Dairy farmers grapple with economic fallout of COVID-19

Restaurants, schools no longer buying dairy products

· Mar 31, 2020 Tweet

Joey Reuteman/The Badger Herald

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continues to grow, Wisconsin’s dairy industry is struggling to combat the economic fallout of the virus as the prices of dairy products plummet.

The pandemic forced many restaurants and schools to close down. These closures have impacted the dairy industry as closed restaurants can no longer purchase farm-sourced cheeses. Similarly, schools, which consume 7% of all liquid milk, are no longer able to purchase it, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Evers announces plan to aid struggling dairy farmers during State of the State AddressGov. Tony Evers unveiled a new plan aimed at alleviating Wisconsin’s ongoing dairy farm foreclosure crisis during his State of Read…

The financial woes wrought on the dairy industry by COVID-19 come at an already trying time for small farm owners due to increasing competition with big agribusiness and lower dairy costs. In 2019, Wisconsin lost 10% of its dairy farms.

The National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO, Jim Mulhern, outlined the ramifications of the ongoing pandemic for the dairy industry, according to a Feedstuffs article. 

 “Over the last five weeks, the [U.S. Department of Agriculture’s] estimate of 2020 milk prices reflect a drop of about $2.85 billion at the farm level,” Mulhern said. “Further drops are possible as the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak spreads.”

Health care workers lean on community members for childcare as schools close across stateGov. Tony Evers recently ordered the state-wide closure of all K-12 public and private schools beginning March 17 due to Read…

As farmers continue to produce dairy, many are left with excess product. The National Milk Producers Federation is weighing its options to relieve the industry, including compensating the farmers for the milk they are unable to sell, according to a Feedstuffs article. 


This article was published Mar 31, 2020 at 7:02 pm and last updated Mar 31, 2020 at 9:10 pm


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