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Milk prices up, but so are other costs to farmers

The price of milk has increased in the last few months, providing some much-needed relief for local dairy farmers. However, the extra revenue is not expected to stick around very long.

While the increase in price is helpful for local farmers, costs of other inputs needed to run a farm — such as fertilizer and fuel — also have increased.

Causes for the increase in milk prices are varied, the continued effect of the Russia/Ukraine War, inflation or other issues.

Also, with prices having a significant increase in the last few months, farmers are able to catch up on projects they might not have been able to do due to higher costs of inputs.

“Milk prices reached record highs the past few months,” said Paul Starceski of Sherman, “and that has been a blessing with record high feed, fuel and fertilizer prices as a result of the Ukrainian/Russian war. With that said, the extra income has encouraged spending on overdue upgrades, repairs and maintenance. Any extra money isn’t sitting in the checkbook for too long.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, things have become harder for farmers, and even though things are looking up, challenges can still be on the way, Richard Kimball of Dewittville said.

“Milk prices paid to farmers are up quite a lot in the past months,” Kimball said. “However, all of our input costs are up too. Some inputs are more than double, like fertilizer, fuel and grain by 30%. So right now we are able to cope. The problem will be if our price for milk falls before the price of inputs does, and that is going to be challenging.”

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