After reading the Hoard’s Dairyman Intel “Feed-cost adjusters get a facelift,” I must share this sarcastic comment — I’m glad USDA believes farmers are make so much money. Hard to figure why the number of dairies that will close their door this year keeps accelerating at a faster rate. The local Cargill plant processed 45,000 more cull dairy cows than last year. Why don’t farmers keep milking these cows if costs have been lowered by USDA?
Simply put, I no longer trust USDA numbers.
The ones for the MPP-Dairy (Margin Protection Program for Dairy) have been wrong for years. Instead of fixing the program, they now put a notice on the front page of the website. They blame it on a university economist’s inability to use Excel spreadsheets.
In addition, all the extension staff say milk more cows to cut cost per hundredweight when prices are low. When prices are high, that's a great incentive. Our co-op will lose 100 farms this year and handle 5 percent more milk.
Bigger and fewer farms is the trend. The small farms under 750 will need to find a niche market or get out.
Times are changing. Government is not on your side. New York state just notified us that we need a sexual harassment policy in place by morning that follows the guidelines that aren’t on their website yet. For years, our county government has required that if you want to speak at a board meeting, you need to request to speak on a topic on the agenda before the agenda is posted.
I quit. Give me my food stamps, healthcare, and don’t block the view of my television.— David Peck, New York