Declining Milk Prices Challenge Farmers

SHERRILL, IA – The decline in milk prices has many dairy farmers making some tough decisions.

One major factor is that there is an increase in overall milk supply which, in turn, lowers the market prices.

Jim Schmitt is using technology to help him make better decisions for his herd of 150 milking cows.

Effective decision making is especially important in difficult times like these.


“If you’re a dairy farmer, everybody’s hurt,” said Schmitt.

Since a peak in 2014, the milk prices have steadily dropped off and remained consistently low.

That’s something Wayne Kramer, Dubuque County Farm Bureau Treasurer, knows all too well.

Kramer said, “We’re getting paid like 14-15 dollars a hundred. Our price of production is probably 16-17 dollars a hundred, so we’re running into a negative.”

All farmers are looking for ways to skim costs and improve production in order to keep their dairies running.

Schmitt shifted to a robotic milking just two years ago, and though he’s seen the benefits of the new technology, the low milk prices have him hoping for the day when his investment will pay off.

“We knew going into this that dairy farming has been cycles in the past and we’ve had highs and lows,” remarked Schmitt, “It just seems like this low has been hanging on longer.”


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Kelly is a junior at Loras College majoring in Media Studies and minoring in Public Relations and Business. Kelly is the Executive Producer for LCTV News and served as the Associate Producer for three semesters prior. Kelly is currently a Marketing Intern at Cartegraph.

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