Dairy farmers in Canada are complaining that they can’t afford to feed their cows, and are now asking for an end to a decades-long milk price war.
The dairy industry is demanding an end of the current dairy price war, which they claim is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year in lost production.
“We are in a very difficult economic time right now,” said John Smith, a dairy farmer from Fort McMurray, Alta., who says his cows are now on a diet of bread crumbs and corn bread.
“It’s very expensive for me to produce milk right now.
If we don’t get that price down, it will go up and there will be less milk available.”
Dairy farmers say the cost of feed has increased since the 1980s, when the price was only $2.75 a kilogram.
Today, the cost ranges from $1.65 to $3.00 per kilogram, according to Smith.
“We need an end.
We need an immediate end.”
The Dairy Farmers of Canada says the price war has driven farmers out of the industry, which means they have less money to buy more feed.
Smith said that while the industry can afford to pay its farmers to work, the prices are not high enough to make it worthwhile.
He’s calling for an immediate halt to the current price war and for the government to implement a dairy price stabilization fund.
Smith has received a letter from the industry in which it says the prices will go back up in the coming weeks and that the industry will not be allowed to feed its cows with bread crumb.
“The prices will be higher than what they were in the 1980’s, which will lead to higher production costs,” the letter reads.
“This is not good for the dairy industry, for farmers and for consumers.
If there is no price stabilization, we will see even more people leaving the industry.”
The dairy business has struggled in the face of a rising cost of milk in recent years.
Prices are rising faster than inflation and are set to increase further this year.
The federal government says dairy farmers have to pay their farmers’ share of the costs, which is often much higher than the $5.60 a kilo farmers pay for milk.
The letter from Dairy Farmers Canada says farmers need to be able to feed the animals at a price that reflects the cost, and that price stabilization will help farmers stay competitive.
“Dairy milk production is the lifeblood of our industry and it is imperative that we maintain the current levels of production and meet our commitments to the producers, consumers and taxpayers,” the group said.