Skip to main content

Dropping milk prices good news? Not for Minnesota's dairy farmers


Things haven't been easy for Minnesota's farmers recently, with a disappointing 2014 corn harvest and, now, dropping milk prices.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a "significant" decline in dairy product prices, Capital Press reports. The agricultural news site says they aren't expected to begin inching up again until the early 2020s.

It might sound like good news if you enjoy a bowl of cereal every morning, but it could have serious consequences for those who make their living in the dairy industry, and not just here in Minnesota.

According to the Wall Street Journal, dairy farmers across the world are now facing lower profit margins, reduced herd sizes, and "price wars" over their products.

So what's happening out there? According to MPR News, China is cutting back on milk imports by about $1 billion, and the European Union is removing a production cap that previously limited the output of Europe's dairy farmers, leading to increased supply and competition.

The station says the global changes are already showing ripple effects here in Minnesota, with one dairy farmer in New Ulm reporting he's had to cut back on several expenditures (including farm equipment and feed) to make up for a profit shortfall.

MPR also notes things will be tougher on smaller, independent farmers, as big farms have proportionately lower production costs thanks to their massive output.

Next Up

940 Margaret St, St Paul, MN 55106, United States - May 2019 (1)

4-year-old girl struck by hit-and-run driver in St. Paul

The girl was struck by the driver around 5 p.m. Monday.

Minneapolis police

Baby found safe inside car that was stolen in south Minneapolis

The incident happened near 32nd Street and Chicago Avenue around 7 p.m.

Anthony Edwards

Ant puts on a show to help Timberwolves beat Pacers

A third-quarter surge gave the Timberwolves their seventh win in their past eight games.

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.