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Chad

MN milk prices shoot up

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"Obviously, a lot of customers are going to experience some sticker shock," stated Nancy Christensen, Executive Director of the Minnesota Grocers Association. "We would prefer a more gradual series of price changes, but economic factors have held the price of milk down for several years."

Recent media reports have indicated that the supply of dairy products was likely to be tighter this year due to low prices in 2002 and 2003 that forced many dairy farmers out of business and prevented other farmers from expanding production. "As a result, the supply of milk didn't keep pace with the consumer demand for milk," said Jim Hahn, President of the Upper Midwest Milk Marketing Agency. "Dairy farmers are overcoming some very difficult obstacles that forced many farmers out of business."

Is this happening elsewhere as well? Can the rest of us expect increases?

Chad


Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Is this happening elsewhere as well? Can the rest of us expect increases?

Chad

Oh, yeah. And those of us who live far from the dairy farms will likely pay even more due to escalating gasoline prices. Milk, cream, butter -- I'm curious to know what people are paying for these items across the country. At Trader Joe's here in Southern California (one of the better-priced places for the general public), we are paying $3.39/lb for the TJ's brand butter, $3.99/lb for Plugra (Plugra was $2.99/lb about a month ago). For a half-gallon of milk I just paid $1.79 whereas it was $.20 less two months ago.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Milk prices are controlled by the Federal Government through legislation that date back to 1937. The Milk Marketing Orders, Dairy Price Support Program and Milk Income Loss Contracts work about as good as you would expect by ultimately benefitting niether dairy farmers nor consumers.

However, both politicians and beauracrats are very fond of the current sytem.

Some estimates place the cost of these programs to the consumer at up to $1.5 billion. Get on Google, check it out, and decide for yourself.

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Oh, it's happening everywhere, all right. And what I just can't get over is that no one seems to be making the cause-and-effect connection: one of the main reasons it's happening is that the government shut down Monsanto's production of synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone because of irregularities in the labs. Meanwhile, after the dairy industry at large discovered it could double their output they promptly killed off half their cows - cheaper, don't you know - thus becoming entirely dependent on the stuff. So now that it isn't available - demand up, supply down. You'd think someone would have done the math.

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Milk prices are expected to rise to about $4.00 a gallon by next week here in Connecticut. Sadly, milk isn't something you can really stockpile.

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I'm still paying the same for milk and cream from the small local dairy as I always have, but butter, which I do not buy from a local source, has shot way up. $4.09 for 1 lb of Land O'Lakes. Whole Foods 365 Brand, which used to be reasonably priced, has gone up in price too, close to the Land O' Lakes. It's RbGH free, so I'm guessing the factors involoved there are more to do with the shortage in general, and with the cost of transport. I'm lucky in that it's just me and husband, no kids. We go through a quart every week, week and a half. I feel for those with growing kids that drink milk.

I haven't checked the cost of milk from the big dairies. To be honest, it's been so long since I've bought from one of them, I have no idea what it usually costs.

For Plugra, btw, I'm paying under the $4 mark.

Alls I really know is that it's going to make the cost of my precious ice cream go through the roof.

editing to note that I live in central North Carolina


Edited by JennotJenn (log)

Gourmet Anarchy

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Well 2% milk is at $3.69 at the local store here, kinda crazy I think. There's even a dairy down the road a bit. :wacko: Having milk to drink is becoming a "treat" in our house.

- small town MN boy here. :)

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Our 1/2 gallon of Organic Milk went from $2.99 to $3.39 this past week. I haven't noticed for the regular milks since I don't usually buy them.

When I was at the store (Publix) they were having a sale on butter 2/$4.00 for the store brand 1lb. so I didn't check on the regular price. I just went ahead and bought 4lbs!

All our ice creams were up at least .50 or so per 1/2 gallon. All of them were between $4 - $5 for a 1/2 gallon and they are usually more like $3 - $4 for a 1/2 gallon.

-Atlanta gal :smile:


The stars above me are not real, they are the sparks from smitting steel - Michael Penn

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All of this because of the lack of a supply of growth hormone?

