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Feed hike will hurt farmers

Carlos Atwell

Feed hike will hurt farmers

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THE RISE IN feed prices from yesterday could spell doom for some small dairy farmers.
President of the Dairy and Beef Producers Association, Paul Davis, gave this dire warning in a telephone interview yesterday.
“Some farms will be challenged to stay in business as they will not be able to pay their bills and may have to lay off staff. It is a very disturbing trend and it will be a tough year,” he said.
Davis was speaking against the backdrop of recent Pinnacle Feeds announcements in the Press advising customers of a rise in poultry and livestock feed due to the increased price of corn and soybeans on the world market.
“We are being saddled with costs we have no control over which puts everybody in a difficult position. We don’t have any influence on corn prices yet they are having a devastating effect on farming,” he said.
Davis said the situation had come to this point due to a difficult past year, which included bad weather, water shortages and excessive heat.
“Animals take a long time to recover from stress and if they can’t get into calf, they cannot produce milk. Now with these further price increases, I think some farmers will cut back on feed which will have a further negative effect as milk production would go down even more,” he said.
In another telephone interview, president of the Egg and Poultry Association, Wendell Clarke, said any price rise would inevitably be passed to consumers but it was still too early to speak on the effects the most recent rise would have.
“Feed is currently $45 – $47 a bag and any rise would have an adverse effect on people’s finances as some farmers have to buy up to 40 bags a day. Some of this cost would have to be passed on but it is too early to say how exactly how this recent price rise will affect the industry and consumers,” he said.