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From my perspective there is no good news in the CWT press release today. The release states:
CWT officials released more detailed information today about the size and scope of the selfhelp program’s second–largest herd retirement. 73 percent of the farms selected are located east of the Mississippi River, while 70 percent of the 87,000 cows to be retired come from the Western and Southwest regions of the U.S. 72 percent of the milk removed will come from those two regions [see chart on p. 2].
“The increase in the percentage of farms selected east of the Mississippi in this herd retirement compared to the one just completed is an indication that the financial distress farmers are feeling is not unique to one or two regions of the country, but being felt nationwide,” said Jim Tillison, Chief Operating Officer of CWT.
The population of the country is East of the Mississippi. There is no extra milk East of the Mississippi, if indeed there is extra milk anywhere. So, the amount of fossil fuel required to bring milk to America’s tables just increased.
There is another significant point. Taking out those herds means the milk supply system just became less resilient. The smaller farms are where a young person starting out might get a start.
Talk about financial stress. CWT is in court because the liens immediately attached to one CWT payment, in California, from last fall are greater than the CWT payment. The grain lien alone is greater than the CWT payment.