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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Drought spells hard times for dairy industry

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From left, Philip, Adalyn, Deb and Phil Troost stand admid their herd of cattle at the Cottonwood Springs Dairy. (Tyler Green – Daily Press)
From left, Philip, Adalyn, Deb and Phil Troost stand admid their herd of cattle at the Cottonwood Springs Dairy. (Tyler Green – Daily Press)

By ASHLEY TRUJILLO
Daily Press Staff Writer

Even though the cost of a gallon of milk is high, currently in the ballpark of $3.50, it’s a tough time to be in the dairy industry.

An unrelenting drought has resulted in a short supply of hay, causing demand to skyrocket in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Those four states, along with portions of the eastern half of the country, make up the 26 percent of the contiguous United States qualified as a severe to extreme drought area by the National Climatic Data Center’s most recent drought report.

The high cost of hay isn’t the only thing affecting dairymen.

Since the early 1980s, the federal government has subsidized the production of ethanol fuel, which is made from corn. The Renewable Fuel Standard, established with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, mandated that a minimum of seven-and-a-half billion gallons of renewable fuels be consumed by Americans by 2012. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.

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