Declining milk prices are making business tough for dairy farmers. A handful of Iowa dairy farmers staged a protest at the statehouse Tuesday.
Katie Stahl and her husband maintain a herd of 80 dairy cows near Cascade and she says milk prices have fallen about 50 percent since last summer. "Feed prices have stayed the same, so it’s real easy to see where you can’t make money when your input costs are the same and your milk check has decreased in half," Stahl says.
Stahl and the other protesters want congress to raise price supports for milk and limit imports of milk products. "Everything from the price of fuel, to electricity, to corn to feed the cows, to hay prices, to land — everything has gone up so much and the milk check has stayed the same or decreased," Stahl says.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack recently promised to speed up federal payments to dairy farmers and pledged to have the federal government buy more dairy products.
Iowa currently ranks 12th among the 50 states in milk production, but fourth in terms of ice cream production and seventh in the amount of cheese made here.