Depressed milk prices forcing more farmers out of operation

Image courtesy MGN Online.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Agribusiness experts say high production costs and low commodity prices are forcing more dairy farmers out of business in Iowa and other states.

Experts say the global flood of milk has depressed prices to about half what they were in 2014, and they still haven't hit all-time lows.

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa is the nation's 10th-largest milk producer, with 1,150 dairy farms, and it's lost about 80 dairy operations this year -- nearly 7 percent.

University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy policy analyst Mark Stephenson says U.S. production has continued to increase despite the large number of dairy cows being culled from herds. He says the U.S. needs a significant increase in exports to bring about a dramatic improvement in prices -- something he doesn't see "on the horizon."

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