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2020 exceptional for some dairy farmers all things considered

A West Michigan dairy farmer says 2020’s growing season has been exceptional compared to the last few.

Kent Folkema tells Brownfield a drier spring and timely rains in his region produced great quality silage.

“We got little better yields and we got in our fields without pulling trucks and dump wagons so the harvest went very well.”

Harvest for Folkema wrapped up at the beginning of October but he says a fifth cutting of alfalfa is still possible.

Folkema says he’s also thankful for the Paycheck Protection Program and direct payments this year which came right when they needed it during the pandemic.

“We could pay the employees even when the milk prices were very low in April, May, and June, and as they come up a little higher, we’re thankful that some of the other money can come in and pay for just some of the general expenses.”

He says hopefully future payments aren’t needed and is also excited for improved prices with the opening of the new cheese and whey plant in the state last week.

Folkema milk about 1,400 cows in Fremont.

Brownfield interviewed Folkema about the recent MWC plant opening and this year’s harvest.

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