Milk prices drop after years of profits for farmers

Published 10:42 am Thursday, March 19, 2015

NEW ULM — Milk prices have fallen by more than one-third since last fall, putting a crunch on dairy farmers after several profitable years.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports the downturn’s duration is unclear, but some Minnesota farmers are already losing money month-to-month. New Ulm dairy farmer Steve Hoffman says he lost more than $1,000 in January, after having what he called “by far the best year” he’s had.

Milk imports to China, a major buyer of late, are projected to go down by about $1 billion. The European Union is set to lift milk production caps next month, and University of Minnesota professor Marin Bozic says the likelihood of added supply is weighing on prices.

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Bozic says even a short-term drop in prices could make some farmers think of leaving the dairy business.