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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Dairy Costs

Nov 17, 2008
    In your report (from Dairy Today's 2008 Elite Producer Business Conference), you said that input costs have gone up more for the farmers out west.  I think that our costs have gone up more that theirs because the grain and fuel and repair are all big inputs for us dairy farmers and they have all gone up a lot.  We sent some equipment to get it repaired and got a bill for $16,000.00 and one of the machines still had a worse oil leak than when we sent it in.  They tell us that the transmission case needs to be changed at out expense and we do not have any money to fix it.  We owe the grain company $16,000.00 now because of paying the repair bills.  The electric company changed the way that they charge for electricity.  They used to charge a higher rate for 8 hours per day for 4 months during the winter, during the last year they charged the higher rate for the whole year and our planed budget amount had gone from $686.00 to $1,780.00 on this last months bill.  I added up the bills owed and they come to more than 3.5 times the milk check.  It is currently costing us about 70% of our income just for the grain to feed the animals each month and it is every month as this is a dairy farm, not a beef farm. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert Huestis
 
Bridport, VT
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