Ag engineer sees no slowing of expansion

High input costs and interest rates have apparently not slowed the rate of expansion for dairy farms.

Dale Mitte with MSA Engineering tells Brownfield 2023 has been a busy year for new buildings, feed storage, and manure handling construction. “It seems like since January and early February, there’s been just an increase in guys that want to expand or make a new facility.”

Mitte says the expansion is most noticeable on dairy farms, even with low milk prices. “The guys that are milking 50 cows want to go to 75. The guys that are milking 100 want to go to 200. The guys that are at 200 want to go to 500. The guys that are at one-thousand want to go to twenty-five hundred and it’s across the board.”

And he’s wondering how that pencils out for producers. “Since early this year, concrete prices have gone up about 20 dollars a yard. The steel for what I use out in the concrete manure pit, that has gone up, I don’t even know how much, probably 50-60 percent.”

Mitte says many farmers are also looking at upgrading manure storage facilities to accommodate expansion or to meet new regulations.

Mitte spoke to Brownfield during Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Baraboo.

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