I suppose the pendulum will swing. Hopefully, in time, everyone will want to jump on the dairy milkwagon/gravy train (mixing metaphors) to cash in and again, hopefully, that will bring prices back down. I only hope the price will come all the way back down instead of staying at a lower yet higher-than-before price (like in the case of gasoline).

We just have to wait it out.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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These are all for whole milk, in a gallon: $3.09, $3.39, $3.89, and Organic, $4.99, in Billings, Montana. They are all up between $.35 to $.55 from last week.

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Our half-gallons of skim at the CVS (yeah, it's a drugstore, but they have the cheapest milk in the neighborhood -- City Hall area, lower Manhattan -- and the closest source) jumped from something like $1.75 to about $2.30. Jeez.

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I find it very hard to beleive that this is a result of BST (bovine- somatotropin, cow growth hormone.) Not that I'm a big fan of the stuff. BST has strong potential for drastically increasin health risks to cows. I've watched healthy milking 3 year olds producing 150 pounds of milk a day disentigrate to walking skeletons on the stuff. Not to mention the extra stress on the udder and resulting higher incidence of mastitis (mammary gland infection, imagine a whole quarter of the udder slowly turning into one giant pimple and essentially rotting away if untreated. The farm supplement program is not the brightest idea in the world. There is no reason for millions of gallons of milk to be dumped down the drain daily. However, milk prices do need to supplemented somehow. On scale, few businesses require the capitol that a dairy farm does. This has been acerbated by farmers turning to BST. The cows do produce more milk overall, even if overall health declines. However, this also results in a greater supply of milk, dropping the prices that the farmer recieves from the milk (which has a very weak corrolation to what you pay in the general market). Not all dairy farmers are blind to this spiral, however, and a number of milk sales cooperatives have banned the use of BST on participating farms. Thus, "BST free" milk (all cow milk does have a certain level of BST naturally present) is pretty widely available. The difficulties that small dairy farmers have rise more from loss of production due to heat, high feed costs, and incresing real estate taxes (though many localities are trying to address this last issue through legislation). My point is mandated milk pricing is not really the problem here. In fact you can probably thank supplemented prices for the fact that there are still as many small dairy farms as there are. Otherwise, the forces of the larger economy would have probably wiped most small farms our long ago. Note the comment in the article that larger farms were unable to expand to fill the gap caused by the demise of smaller farms. Difficult conditions affect them too, making them unable to purchase the cattle being disposed of by the small farmer. Thus we just end up with a lot of bad hamburger, and a smaller milk supply.

(please excuse the rambling manner, fighting flu right now)

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Prices should come back down some and then stabalize.

A lot of farmers got out of dairy because of depressed prices and started raising Beef cattle.

They will jump back into dairy again with prices a bit higher than when they got out.

The stupid frikken adkins diet is mainly responsable for all of this.


Not to be confused with egullet veteran Ms. Ramsey

Webmaster, rivitman's daily axe:

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Steve, I had a similar thought about the Atkins diet and how its impact on milk prices. It's frustrating. We don't eat that much meat, no beef at all, but we can barely afford the current prices. We didn't buy pork the last two grocery runs; what was available was priced through the roof and looked bad. Milk is the real hardship though. I have an 8 year old, who drinks it at nearly every meal. Because we buy organic, milk is rapidly approching the $5 mark.


Victoria Raschke, aka ms. victoria

Eat Your Heart Out: food memories, recipes, rants and reviews

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Sounds like a good opportunity to seek out your local farmers market. I realize that many people here live in big cities, but even Manhattan has the Green Market. Farm fresh milk and eggs are worth the price. Buying directly from the farmer cuts out a lot of middlemen. Opting out of the agribusiness system by buying locally, from organic producers, makes us all less dependent on a)Monsanto and their ilk, and B) gasoline. Oh, and C) government subsidies, which often backfire in this way. I'm sure people remember pictures from a few years ago of farmers dumping out huge quantities of milk. The gov't paid them to do that. That was to keep the market from being flooded and milk prices from going down too much.

We live in central NC, like JennotJean. We get our milk weekly as part of our CSA farm share. It costs $2.50/half gallon, plus a deposit for the bottle. Plus, it's completely raw, unpasteurized and unhomogenized. Technically, it's "pet" milk, for animal consumption only; it's not supposed to be sold for human consumption. But this milk is WAY, way better even than the fresh milk from Maple View farms, the local dairy whose products you can find throughout the Triangle.

