Tough Year for Dairy
2015 has not been a good year for agriculture in many places and that includes Washington State dairy farms. Krista Stauffer with Stauffer Dairy talks about some of the challenges so far this year.
STAUFFER: Mainly this year we started out and took a dramatic hit in prices compared to last year. And then we just kind of rolled on through right into the drought and now we have the Department of Ecology that we're dealing with so this year has been quite tough for Washington dairy farmers.
She says for newer dairy farmers, they weren't prepared.
STAUFFER: To be completely honest, we weren't exactly prepared for the drought. I don;t thinking of us were quite prepared for what we experienced. We just kind of got thrown in head first with the drought so what we did was, for example, it was kind of rainy and nice and we had an early spring so we were all thinking the weather was going to be great, we're going to have a good year. And then we realized that the early warmth, spring wasn't necessarily a good thing.
The drought left little grass for the cows and of course feed prices have been quite high.
STAUFFER: We're praying for a lot of snow and we're praying that we don't have to do what we did this year again, next year. Quite a few of our farmers that we purchase feed from, they're hurting. We try to buy all of our grain local from our local farmers. A lot of them, in regards to barley were at 50% or less of what they were anticipating so it's not just dairy farmers that are struggling.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.