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Grassland Dairy terminates milk contracts

Nearly 75 Wisconsin dairy farmers are losing their milk buyer next month.

Greenwood, Wisconsin-based Grassland Dairy sent letters to several producers saying they will no longer pick up their milk.  Grassland President Trevor Wuethrich tells Brownfield they lost a lot of ultra-filtered milk business in Canada because of Canadian trade policies, and they simply cannot process more milk on their dryers.  Wuethrich says they’ve been struggling with processing about a million pounds of milk every day.

Other dairy processors might not be able to take the extra milk.  Jerry Becker from Dairy State Cheese in Rudolph, Wisconsin tells Brownfield he couldn’t take another supplier now unless someone else quit milking cows.  He says they are close to capacity and their existing producers are up 30-thousand pounds of milk per day.

Grassland Dairy makes butter, ultra-filtered milk, powdered milk, and dry ingredients.

The letter below was received by several dairy producers.

Grassland letter to producers

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  • Just to clarify – the Canadian government has not “shut off” anything. As some here would know, Canada has a closed dairy market that is managed with on farm quota and formula price setting. The products Grassland is exporting to Canada are filtered milk derivatives that enter through a loophole in the legislation that keeps our markets closed to imports. Canadian dairy farmers have negotiated with the processors that were importing the milk products and have been able to supply the the processors with domestic Canadian milk to offset the imports.

    Milk has never been part of “free trade” between the USA and Canada, other than loopholes savvy processors discover and exploit now and then. No government meddling at all. We (Canadian dairy farmers) are going to supply our own market with product at a price that the American processors can’t compete at. Of course transportation distances and some unique challenges with these filtered milk products are also a large factor.

  • Just to clarify – the Canadian government has not “shut off” anything. As some here would know, Canada has a closed dairy market that is managed with on farm quota and formula price setting. The products Grassland is exporting to Canada are filtered milk derivatives that enter through a loophole in the legislation that keeps our markets closed to imports. Canadian dairy farmers have negotiated with the processors that were importing the milk products and have been able to supply the the processors with domestic Canadian milk to offset the imports.

    Milk has never been part of “free trade” between the USA and Canada, other than loopholes savvy processors discover and exploit now and then. No government meddling at all. We (Canadian dairy farmers) are going to supply our own market with product at a price that the American processors can’t compete at. Of course transportation distances and some unique challenges with these filtered milk products are also a large factor.

  • Dairy producers own this problem. They expect their milk buyer to haul away process and pay them for every pound of milk they produce. It so sad a few farmers have to suffer so the rest of us can have a market. I would urge dairy plants that have to much milk to implement a reduction of milk supply from every producer so just a few don”t have to bear the burden.I am a member of Dairy Pricing Association witch is an organization who is removing surplus dairy products and donating it for humanitarian use. I hope dairy producers wake up soon and start working with their milk buyer and possibly an organization like Dairy Pricing. Farmers please remember when you get your termination letter it is to late for you to do anything.

  • Supply management occurs one way or another…whether by everyone cutting back a little or a few getting cut out completely. Farmers need to make this decision, not processors.

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