I work at a grocery store. I will start paying attention to the dairy prices; I'm curious whether the products from Maple View will rise in price. They make butter, too.

One day, we will have our own darn cow.

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Sounds like a good opportunity to seek out your local farmers market. I realize that many people here live in big cities, but even Manhattan has the Green Market. Farm fresh milk and eggs are worth the price. Buying directly from the farmer cuts out a lot of middlemen. Opting out of the agribusiness system by buying locally, from organic producers, makes us all less dependent on a)Monsanto and their ilk, and B) gasoline. Oh, and C) government subsidies, which often backfire in this way. I'm sure people remember pictures from a few years ago of farmers dumping out huge quantities of milk. The gov't paid them to do that. That was to keep the market from being flooded and milk prices from going down too much.

We live in central NC, like JennotJenn. We get our milk weekly as part of our CSA farm share. It costs $2.50/half gallon, plus a deposit for the bottle. Plus, it's completely raw, unpasteurized and unhomogenized. Technically, it's "pet" milk, for animal consumption only; it's not supposed to be sold for human consumption. But this milk is WAY, way better even than the fresh milk from Maple View farms, the local dairy whose products you can find throughout the Triangle.

I work at a grocery store. I will start paying attention to the dairy prices; I'm curious whether the products from Maple View will rise in price. They make butter, too.

One day, we will have our own darn cow.

Wow. And Maple View is pretty good, but I will readily admit to liking my milk homogenized. MV prices have not gone up yet...cream still at $1.99 a pint. I don't think we drink enough milk to justify joining a CSA (a quart every week/two weeks), unfortunatly. I wish we could because I have a thing for crazy fresh eggs.

Oh, I'm still getting Plugra for @ $3.50/lb at Guglhupf bakery, compared to over $4.00 for regular butter in the grocery store. Anyone living in the Triangle area should check it out. Their turnover on the Plugra is high, too, so it always tastes really good, clean and fresh.

And we're going to have a goat and a laying chicken one day, mark my words. We just bought a house in Durham and are about to fulfill our dream of having a compost heap, organic garden and mushroom pit.

Back to your regularly scheduled thread...


Gourmet Anarchy

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I don't think we drink enough milk to justify joining a CSA (a quart every week/two weeks), unfortunatly.

So make yogurt! I'm going through at least 1/2 gallon a week that way - all by myself. And the yogurt is great - even though I'm still just using store-bought plain old homogenized milk. Just starting to look around for local organic possibilities, now that my yogurt culture is getting pretty reliable....

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I'm not sure how current the information is on the 'real milk' website, but there is a state-by-state listing of where you can buy fresh milk in various states here.

In Wisconsin, you have to purchase direct from the farm to get raw milk and most farmers are not inclined to do any retail transactions (hassle, liability concerns, etc.).


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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I don't think we drink enough milk to justify joining a CSA (a quart every week/two weeks), unfortunatly.

So make yogurt! I'm going through at least 1/2 gallon a week that way - all by myself. And the yogurt is great - even though I'm still just using store-bought plain old homogenized milk. Just starting to look around for local organic possibilities, now that my yogurt culture is getting pretty reliable....

We don't eat enough yogurt either :shock:

However, if I could get into cheesemaking...


Gourmet Anarchy

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How a wholesome drink became a villain

America's international reputation is as the land of milk and money. Here, milk has long been thought of as not just another nutritious beverage but as purity, even patriotism, in a glass. The title of a recent chronicle of the rise of milk-drinking in America reflects the national view of the beverage: Nature's Perfect Food. "In the U.S., milk is virtually the national emblem (apple pie, in comparison, is an also-ran)," London's Guardian pronounced last year. If pollsters asked such questions, for most of the 20th century milk's favorability ratings would probably have exceeded even water's. In the 1980s, milk was so venerated that a sociologist in the New York Times linked a decrease in its consumption to the declining public faith in all institutions, from the church to the academy to the press to government.

