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Old 04-16-2009, 04:37 PM
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
Reputation: 1506


That is the prediction by the powers that be. The Gov and Creameries are telling dairy farmers to expect 1 in 4 to go under in the next few years as the price of milk plummets. As it stands now the price has dropped from a high of 27$ last year cwt to $9 dollars cwt today...

Part of this problem comes from milk being imported from Canada which is further driving the price down on the whole sale side. On the retail side the price of milk gas gone down 25 cents...nowhere near the three times lower price farmers have had to contend with. The powers that be hope by importing milk, and driving out dairy farmers, that the price of milk will stay low for the American consumer. At the same time the number of culled dairy cows will further drive down the price of beef which will keep the price of beef down for consumers. Its probably true but apparently no one has learned the lesson of being dependent on foreign sources of oil. I can't imagine what this mentality will do to our food supply 20 years down the road.

Today at the farm we had a guy stop in looking for our old planter. He is running about 75 head, runs the farm entirely by himself and is trying to hold onto what he's got. It's not easy. He is running 18 hour days, losing money left and right, and has a wife that is expecting a baby any day...He's hoping corn might save the year for him, but even then its risky...he can reduce his grain overhead, but there is the cost of equipment and the cost to plant corn and whatnot. We are just barely making it as a bigger farm, but we know the smaller farmers are really feeling the pinch right now and we feel bad for them.

This is truly sad and it's not just the farmer taking a hit. This morning on AgDay they reported that this week rural America has superceeded the Urban areas for job-loss. Rural areas are now hitting 3.4% unemployment rate while urban areas are at 2.5%.

Where is the bottom is all I want to know?
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:54 PM
Location: Commonwealth Of Virginia
624 posts, read 1,042,396 times
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I share your sentiments and have a neighbor that has small beef cattle farm, the spring fertilizer prices are dooming his operation, along with any thing chemical due to the sky high prices. I was talking with some one recently, about how people, in general, people living in rural areas are even becoming less self sufficient. The small farm has always taken a beating, but with the current economic,and inflationary mayhem, its like adding salt to the wound.

I read this I think last fall? , that the last dairy in Hawaii closed down, there is no milk being produced and sold there now, all imported. We are just so dependent on other sources for our food, quite different than when I grew up. And no, there are no jobs out here in the country on the farms.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:18 AM
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,536,988 times
Reputation: 9580
Hey, BT, what kind of Farmer's Co-Op or Union do you belong to?
I ask because in the late 70's and early 80's, when I was working on a farm in OH, the price of soybeans and corn had artificially dropped so low that our local farmers were in trouble. The Co-Op got everyone together, and we shipped our produce overseas to countries that NEEDED it ... or, took it to the coast and put it on a ship, took it out past the 5 mile limit, brought it back, and sold it as "imported" - and made a profit. We stayed in business, made our money, and waited til the gubbermint HAD to raise the prices. I understand both China and Russia are desperate as their crop season failed again this year...

I hate to say it but when the gubbermint is trying to put you out of business (so that the corporations can buy you up like they did then and are starting to do again here) the only way to stymie them is with creativity and innovation. The Co-Ops and Farmers' Unions need to get together now as they did then and not permit this to cause the demise of the small farmer... The gubbermint wants global trade and interaction? Give it to them - IN SPADES.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:47 AM
9,807 posts, read 13,683,788 times
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Yup, times are tough for the dairy farmer.

In 1982 ,when I started dairy farming with a huge debt, the govt set price was $13 per hwt.

No off farm income and it was a struggle but I paid for my own family's health plan .
It was a great policy and costed me only $126 per month.

Today we have NO govt price support program like we did in the 80's.
Good or bad ?

I don't know, but I know my son's base price of milk is $4 LESS than 27 years ago and he would be in trouble if his wife didn't have a good job that included health care.

Yup, many dairy farmers by me are wondering how long they can survive with "roller coaster" prices. ( the dips are way too severe)

The consumers run to the media and cry when milk prices go up, but have little sympathy when they dive to levels that are unprofitable for dairy farmers.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:51 PM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 73,635,099 times
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And yet the price of milk goes up in the supermarket....
*shakes head.

I wouldn't mind paying it if I knew some of the increase was making it back to the cow (farmer really) but we all know it's not.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:08 PM
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There like most other businesses but I haven;t seen any drop and its higher here than last year.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:14 PM
Location: The Woods
17,091 posts, read 22,609,680 times
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You can't fix stupid, you have to let them experience the consequences of their stupidity. In this case the stupidity is relying on foreign food sources. They still haven't learned from relying on foreign energy, nor even with food, the dangerous food from third world countries like Mexico. Unfortunately our farmers will be the victims of this stupidity and actions by the federal government bordering on treason.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:02 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,536,988 times
Reputation: 9580
Don't forget the melamine in the wheat gluten and baby milk... or the antifreeze in the cold medicines and the poisons in the toothpaste. Between those 'little ooopsies' and the FedGov's refusal to demand equal trade policies, it will all fall down. Only those who CAN produce here in the States will be left to produce - and the FedGov is betting on the corporate farmers and ranchers to save the farm economy. With the steady elimination of the small farmer, the corporates will be able to set the prices and the level of quality; not just locally but for the world. Sort of like Wal Mart coming in and wiping out the competition - then jacking up the prices because they are the ONLY choice. Farmers' Co-ops and unions need to get off the pot and get moving to prevent that now.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:28 AM
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,962,646 times
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It's called "Corperate Farming" They've been trying to step ion and take over the small Independent farmers every since we have a small Dairy farm back in the 60's.

There use to be Granges that fought for them. I was with one in Ca,.
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:34 AM
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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The way I see it though, the American Farm has more value to society than just delivering food to the national food chain. The farms here are typically the biggest tax payers in town, as well as keeping land open to give the views that the tourists love so much, in addition to having livestock that can be sold to the homesteaders, and even lending tractors and equipment for those that don't have it. Heck last winter when the snow was deep we used our loader to help clear the town roads clear of snow...and that just scratches the surface of what farms (small and large) does for a community.

What I am really wondering however, what is the real cost of dying farms and rural unemployment which allowing 25% of farms to die would contribute too. Think about it, without farms grain companies, tractor companies, livestock supply companies and direct-hire employees would all be out of jobs.

Here the crime rate is slowly beginning to creep upwards as people become more and more desperate for money...stealing being the biggest issue. Stress within marriages means more domestic abuse, more child abuse and with that comes addition jail time, additional police needed and of course paying for foster parenting and lots of counseling. All that is expensive which drives up the communities need for more tax revenue. But adding additional taxes to an already money-stressed community only makes matters worse.

I just cannot fathom how importing even more food from other countries is going to help this country in the long term. There may be some short term benefits for the American consumer, but as I am trying to show, ultimately preserving farms and rural jobs is going to be best for this country and certainly the small communities where these farms are.

Farms may smell, create noise and...oh my word...create methane gas from farting livestock...oh the humanity...but ultimately they may keep the peace. The way I see it, for that reason alone it makes fiscal sense to keep them.
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