WNY dairy farms are in crisis as they lose money

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 18:25:47-04

WNY dairy farmers are in crisis as the low price of milk is forcing them to lose money everyday. The situation is so serious that there are great concerns about depression and suicide among farmers - who are normally private about their struggles.

People are not drinking as much milk as they use to.  In addition, dairy farmers blame Europe and Canada for flooding the market with subsidized, below-cost product.

"And that is really holding down our price because someone who is sitting in the United States, who is buyer of milk, is not going to overpay when there is such an excess," explained Dustin Bliss, who own Bliss Dairy Company in Delevan (Cattaraugus County).

Milk is sold in 100-pound units (abbreviated Cwt).  In 2014, the price was $24/Cwt.  It has now dropped to around $15/Cwt which is less than the average cost to produce it.

"A fifty cow farm is losing about $5,000 per month.  A farm like mine with 500 cows is losing around $50,000 every month," added Dustin Bliss.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly visited the Bliss Dairy Company to learn more.