KIMT NEWS 3 – If you’re a milk drinker, you may have noticed some higher prices at the grocery store.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gallon of fortified whole milk cost $3.69 last month. That’s a 7.5% increase from a year ago.
Those prices, of course, vary depending on what type of milk you buy, but analysts are blaming China and other Southeast Asian and Latin American countries for the high demand and higher prices.
Local dairy farmer, Charles Medlang says the industry is very cyclical, meaning there are times when prices are higher for consumers and not for producers, and vice-versa.
Medlang produces high quality milk for a cheese plant in Minnesota, so their milk has higher protein and fat content. They also get paid more per pound.
While milk prices are indeed on the rise, it’s something most farms are fine adjusting to.
Medlang said, “As the price goes up, a lot of these dairy’s are flexible enough to where they can add more cows. Price gets very profitable and they’ll add cows, then 6 months down the road, we’re back at the low-cost of production or at least close to it, but we can fluctuate our herd sizes quite easily in some cases.”
Medlang also says prices could be on the rise because forage, such as corn and soybeans are in short supply, which in turn makes feed costs go up.
When you’re trying to feed more than a thousand cows, that isn’t cheap.