Interest from dairy farmers in Cooperatives Working Together's seventh herd retirement round is high, and farmers who are members of CWT have two weeks left during which to submit their bids, according to CWT.
"There's been a big surge in the number of calls and emails we've received, and the www.CWT.coop website has recorded more than 3,500 new visitors since we announced the opening of the bidding process on April 1,” says Jim Tillison, Chief Operating Officer of CWT.
"More than 1,600 people have used the online bid calculator (www.cwt.coop/calculator/index.html) to help them consider how much to bid in this round.”
Tillison says an analysis of web traffic on CWT's site indicates that the majority of the visits are coming from major dairy states, led by California, and including Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Texas.
"We know the pain of low milk prices combined with high production costs is a national phenomenon, and we are expecting a significant number of bids from across the country,” he notes. All bids must be postmarked by Friday, May 1st. A review of all the bids will occur in the third week of May, and audits of successful bidders' farms will start in the following week, Tillison said.
All bidders will be notified whether or not their bid has been accepted no later than June 19, 2009.
As has been the case in recent herd retirement rounds, CWT has no set target for the volume of milk or the number of cows to be removed in this round.
"Given the economic stresses on the farm today, we anticipate CWT will remove a significant number of dairy animals, but that depends on our members and the level of the bids submitted, given current cow prices,” he says.
Detailed information can be found at www.cwt.coop, including bid forms, the interactive bid calculator to help estimate a farmer's bid, and answers to frequently-asked questions. All bids must be postmarked by Friday, May 1st, in order to be considered.
All dairy producers submitting bids to sell their herds must be members of CWT effective January 2009, either through their membership in a fully participating cooperative, or as an independent member of CWT.
For more information, call 888-Info-CWT (888-463-6298).