Dairy Farmers Face Headwinds
Thanks in large part to inflation, the price of milk has moved higher throughout the year, with the average price for a gallon of whole milk is up by nearly 60 cents, sitting at $4.41 in October.
Dan Wood, Executive Director of the Washington State Dairy Federation, says dairy farmers in his state and across the nation continue to struggle, thanks to input costs that are rising faster than the price of milk.
"With the costs being up, we're seeing a number of farms have gone out of business," said Woods. "And so, we're seeing more consolidation. So, despite the farm gate price being up, it's been a pretty tough year for a lot of dairy farmers."
Woods says weather hasn't helped dairy farmers this past year, noting he anticipates a feed supply issue into 2023, and energy costs are hurting farmers as well.
He adds the Biden Administration’s effort to move the U.S. off of fossil fuels as made the country dependent on overseas sources of energy.
"If we were producing our own energy in this nation, and less dependent on OPEC, or Venezuela, or Russia, then we would be more insulated from world events and world economic trends.”
Woods says energy independence is critical for all of the sectors of the American economy, including agriculture.