Even though the California drought does not stretch up into Oregon and Washington it is having an impact on organic dairy producers in the Pacific Northwest. Washington and Oregon do not raise quite enough organic hay to meet demand, organic dairy producers are finding they have to bid against California organic dairy farmers for the hay. Dairy Market News reports organic hay is getting up to $350 a ton, organic feed corn is near $750 per ton.
As a result, Washington and Oregaon producers are finding that like California producers, the price they get for organic milk is just not enough to cover those feed prices. DMN says there are currently about 40 organic dairy producers in Washington, 1 recently converted to conventional, another is planning to sell-out and 2 more say they will be out of organic production by fall. Adding to the temptation, organic cows going to slaughter are bringing up to $1.96 a pound not to mention what conventional herds will pay for milking cows. There are indications larger organic dairies in Texas and other parts of the south are looking to expand to pick-up the slack.