The high price of feed coupled with the lowest milk prices since January 2011 are putting some New Mexico dairies out of business, reported the Albuquerque Journal. Luke Woelber of Belen’s H.A.W. Farms, president of the Dairy Producers of New Mexico, told the newspaper that he knows of five New Mexico dairies that have closed in the face of feed costs that have doubled in the past two or three years. The closed operations range in size from small to bigger than average and were all in the eastern and southern part of New Mexico, he said.

Woelber milks about 2,500 cows. He has sold about 250 head for slaughter to lower costs. He said dairy farmers are trying to lower costs by feeding lower quality hays.

Dairy farms are also responding by searching for hay far from New Mexico and by thinning herds, said Beverly Idsinga, executive director of the Dairy Producers of New Mexico. Growers imported hay from Canada at one point, as well as from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

New Mexico is home to around 150 dairy farms, with 320,000 dairy cows. PD


—From the Albuquerque Journal (Click here to read the full article.)