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US milk prices plunge, farmers suffer amid COVID-19 pandemic

Plunging milk prices and less demand make Josh Salentine a bit uneasy.

“So basically how it’s affecting us is the markets,” he said. He’s a dairy farmer in Luxemburg.

He says farmers like himself depend on selling milk and cheese to schools and restaurants.

With both now closed, “that means no cheese, no sour cream, no fluid milk on the tables and the dairy markets have reflected that these last three days,” he explained.

But that’s not the case for all farmers. It depends on what kind of farming you do. So even though the situation might be bleak for farmers like Salentine, the general manager of a local hydroponics farm says coronavirus spread doesn’t impact his business as much.

“Today we harvested our first cutting of lettuce for the season,” said Darren Vollmar at Ledgeview Gardens.

Like dairy farmers, some fruits and vegetables he grows are sold to schools and restaurants.

Unlike dairy farmers, Vollmar says there’s one thing he isn’t seeing.

“Our products probably aren’t going to find the same kind of price plunge as dairy has been feeling and effected by so that’s a positive point for us,” said Vollmar. “But if our customers can’t get to us then we’re going to be in the same situation. So hopefully we’ll be able to go out into those areas and be in public and sell.”

Although just about everyone is in some way impacted by COVID-19, that impact looks different depending on what you do.

“Just get the economy rolling again,” Salentine hopes.

“We’re still growing as a normal season,” said Vollmar.


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