Dairy crisis is worse than most

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copyright the Chronicle August 31, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

A pair of Orleans County farmers say conventional dairying is in a crisis that is invisible to those outside their industry.

Deborah Blay, who runs D&D Farm in Westfield with her husband, Durwood, and Peter Gebbie of Greensboro, who sold his herd late last year, both say the steep drop in milk prices that began last year has been devastating.

While prices have often fallen before, Mr. Gebbie said they usually recover much faster than they have this time around. Prices for fluid milk in the Northeast went above $27 a hundredweight in 2014, but have dropped by more than $10 since then. July’s price was $16.95.

“It’s very stressful right now, emotionally and financially,” Ms. Blay said Friday.

She said she recently looked at some of her records from 1991 and found milk check stubs showing that she was paid the same amount 25 years ago as she is receiving for milk today.

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