Dairy Farmers Say Milk Prices Hurting Their Bottom Line

By Katie Wiedemann. Reporter

Delhi - When you buy milk at the grocery store, you probably pay about three dollars and 15 cents per gallon. But most of that does not go to dairy farmers. They say they only get about 90 cents a gallon for their milk, but it costs them about a dollar-40 to produce it.

Farmers say that's forcing some dairy farmers into debt.
Life on the farm is never easy for Larry Shover. But the past several months on his farm near Delhi have been an all out struggle.
Shover said, "eventually we went and borrowed more money at the bank and the trouble is that's hard to make back."

Shover says in his 40 years of farming, this is the worst financial struggle he's dealt with.

Shover said, "You can cut back on some costs, but you don't dare cut back long term things that will impact the cows health, we want to take care of our cows."

Shover and about 40 other local dairy farmers gathered around his dining room table with Congressman Bruce Braley.
The group says they desperately need help from the federal government.

Dairy Farmer, Ben Blachard said, "Feed usually will account for fifty percent of production costs so when corn prices go up and soy bean prices go up then all of a sudden your feed costs go up."

Farmers say the drop in milk prices puts a hurt on their workforce. Some farmers can't afford to pay skilled workers to milk their cows."

Blanchard said, "We have not laid anybody off but we've cut back their hours."

For Shover, he's says, no matter what, his work has to get done. And it's really hard to keep his chin up, when he's not making any money.

During today's meeting Congressman Braley told the farmers the House recently approved 290 million dollars in assistance for dairy farmers.
That bill still needs Senate approval and President Obama's signature.
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