2008 looks to be steady year for dairy farmers

NORWICH – Coming off record highs the last eight months of 2007, in the coming year milk prices paid to local dairy farmers are likely to dip some, say economists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but increased foreign demand should ensure relatively solid returns.

“I think this might be a pretty good year,” said Guilford dairy farmer Terry Ives, echoing the USDA’s forecast. “Demand is still higher than our output and because of that prices are still holding. Exports are helping us quite a bit.”

In 2007, farmers were paid between $21 and $25 per hundred pounds they produced from May to December. In some months, that was $10 more per hundred pounds than what farmers got in 2006, when returns hit record lows.

The trend is continuing into 2008, with the price for January set at $24.22 per hundredweight. That’s $7.38 higher than it was this time last year.

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