This has been a tough year for dairy farmers with milk prices dropping far lower than the cost of producing milk. But farmers in Connecticut and across the country are about to get some financial help from the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will be sending checks to dairy farmers next week, totaling about $290 million. The money comes from an aid package Congress approved earlier this year. The amount each farmer receives is based on the amount of milk they produced and sold between February and July. A farmer with a herd of 100 cows will receive about $6,400, tax-free. Congressman Joe Courtney, who co-chairs the Dairy Caucus says there was a dramatic drop in milk prices this year from about $19 for 100 pounds to about $13, far less than it costs to produce.
"This downturn is something nobody in dairy has ever seen in modern memory. Again, this is not a normal up and down swing. This was a huge crash in the price which is definitely related to the recession."
Courtney says the money should keep the state’s 152 dairy farms relatively solvent and help prevent them from going out of business.
For WNPR, I'm Nancy Cohen.