Central New York dairy farms continue to face potentially tough road ahead after pandemic


Source: CNY Central

It had to be dumped and given away for free in 2020, now as milk prices go up New York State’s dairy farmers are still facing a potentially tough road ahead.

The pandemic made 2020 a rough year for many dairy farmers.

Stephen Palladino from Walnut Ridge Dairy, LLC in Lansing said, “Economically, things just started heading downhill for us.”

Milk is sold in 100 lb units, according to the USDA in 2019.

The price of 100 lbs of milk for cheese was $16.27 a year later. That price plummeted to $12.40.

“It’s not fun I’ll tell you that, it becomes a struggle, you know when your price drops you need to become more creative,” said Palladino.

So far this year, the price of milk has been on the rise.

In the most recent USDA report, the price of milk for cheese is up to $18.96 per 100 lbs, but dairies are not out of the woods just yet.

The cost to feed these cows is going up too.

Joel Riehlman from Venture Farms in Layfette said, “Cornmeal is a product we use every day, we use a lot of cornmeal, and that has almost doubled in price, and feed prices are our number one expenditure on a dairy farm.”

The farmers, CNY Central spoke with Friday said they are also struggling with things like staffing, but they said this shouldn’t impact your ability to grab a gallon of milk at the grocery store.

“I’m optimistic to say that we are hopeful the entire country can have a great season and we can continue to build up inventories,” said Riehlman.

Milk prices are back up to more than $4 per 100 lbs meaning it’s an increase of 5 cents per gallon of milk.