Farm Bureau Asks Milk Marketing Board to Keep Premium in Place

Dairy farmers are asking for some more breathing room.   The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has told the Milk Marketing Board that severe weather has affected crops used to feed dairy cows. 

They want the current over order premium price to stay at $2.15 per hundredweight for the six months starting in January.  Mark O’Neill of the Farm Bureau says they’re also asking the board to maintain the current premium price add on for fuel costs.

 O’Neill says a wet spring, dry summer, then Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee affected the crops used for dairy feed and that’s expected to impact production costs for farmers.   Crops did not get planted on time in some areas.  When the hurricane and flooding hit, some of those crops were damaged and others could not be harvested because of the weather.

O’Neill says even though the price dairy farmers are receiving for milk is pretty good right now, the cost of producing it is at historically high levels. He says the devastating weather has made feed much more expensive and the situation is expected to continue into next year.

O’Neill says a lot of farmers say the weather is the worst they’ve experienced in their lifetime or in three or four decades. He says all of the weather factors have hurt the bottom line of those who produce feed stock to sell on the open market as well as dairy farmers who were trying to produce feed for their own livestock.

If the Milk Marketing Board approves the requests, consumers would see no price change for milk as a result of the action.