Overproduction problem must be managed

posted May 1, 2017 9:16 a.m. (CDT)
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To the editor:

I am writing this letter because we are one of the producers affected by Grassland’s decision to drop some producers as of May 1. We are a third-generation dairy farm and I have been milking cows for over 50 years. During this time I have seen many changes take place in the dairy industry. It is no secret that the root of the problem that we face today is overproduction. We as producers and the processors must all work together to address this problem, as we are all in it together.

I would like to suggest an idea for all to consider, whether you are a producer or processor. I will use 95 percent as an example for speaking purposes. This percentage would vary to adjust to conditions. If all processors would agree to take only 95 percent of all producers’ production of the past year in the coming year, this would reduce overproduction by 5 percent. This would also allow a producer a full year to lower his production in an organized manner to meet his quota.

A plan like this would treat all producers equally whether milking 50 or 1,500 cows. If a farmer were to quit milking, then his production could be allotted to a young person wishing to enter the dairy business. I’m sure a plan like this would have a positive effect on milk prices.

I realize this is a very simple proposal to a very complex industry. But if nothing is done to control overproduction then it will be business as usual with more farmers being forced out of business. I would hope that all involved in the dairy business, whether a producer or processor, would give this some thought or maybe come up with a better idea.

I thank you for taking time to read this letter.

Carl Werner

Beaver Dam

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