Posted 11/18/2023 20:47 (#10487477 - in reply to #10487406) Subject: RE: Why is dairy farming so appealing to some folks?
Ford 401 - 11/18/2023 19:41
Here in the US grain and beef farmers will always be king. They're the only farm industries that can withhold product until prices normalize, then sell. They also have the greatest influence in politics with lobbyist branches that hold a great deal of power. -see mandatory ethanol content fuels
Dairy farmers produce a perishable product. We can't fill our silos and hedge or forward contract near peak prices. Because of that, and the ability to call anything "milk," there will eventually be 10 mega dairies in the US covering the needs of the nation.
This idea works until disease or malicious entities step in.
I think the continual decline of dairy and farming in general is inevitable. Vertical integration will take hold.
You're right about the cause of the problem. The future you describe is the easiest to imagine, but not inevitable. It will take sustained political changes:
- Milk quotas (does NOT have to be hard caps, just a market incentive to produce less)
- Expensive labor (mine is cheaper than anybody I can hire. Illegal immigration fuels large dairies)
- Processors bear the cost of trucking milk further when plants are closed, government and farmers contribute to new plants opening
- Break up big co-ops and distributors
- Enforce Robinson-Pattman and update Capper-Volstead to force independent processors to not hide from anti-trust action and pay all producers fairly
That's a start, I've been bending my congressman ear about this. It will take decades to fix the problems, but it is possible.