4/28/17 – All but a few farmers who lost Grassland Dairy as their main milk buyer will now have other buyers. Fifty-eight Wisconsin farms that were contracted with Grassland are having their sales cut off Monday because of a trade dispute with Canada. Mullins Cheese of Knowlton, The Rolling Hills Cooperative, and the Dairy Farmers of America – or DFA — have stepped in to help, among others. Tony Senn with Swiss Miss Dairy in the Town of Fox Lake has been working with DFA to find a solution. Senn says that solution is not ideal but it will help farmers keep their heads above water. Senn says the difference between contracts with Grassland and DFA is about 50-cents-to-one-dollar less per hundred weight. He says that for his farm of 100-to-120 cows that translates to a loss of about $800-per month. Senn says the farms are locked into contracts for the next six months, even if the trade dispute is resolved. He says this is a short-term solution and work still needs to be done to address overproduction issues. Senn says all but three dairy farmers in the region were able to secure contracts with DFA. The dairy farms that did not are in the Watertown area, one has four cows and another has 12 and both of those farmers will be retiring while a third is still working through the process.
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