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Dairy farmers see prices surge

The dairy industry is rebounding. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says after a five-year slump in milk prices, there has been a turnaround in recent months. We spent time on the farm to find out how farms are faring in times of uncertainty.

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 10:53 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 5:22 AM

BYRON, Minn. - The dairy industry is rebounding. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says after a five-year slump in milk prices, there has been a turnaround in recent months. We spent time on the farm to find out how farms are faring in times of uncertainty.

According to the numbers, more people are buying milk. On average - farmers make 10-11 dollars per hundred lbs. of milk. Now - they are getting anywhere from 15 to 23 dollars. 

You might be wondering: why is that? Dairy farmer Kevin Connelly has ideas. 

"First the government started a food box program where they were buying dairy products and a lot of local produce to give to people during the pandemic - handing out to the food shelves to the people in need," Connelly said. 

Americans also are craving a good old-fashioned glass of milk. 

"People actually discovered you don't need to consume dairy at a restaurant, you can consume it at home," Connelly said. "People have made milk a staple in the refrigerator for their family's meals."

Fellow farmer David Scheevel says the dairy industry shouldn't get too excited yet. 

"Our demand is starting to ease off just a little bit, so we're concerned we're going to see some softening in prices the next couple of months," Scheevel said. 

Over the course of his career - Scheevel has grown accustomed to the fluctuating cycle of milk prices. But the coronavirus pandemic leaves the future uncertain. 

"If we oversupply the market again and it crashes prices, that's a big concern," Scheevel said. "Hopefully there's enough big demand for what we're producing that prices can stay in a decent range."

Farmers consider themselves the eternal optimists - that's the attitude they are practicing during these wary times. 

"We're optimistic things are going to progress at least a profitable level," Connelly said. "That's all we're looking for - any business wants to be at a profitable level - it's up to us to manage how profitable that is."

Connelly says if you want to keep supporting dairy farmers - throwing some cheese or melting butter on your sweet corn - all that helps. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 452268

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin938131490
Ramsey40370746
Dakota33353349
Anoka31193366
Washington20363231
Stearns17995189
St. Louis13857245
Scott1209197
Wright11723106
Olmsted1068375
Sherburne825766
Carver700138
Clay655582
Rice618070
Kandiyohi556572
Blue Earth545933
Crow Wing487778
Otter Tail460967
Chisago456436
Benton422287
Winona393048
Douglas377266
Nobles373946
Mower370829
Goodhue352661
Polk330559
McLeod326747
Beltrami314048
Morrison313545
Lyon304138
Becker288039
Itasca286443
Isanti284242
Carlton282543
Steele278110
Pine269214
Freeborn251523
Todd232630
Nicollet227537
Brown216934
Mille Lacs214945
Le Sueur212816
Cass209424
Meeker200933
Waseca191916
Wabasha17343
Martin171426
Roseau166217
Hubbard150138
Redwood140827
Houston139714
Renville137940
Dodge13714
Chippewa132032
Cottonwood128418
Fillmore12576
Wadena120517
Rock111212
Aitkin109233
Sibley10917
Faribault108316
Watonwan10688
Pennington100716
Kanabec98818
Pipestone95923
Yellow Medicine94216
Murray9056
Jackson87110
Swift84318
Pope7435
Stevens7078
Marshall70315
Clearwater68714
Lake66015
Lac qui Parle65716
Wilkin6309
Koochiching60210
Lincoln4892
Big Stone4663
Unassigned43768
Grant4358
Norman4248
Mahnomen4147
Kittson37320
Red Lake3194
Traverse2583
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309989

Reported Deaths: 4424
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46587464
Linn17979279
Scott15787171
Black Hawk14037243
Woodbury13093181
Johnson1224652
Dubuque11535159
Pottawattamie9111115
Dallas905972
Story877838
Webster471577
Cerro Gordo471472
Sioux459157
Clinton456167
Warren456139
Marshall429862
Buena Vista396130
Muscatine394978
Des Moines390043
Plymouth352470
Wapello348498
Jasper330159
Lee322632
Marion308152
Jones274250
Henry266131
Carroll258034
Bremer249348
Crawford233524
Boone222017
Washington222033
Benton212250
Mahaska197237
Jackson194331
Tama189959
Dickinson188329
Kossuth178544
Delaware175236
Clay171421
Wright166424
Fayette165024
Hamilton162030
Buchanan161624
Winneshiek159720
Harrison157962
Hardin156730
Cedar155419
Clayton153649
Butler150824
Page146315
Floyd140836
Cherokee139927
Mills138417
Lyon137333
Poweshiek134524
Hancock131424
Allamakee130230
Iowa127422
Calhoun12339
Madison123210
Grundy122128
Jefferson122025
Winnebago121529
Mitchell116637
Louisa115730
Cass114743
Chickasaw113512
Appanoose112040
Sac112015
Emmet111232
Union110723
Humboldt106419
Shelby104727
Guthrie104024
Franklin103218
Unassigned10050
Palo Alto91711
Montgomery88024
Keokuk86126
Howard85019
Monroe81919
Clarke8087
Pocahontas78111
Ida75830
Davis70021
Greene6977
Adair69520
Monona67118
Lucas66410
Osceola64611
Worth6154
Taylor5989
Fremont5246
Van Buren50115
Decatur4954
Ringgold44811
Audubon4208
Wayne41821
Adams2983
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