California rains not enough help for dairy farmers

A dairy economist says recent rains in California have only been a partial relief to that state’s dairy producers.

Mark Stephenson

Mark Stephenson tells Brownfield parts of California have had deluges of water but, “A deluge of water is not the way you want to receive your water. You’d like it to be in continual, gentle rains but they haven’t managed to capture a large proportion of that water in their reservoirs.”

Stephenson says the reservoirs are catching some of the runoff, but most of the water is flowing back to the ocean.  He says that’s adding to California’s production challenges. “Feed costs are high. Labor is exceedingly high. Fertilizer and fuel are high, so a lot of the major cost segments for producing milk in California have been a challenge for them.”

After a week-long break, parts of California are expected to get more rain this week.

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