How the coronavirus could impact dairy producers


The coronavirus is impacting all sectors of the U.S. economy, and it will soon have an impact on the dairy industry, Successful Farming reports.

“The handwriting is there that we will probably see a downturn in commodity prices, including dairy,” Mike Hutjens, professor emeritus of animal sciences at the University of Illinois told Successful Farming. “We finally saw a few good months of prices that were on the rebound, and now they are likely headed back down.”

It is currently speculation, but the shutdowns of schools and businesses on top of quarantines and movement restrictions are not a good sign for dairy.

The potential end of the school year is a big concern and would impact milk consumption greatly.

Another factor that all employers will run into, including dairy producers, is the health of its employees.

Hutjens stressed the importance of having a plan if employees can’t go to work for several weeks, which would severely impact many producers.

Last week the president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation released a statement saying, “The National Milk Producers Federation stands ready to assist its members in addressing coronavirus challenges. From possible damages to domestic and world markets, to supply chain labor disruptions on the farm, at the processing plant or in transporting milk, the potential ramifications for dairy are wide-ranging. We will devote our resources to the best of our ability to helping dairy farmers and cooperatives respond to whatever challenges they may face.”

For all updates on the Coronavirus and how it impacts Rural America, visit our Coronavirus outbreak hub.