Survival Mode

brown white cows 300x200 Survival Mode

More bad news for America’s dairy farms and cattle, from Agri-View:

Manufacturers remain concerned over future milk supply. High feed prices and limited supply is expected to result in heavy culling. Most cattle from foreclosures or those throwing in the towel are going to slaughter. Many farms are not interested in purchasing more mouths to feed at this time. Many farms are moving into survival mode. July dairy cattle slaughter totaled 239,000 head. This was an increase of 10,000 head from June and 32,000 head more than a year earlier. This pattern is expected to continue for some time with numbers increasing as the rest of the year progresses. Total year-to-date slaughter is 1.762 million head. This is 97,000 more than the same period of the time last year.

The United States Department of Agriculture, meanwhile, has announced a two-month extension of emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres, intending to offer more forage and feed to farmers struggling from the effects of the drought. According the numbers, this extension is well-needed: “The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that 63 percent of the nation’s hay acreage is in an area experiencing drought, while approximately 72 percent of the nation’s cattle acreage is in an area experiencing drought.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced that 147 additional counties in 14 states have been designated natural disaster areas.

Despite all the gloom this summer, some small shafts of sunlight have broken through. Consider the seven Maryland dairy farmers who have developed a new source of income by opening ice cream shops on their farms. According to NPR, they have banded together to form Maryland’s “Best Ice Cream Trail,” which holds the title of America’s first farm-based ice cream trail. It may not be a solution for the entire industry but it certainly testifies to the enterprising spirit of America’s dairy farmers. Cheese lovers, support your local dairy farm! Skip the processed cheese – purchase artisan cheeses sourced from the nation’s local farms. Help them break out of survival mode into one of continuing prosperity.

Spread the curd!
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