Dairy Farmers Slaughtering Cows in Efforts to Boost Milk Prices

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By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - A milk glut has dairy farmers across the U.S. killing hundreds of thousands of cows to try to reduce the milk supply and boost prices.

More than 225,000 cows have been killed this year through a program run by the National Milk Producers Federation. It pays farmers going out of business to slaughter their cows, rather than sell them to someone else. Agriculture experts say another 55,000 cows are being killed each week outside the program.

Milk processors started paying farmers less after the global recession reduced demand for milk, especially overseas. Experts say the slaughter has helped boost the prices some, but they still lag behind the cost of production.

They also say grocery store prices will remain low because supply still exceeds demand.

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