Consumers ready to stand by dairy farmers if milk prices jump

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milk jug With the threat of sky-rocketing milk prices driving consumer and retails concerns, some milk fans are making it clear – they will be happy to pay the price if farmers actually benefit from it.

“If the farmer got the money, I wouldn’t mind.” Shopper Joy Brown said after completing a shopping trip at a Hannaford, N.Y., grocery store, where milk costs between $3.19 and $3.59 per gallon, depending on the brand.  

“But the farmer doesn’t get the money,” Brown stressed. “The middleman does.”

According to a report by The (N.Y.) Daily Star, consumers are responding to Senator Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., warning that milk prices could double in January if the House of Representatives don’t pass the farm bill soon. The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sunday.  Congress is expected to return to Capitol Hill after the November elections, but the pending 2012 Farm Bill, which contains a new and improved safety net for dairy farmers, remains in limbo.

Other grocery customers echoed Brown’s opinion, agreeing that if farmers were to get more, they would be willing to pay more for dairy products.

“I just think we need to help the farmers,” Stever Fournier told The Daily Star reporter. “Those are the guys who are hurting, not the middlemen and all those people. I’m more concerned with the farmer, and honestly I’d be willing to pay a little more for milk if it was going to the farmers and helping them.”

The price increase could make it more difficult for some customers to keep up with their household demands for milk, but none of those interviewed by The Daily Star expressed interested in milk alternatives. Read more from The Daily Star here.

Though some consumers may be willing to spend more for a gallon of milk, milk consumption per capita has been declining steadily since the 1970s, dropping from 29.8 gallons of per capita fluid milk sales to 20.04 gallons last year.  Consumption is close to falling below a key threshold. Click here to read more.

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Ed g    
new york  |  October, 02, 2012 at 05:08 PM

Senator Schumer is more concerned with the control that could be asserted over dairy farmers if the dairy security act is implemented than he is with consumers paying more for milk.

October, 03, 2012 at 08:54 AM

Leave milk go to parity pricing. All the feed sources already have. And just imagine how much of a boost this can have on the economy. Farmers spend when they have money. And they would be able to afford the costly EPA regulations.

lawton pa  |  October, 03, 2012 at 09:10 AM

Thank you to the consumer's who are willing to support us farmers!!!! Lord knows we aren't getting supported by our elected officials! Farmer's have been underpaid for their product for years, if our voted officials don't act soon, they will be forcing more and more farmers out of business, which in turn will make our country dependent on foreign countries for our dairy products. It is such a shame to see farmer's all around us selling out, and the ones who are still milking are digging a bigger hole of debt on a daily basis.

Batavia, NY  |  October, 03, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Are these people nuts??!! Milk will not go to $38.00/cwt. The demand will plummet regardless of what these few consumers say. Also our exports will dry up. Production will explode to such high levels that we will need to land spread most of the milk or else haul it to the ocean to dump it. I wished I was naive enough to think that a United Sates Senator was above flapping his jaws to instill fear in people. Too bad I am aware of the sad state of our political system, otherwise I would be happier.

B Sea    
PA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM

Matt and Tina have it right! Dairy farmers get hammered by high feed costs thanks to government mandated corn-based ethanol,and the dairy co-ops refuse to do their job and set a fair raw milk price that the milk processors/buyers should be paying to reflect the sky-high feed costs. The co-ops show their true colors. The NMPF co-ops push the screwy "Dairy Security Act" (DSA) in the outrageous "Farm" Bill. Consumers are already getting ripped off by the loss of their traditional, local dairy farmers and nowadays their milk has to be hauled in from great distances! Not "local," highly processed--not "FRESH." That is a big reason why consumers have backed off fluid milk consumption. Modern processed milk is not as flavorful as raw milk, and we know what NMPF thinks about giving consumers the right to consume healthy, safe, fresh, raw milk!!! The dairy checkoff is another rip-off joke! Supporting "DSA" in the Farm Bill, the dairy co-ops and the dairy processors want to continue to low ball the raw milk prices paid to dairy farmers and instead force the cash-strapped taxpayers to subsidize "margin insurance" in place of the other, more recent taxpayer rip-off called "MILC" payments. All these subsidies are factored onto the backs of the taxpayers so "industry" dairy co-operatives and processors can get the farmers' milk way below what it really costs to produce it on the farm! Why else do you think so many dairy farmers have gone out of business? The dairy farmers get much less of the consumer dairy dollar today than they did over 20 years ago for Pete's sake! The consumers like dairy farmers, and they know what is going on. Politicians like Schumer exploit both dairy farmers and consumers with such irresponsible rhetoric.

Pa  |  October, 03, 2012 at 06:43 PM

The processor is in bed with with the co-op. This is not good. The affair needs to end. The farmer is being cheated on.

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