Dairy experts optimistic about turnaround for sector

COVID-19 has caused milk prices to tumble, but the dairy industry is working to find new domestic and foreign market opportunities.

With more restaurants reopening, dairy leaders are optimistic the industry will see a turnaround.

“At the lowest point, the number of transactions at the quick-serve restaurants were down 42 percent, right now they’re down 20 percent,"said Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Incorporated. “Now, that doesn’t mean that the dollar value of the transaction is the same, but the percent of transactions and people going is better than it was.”

According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the year started off positive for the sector. Between January and March, dairy shipments jumped 44 thousand metric tons, with $237 million dollars.

“When you compare the first three months of 2020 with the first three months of 2016 bwe actually see 109,000 metric tons more being sold in 2020 an increase of $528 million dollars over what was sold in the first three months of 2016,” Tom Vilsack, CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said.

Analysts say there is enough product to meet demand. According to the USDA, milk production in the top 24 states jumped 1.6 percent to 17.8 billion pounds. Also, analysts recommend dairy producer take advantage of USDA programs and federal aid.

For more information and links to programs, click HERE.