Local dairy operations hit by drops in US and export markets and from the sky
CHATHAM–Dairy farming in Columbia County is in the midst of what Eric Ooms, co-owner of the 400-cow Oomsdale Farm here, calls “a perfect storm.” And while politicians from Albany to Washington propose a raft of remedies, the situation doesn’t look like it will improve any time soon.
The first factor is the current price farmers receive for fluid milk–$12.15 per hundredweight for June milk, Mr. Ooms . That’s the lowest it’s been in about 20 years and a 39% decrease in just one year. The website for the state’s senior U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer (D), says that for the approximately 40 county dairy farms milking an average of 175 cows each, the milk price translates to a loss of about $693,000 a month.