The farmer relations manager for Midwest Dairy, Mitch Schulte says that’s because demand from the food service industry and from schools has dwindled after they were shut down by the coronavirus outbreak. But on the other hand, Schulte says retail customers are purchasing more milk.
“I think we’ve seen a pretty big surge in buying of dairy products in the beginning and as people stock up, that surge is slowly going down,” according to Schulte, “just know that our dairy farmers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they continue to produce milk every day. We do have a readily available supply of dairy products.”
Schulte says the challenge the industry is facing is oversupply — and that has producers looking for a home for their products
“These processors and co-ops are evaluating on a case by case scenario. As they deal with the disruption in the supply chain, they’ll make the decision on whether they may have periodically dispose of milk to adjust that supply or not,” Schulte says.
Schulte says on the positive side, retail demand for milk, cheese, butter and ice cream is up. Industry estimates say sales are as much as 60% higher than this same period last year.
(By Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio/Photo from Midwest Dairy)