A 1999 survey of nearly 500 dairy producers across the country indicates that their greatest concern lies in cost of production, followed by milk price structure and manure (or nutrient) management. The chart below shows how producers responded to the question, "How significant do you believe the following issues will be to you and your dairy operation in the next five years?"

Cost of production 88 %
Milk price structure 78 %
Manure/waste management 76 %
Environmental concerns 74 %
Animal welfare 70 %
Cost of facilities/land 68 %
Quality assurances 65 %
Declining dairy consumption 63 %
On-farm food safety 52 %
Labeling/regulator compliance 50 %

Source: "Dairy Veterinary Trends,"
Vance Research Services, 1999.