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Lowville, N.Y., on May 14
Dairy economy’s driving forces to be explained

LOWVILLE, N.Y. -- What factors are propelling tremendous, recent gains in farm milk prices and dairy livestock values? How long will these higher values last?

Those big questions in dairy country this spring will be discussed at a public meeting here in Lowville on Wednesday evening, May 14.

Dairy farmers and industry personnel may attend a speech on present and future dairy price trends. The speaker will be Pete Hardin -- editor/publisher of The Milkweed. Hardin has nearly 40 years experience as an independent dairy analyst.

The public meeting, which begins at 7:45 p.m., will be held at the Ridgeview Inn, located a couple miles outside Lowville on Route 12, going towards Watertown.

Milk pricing is complex and confusing. In recent months, multiple events have combined to drive up prices. Those events include: stronger global demand for U.S. dairy products, high beef prices, and poor crops in the Upper Midwest. California's drought looms as perhaps the key factor impacting U.S. milk production for the next year. But California dairy producers are still cranking out plenty of milk, Hardin notes.

Dairy farmers have seen their farm milk prices jump in recent months to price levels in the "mid-$20s" while dairy livestock values have nearly doubled since late 2013. "Good dairy livestock are scarce," Hardin notes. During the past two years, significant numbers of open (unbred) dairy heifers have headed to beef feed lots." Adverse weather has reduced the U.S. beef cattle herd to its lowest level in over 60 years.

Interested persons may attend this informative meeting to learn what’s ahead for dairy.