High energy costs, low-milk prices and USDA’s unresponsiveness to an industry request to change manufacturing make allowances has led Agri-Mark cooperative to turn to its producer members for financial support. And for dairy producers, that deduct on their milk check is coming at a time when they can least afford it.

According to an article in the Burlington Free Press, since last fall Agri-Mark has instituted two 30-cent per hundredweight charges on its producer members to help stem the losses and allow the co-op to weather this down turn. This has some producer members looking for some place else to buy their milk.

This is in sharp contrast to 2003 when milk prices were high and the co-op earned a record $11.4 million. That year all of the farmer-owners of the cooperative received checks in the mail — the largest of which was $80,000.

To read the full article from the Burlington Free Press, go to:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060721/NEWS01/607210316/1009&theme

BurlingtonFree Press