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Local Farmers Fight Milk Crisis

Low demand and high production rates of milk and dairy product put farmers in a tight spot.

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 7:12 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2018 7:13 PM

(St.Joseph,MO) For Sean Cornelius, running a dairy farm is a way of life.
"I get up at 5 o'clock in the morning before the sun comes up and the first thing I get to do is go out and take care of the cows each morning and make sure that they've got feed in the bunk and their beds are clean," Cornelius said.

It's a life that comes with a fair amount of volatility.
"You know we swing with the law of supply and demand, globally and it just so happens that right now we've got a lot of milk on hand," Cornelius said.

"These girls are producing more than they ever have and so the production increases have outpaced the consumption,"Missouri Dairy Industry Alliance Executive Director Ron Grusenmeyer said.

Dairy farmers have a crisis on their hands as prices on milk decrease, a surplus of production is to blame. While the extra milk can easily be converted to other milk by-products, that doesn't always cover the bottom line.

“Our U.S. export markets aren't quite what we would like for them to be, so that nets in a big price downturn,” Cornelius said.

Political uncertainty is also adding concern for local dairy farmers due to recent trade disputes between the United States and Canada, a major exporter of milk and dairy products.

"So that (trade turbulence) puts pressure on domestic supply," Cornelius said.

However, farmers still maintain resilience.

"They (farmers) figure out a way to make things work," said Grusenmeyer

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Comfortable and mild conditions are set to continue today with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s under partly cloudy skies. Winds will be a bit breezy today with gusts up to 25 mph. A weak cold front will move through the area later this evening. Clouds will build into the area today as the front passes. A few isolated areas of light rain can’t be ruled out as the front moves through. Temperatures will remain in the 70s on Saturday under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will really start to warm up on Sunday with highs in the upper 80s. Above average temperatures will continue through the beginning of next week as sunny and dry weather remains.
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