SACRAMENTO, CA - Dairy farmers gathered at the California State Capitol on Thursday, calling on Gov. Jerry Brown and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross for help.
"A lot of dairies in California, are going out of business because the costs are high, the income is low and the banks are not forgiving," dairy farmer Antoinette Duarte said.
While milk prices have a history of volatility, currently the big problem is the drought in the Midwest and what it is doing to the corn crop that dairy farmers use for feed. There is further pressure on corn because of the federal mandate that 40 percent of the crop must go to make ethanol fuel.
"The corn costs have exceeded far more than what we're getting paid for our milk," Duarte said.
"On the long term, we may need to restructure our milk prices," State Senator Anthony Cannella said. "I know (California Department of Food and Agriculture) Secretary Karen Ross is looking at that to make it more equitable with the national standards, but we may need a short term increase in the price of milk."
Meanwhile, the department of food and agriculture has added a new page to their website to explain how milk pricing works.
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org