Small dairy farmers in the Northeast and Wisconsin say a tough year has been made worse by Congress’ failure to pass a new farm bill before the old one expired.
Many dairy farms were already struggling with low milk prices and high fuel and feed costs in the first part of the year. Then the summer drought helped push the price of hay and feed even higher.
In Vermont, the end of the Milk Income Loss Contract is a major cause of concern. The contract paid dairy farmers when milk prices fell below a certain level.
Myles Goodrich, of Molly Brook Farm in West Danville, says the cost of feeding his family’s 120 head herd is $4,000 a month more than it was a year ago.