US Dairy Farmers Hit by Tariffs

Added On August 8, 2018

In the U.S. the ongoing trade frictions sparked by Washington are having a significant impact on local dairy products exports.
The U.S. dairy industry has become increasingly dependent on foreign markets after years of dropping domestic consumption.
But now the U.S. industry is being hit by the trade disputes provoked by its own government.
World News has the story.
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Sarah Lloyd's dairy farm in Wisconsin.
But the dairy farmer seemed unmotivated by the milestone and lacked confidence in future prospects.
"Maybe six months ago we thought well, you know, we can hang on for another six months but if we don't see any kind of a light at the end of the tunnel here soon, I can't imagine that will be milking cows next year. I really can't. It's just not possible."
Neldell farm, which originally established by the grandfather of Sarah's husband, Nels Nelson, has suffered from continuously low milk prices for years. The farm began to do better for a while when the market showed signs of recovery.
In 2002, with promising prospects for the milk market, the Nelson family doubled the number of their herd from 125 to 250 cows and built a new dairy barn.
But experts note the dairy industry was barely starting to recover when the tariffs came.
The unexpected trade disputes initiated by the Trump administration hit the U.S. dairy industry hard, meaning there is now little hope of survival for farms such as these.
The family-owned business has been facing difficulties.
"We're entering a frightening trade war period where different countries are lobbying trade tariffs and threats. And that's really putting us as a family in a very vulnerable position."
“We're really struggling. We as a business, as a farm family, um, and the prices have been bad now for several years and we are kind of just waiting, hoping that the prices will get better."
Statistics showed that in 2007 there were over 14,000 dairy farms in operation in Wisconsin, a state nicknamed "America's Dairyland," but the number has now dropped to around 8,500 .
In the meantime,soybean and corn prices have fallen by roughly 20 percent after U.S. tariffs were met with retaliation, adding the difficulties of local farmers.