MADISON — The
combination of record-high milk prices and record-low feed costs
are creating profits for some Wisconsin dairy farmers that are six
times higher than previous good years, according to dairy experts.
a dairy specialist for Vita Plus, a Madison-based livestock feed
company, has calculated annual profits for the state's dairy
farmers based on their financial records and conversations with
agribusiness consultants. Some farms that milk the state average
of 117 cows will see profits totaling more than $200,000,
Greenfield said. Those that milk 500 cows will make $1 million,
while 2,500-cow dairy farms will clear $5 million, he said.
for a lot of farmers, this will be the best year they will ever
have," Greenfield said.
hope this year will allow them to bounce back from 2009, when milk
prices collapsed and they were forced to accumulate debt, and
prepare for a potentially similar scenario in 2015, the Wisconsin
State Journal (http://bit.ly/11pP9UT
going to be a big drop, nobody is trying to whitewash that,"
said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
dairy farmers can expect record profits, most are preparing for
the worst because of the projections for next year, farmer John
no frivolous spenders among dairy farmers anymore because they all
lost their farms," said Judd, who owns a 75-cow dairy farm in
Primrose, located in southwest Dane County.
Class III milk
prices, which reached an average high of $22.50 to $22.60 per
hundredweight this month, are expected to drop to $17.15 to $18.05
by next November due to high milk production and slowed demand
because of shrinking export sales, according to a World
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
But dairy farmers
should be able to survive the estimated price drop of 22 percent,
according to Greenfield, since feed, fertilizer and fuel costs are
expected to decline or at least stay the same.