Kansas dairy farmers are milking recent market gains but is it too little too late?
The market isn’t where it was before the pandemic, but with the return of international trade and a new round of stimulus funds, the once struggling dairy farm industry could be on the rebound.
“We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and then March hit,” said dairy farmer MeLissa Drzymalla.
“We’ve been operating in our location for hundreds of years, and you’d hate to be the generation that stopped it just due to the current environment in the economy,” said dairy farmer Aaron Pauly.
These dairy farmers were worried about their farms when prices dropped at the start of the pandemic, but now, they said the industry is starting to look up.
“Our cost of production is almost $19 per hundredweight and it was down to $11 back in April and May, so now we’re starting to see about $17, so we’re getting closer,” said Drzymalla.
There are still issues to overcome.
Drzymalla said she still isn’t meeting her cost of production because the price of milk is low.
Dairy farmer Aaron Pauly said the same and with the expectation of a two-month delay in receiving the new stimulus funding, he worries about his farm.
“It just kind of puts a band aid on it and lets you keep operating another day,” said Pauly.
Both said the federal funding will bring much needed relief.
“Without them, there would be so much more of us going out of business,” said Drzymalla.
Both said they are optimistic dairy farmers will be able to make it out of the setbacks from the pandemic eventually.
“Some of us were able to hang on because of those stimulus funds from the government so we are thankful for that,” said Drzymalla.
This stimulus money isn’t just for dairy farmers. Corn, soybean, and even livestock farmers can apply.