I'm not disagreeing with the findings of the study highlighted in the article "Minnesota's dairy sector at a crossroads," but I think they left a lot of important information out of the study.
1. Costs. Please compare the cost of labor to operate the dairies between Minnesota and South Dakota with the large difference in minimum wage, overtime laws and higher taxes in Minnesota. All these components definitely give the South Dakota producer an advantage.
2. Attitude. This one is hard to explain. Wisconsin has been helping its dairy farmers for over 20 years with programs like "Dairy 2020" program (now called Grow Wisconsin 30 x 20). South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Kansas have been advertising for dairy farmers and processors to come to their states for years. Minnesota has done little to nothing until the last few years.
I believe the business climate in Minnesota needs to improve if we are going to keep up with the growth in dairy within neighboring states.
Mark Clark, Minnesota
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
February 22, 2016