Monday, February 16, 2009

Dairy Cows Head for Slaughter as Milk Prices Sour

By Tracie Cone of the Associated Press.

TURLOCK, Calif. - Hundreds of thousands of America's dairy cows are being turned into hamburgers because milk prices have dropped so low that farmers can no longer afford to feed the animals.
Ray Souza, owner of Mel-Delin Dairy in Turlock, Calif., stands with a few of his Holstein cows on Jan. 10, 2009. As of Feb. 2, the price farmers receive for a gallon of milk has been 80 cents a gallon, less than half the $1.65 a gallon the California Department of Food and Agriculture estimates it costs to produce. 'I don't ever remember being able to produce milk at that price,' said dairyman Souza, who got into the business in 1963. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Iversen) Dairy farmers say they have little choice but to sell part of their herds for slaughter because they face a perfect storm of destructive economic forces. At home, feed prices are rising and cash-strapped consumers are eating out less often. Abroad, the global recession has cut into demand for butter and cheese exported from the U.S.
Read entire un-happy cow story here.

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