States battle for lead in dairy production - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

States battle for lead in dairy production


by Brittany Earl

STRATFORD(WAOW)--The battle continues between California and Wisconsin. California leads in milk production but Wisconsin is still king when it comes to dairy as an overall business but that wasn't always true.


Ralph Bredl, owner of dairy farm Harmony-Ho Holsteins says "For the last 20 years the west, west of the Mississippi has been the low cost producer of dairy product, growing at a tremendous rate. where the rest of the county was shrinking."

Ralph's fourth generation dairy farm has been in Stratford since 1989 and he says 2009 changed the economics completely for the west and the Badger State.

"Much to everyone's surprise the Midwest and Wisconsin especially found its self in the drivers seat in terms of growing rapidly of milk supply. Where the west is shrinking trying to find out what happened and why they fell out of the kings chair," said Bredl.

Mike Wildeck from the UW Extension says production through last July is up 2.2 percent and that's pretty substantial growth. He says it's growing across the country and out west heard sizes are growing with strong prices but warm weather states are still suffering.

"Any state that has some really warm temperatures, that's not good for dairy farming and really hard on cows so there milk production does suffer," said Wildeck

With economic shifts and growing heard sizes it's unclear what will happen next. "Its been an un predicted shift in the dynamics of milk but what it does tells us that there will always be a balance between east and west," said Bredl.

Online Reported: Brittany Earl


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