Raft River--At the supermarket shoppers are now paying more for dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. And after a year of low prices, dairy farmers are finally getting more money, more than a dollar more per hundred-weight.
"So last year we were getting maybe $14.50 per hundred-weight, sometimes $15.00. This year class three has come up to $17.40," said Darren Tabor a dairy farmer our of Shoshone.
In fact, Dairy analysts say the price of milk could go up another 60-cents a gallon next month. "Finally! It's nice to see that prices are breaking upwards, shattering the ceiling that's kept prices down. We just hope that we can continue on because inputs are going up too," said Mike Garner of Heglar Creek Farms out of Raft River.
One of the main reasons for the higher prices is due to fewer cows producing milk, not only in Idaho but across the nation and farmers, are barely meeting demand. When the cost of feed went up last year, farmers cut back on their cows. The rise in milk prices may have a ripple effect on other dairy products, including yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. While the cost of milk is good news for dairy farmers, the cost of feed is also going up.
"While hay is $160 a ton delivered, that's good, but I'm also a hay producer," said Tabor. "Hay will go up later in the season but we could be short on supply. Feed corn is a concern, we had a killing frost on the 21st of June, so I had 400 acres of corn that went backward and I don't know how that will play out, but it's not going to be good."