Dairies See Growth

Magic Valley


By J. Michaels

In August, Idaho dairies produced more than a billion pounds of milk – almost eight percent more than the year before.
The Gem state also has more than half a million dairy cows, which is up four thousand cows from July – and twenty five thousand from a year ago.
The Executive Director for the Idaho Dairymen’s Association “Take a look at that equity that was lost and you look at the weather we've had, really cool weather, which is advantageous to milk production, the number of heifers available to come into operations, and the numbers are legitimate.”

Naerebout says the last three months of this year could be profitable for dairy producers.
He says but even with milk at $4 or $5 dollars more a hundredweight than it was a year ago – many dairy farmers are either losing a small amount of money or just barely breaking even – with just a few of them actually making a profit.
“Since 2009, we've lost about half a billion dollars' worth of equity just in Idaho. That reflects in the local community. There's lots of dollars being spent in the local community, so it has an impact on all of us.”

Naerebout says it will be tough to make a profit during the first half of next year – and that right now bankers need to have patience with their borrowers in the dairy business.
He says while almost 15 percent of the increase in demand for milk right now has come from international exports, he says that market is here today, and gone tomorrow.
“Having a true recovery to where domestic demand starts increasing is critical for our industry. We can't solely rely on the international markets.”

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