, Iowa—they will double its capacity.
“It’a a great dairy development opportunity for farmers in this region, who have a chance to expand and find a market for their milk,” he says.
Deann Bylsma with the Agropur cheese and whey plant at Hull, Iowa says their expansion will require another 45-thousand cows within a 100 mile radius of their plant.
“We are not looking at just ‘stealing’ milk from other dairy processing facilities—we need to grow milk,” Bylsma says. “So that means existing dairies need to grow, or we need to put in satellite dairies, or we need to put in new dairies somewhere in our 100 mile radius, so that we get the added milk that we need.”
Bylsma says the expansion will double the current capacity of the Hull plant to over five million pounds of milk daily. She says production is targeted for 2015 pending the development of milk in their area.
Brownfield talked with Bozic and Bylsma at the recent Nebraska Dairy Convention in Norfolk.
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