Since then, America's belief in the goodness of milk has taken a darker turn. Milk has turned from a symbol of true-blue Americana into a token of everything that's wrong with the country. As with most cultural changes, the transformation began with extremists, but it has crept into mainstream discourse. Like Hulk Hogan suddenly becoming a wrestling villain, the symbol of saying your prayers and taking your vitamins, of right-thinking Americanness, has now become the bad guy.

Agree or disagree on the content of this article in Slate? :rolleyes:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The stupid frikken adkins diet is mainly responsable for all of this.

Actually it has nothing to do with Atkins. Milk is not even a valid beverage on the Atkins program (contains a lot of simple sugars). Cream and cheese are both acceptable, but in limited quantities, sorry, but you're going to have to find another scapegoat.

Milk/dairy prices in Delaware are up as well, butter is around $4 a lb for the basic stuff, $4 for half a pound of plugra.


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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The stupid frikken adkins diet is mainly responsable for all of this.

Actually it has nothing to do with Atkins. Milk is not even a valid beverage on the Atkins program (contains a lot of simple sugars). Cream and cheese are both acceptable, but in limited quantities, sorry, but you're going to have to find another scapegoat.

Milk/dairy prices in Delaware are up as well, butter is around $4 a lb for the basic stuff, $4 for half a pound of plugra.

It does, but you failed to make the connection.

With the advent of adkins, along with restrictions on canadian beef due to bse, beef prices skyrocketed.

Dairy prices were always somewhat marginal for farmers, and with the onset of high beef prices, many quit dairy to raise beef cattle, and blammo, dairy shortfalls and higher prices.

The market for dairy is expected to recover some in the fall and winter, and ex dairy farmers get back into the business.


Not to be confused with egullet veteran Ms. Ramsey

Webmaster, rivitman's daily axe:

My Webpage

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First of all, it is Atkins, not Adkins.

Second, there has been absolutely no study done to show a link between low-carb dieting and increased beef prices. The idea can make tidy sense in one's head just musing about it, but there are tons of other factors in play. Until at least one single solitary piece of hard data can be drudged up that shows low-carb eating was the driving factor in farmers reducing dairy cattle production, you have nothing but unfounded theories, which are fine, but far from fact.


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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First of all, it is Atkins, not Adkins. 

Second, there has been absolutely no study done to show a link between low-carb dieting and increased beef prices.  The idea can make tidy sense in one's head just musing about it, but there are tons of other factors in play.  Until at least one single solitary piece of hard data can be drudged up that shows low-carb eating was the driving factor in farmers reducing dairy cattle production, you have nothing but unfounded theories, which are fine, but far from fact.

Ok, ATKINS.

My spelling may not be so good, at least when it comes to names, but my FACTS are pretty good.

Extra! Consumers chew on soaring beef prices

"With supply low and demand high, the cost of a steak or a burger has never been higher. And high prices will be around for a while. One big reason: the Atkins diet."

Atkins diet fuels surging demand for U.S. beef

"With diet gurus urging Americans to eat their meat but drop the potatoes, beef prices are surging.

According to a report on Friday, wholesale beef and veal prices rose 18.3 percent last month, the biggest one-month increase since 1974, when the United States was struggling to "Whip Inflation Now."

"If this keeps up, I'll be able to get my wife a new car," said Chuck Kiker, a rancher in Beaumont, Texas."

Average per capita consumption of beef has risen to 64.4 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a nearly 10 percent increase over the past four years. In part, that's because of the popularity of high-protein weight-loss plans like the Atkins diet, which have encouraged people to trade carbohydrates for beef and other meat. At the same time, according to the beef association, the supply of beef per capita has plummeted to its lowest level in 30 years.

With the Atkins diet fueling the demand for high-protein beef and retail cases filled with heat-and-serve beef products, cattle producers are selling just about anything on the hoof to take advantage of record-high prices.

"The whole market trend right now or the psychology is let?s rush them to market," said Dr. Ernie Davis, Texas Cooperative Extension livestock marketing economist.

......................................afx.jpg


Edited by Steve Ramsey (log)

Not to be confused with egullet veteran Ms. Ramsey

Webmaster, rivitman's daily axe:

My Webpage

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