Farmers say milk prices won't drop any time soon

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Keeping milk in the house costs you more these days. And, it's because of the ongoing drought in big grain farming states. That made things more expensive for local dairies.

Kim Craig notices the higher prices for milk. Dairy farmers who produce it said there's a reason. It costs them more to feed their cows as grain prices spiked from drought in other parts of the country.

"Now people are trying to milk less cows because there isn't as much money in it so they're calling their herds down more than they usually do," said Devries Farm Owner Tom Devries.

"Are you willing to pay for quality?" KIMA asked.
"Definitely," said Kim. "I do and I'm willing to go out of my way to find it."

The Northwest Farm Credit Services said the price of milk has increased over the past 12 to 14 months. It's too early to tell where prices will go next, but analysts expect it to remain constant for the rest of the year. They said most dairy farms are breaking even right now.

"It gets frustrating," said Tom. "You know you want to produce good quality milk and it's just difficult to do that when you're losing money."

Loan officers said farmers are not expected to get as much money for their milk next year. However, corn feed is expected to be cheaper for them.

"I don't know what the clear answer is to solve the problems so everybody's happy," said Tom. "That's I guess, the million-dollar question."

Milk is the second highest revenue product in Yakima County agriculture behind apples.