Our Beacon Forum

Farmers are dumping milk on the ground
By:Tho Nuogen, California
Date: Saturday, 18 April 2020, 6:32 pm


The coronavirus is America’s enemy. It has attacked not only people but also the nation’s way of life. One industry that has been hit the hardest is the dairy industry in Arizona. The industry has been hit so hard because of the closure of restaurants and other milk using companies that the farmers are having to drain millions of gallons of milk into the sewer system. The demand for milk is extremely low and there is nothing that they can do about it right now.

Keith Murfield is the CEO of the United Dairymen of Arizona and he stated it best “You can’t stop a cow from milking so the milk keeps pouring in, and what we’re doing, of course, is [continuing] to make powder and… filling up warehouses. So, we went from a 20-day inventory of powder to a 65-day inventory of non-fat.” The cows just keep right on producing like there is no end in sight. At some point, the demand is going to skyrocket as places start opening once again. The dairy farmers will need to be ready for that time.

The virus has made people think outside of the box to keep their businesses going. Many sit-down restaurants have become drive-thru with the hopes of reopening to the public soon. The restaurants are ordering 80 percent less than what they were a month ago. The Democrats would like people to believe that this way of living is the new normal. But one that is true of America is that normality is just not an option. There will always be change in the United States. That is what helps define the greatness of the nation.

Craig Caballero owns Caballero Dairy and he has pointed out that each day is different. He states that “Every day is a new challenge and it’s something that we’ve never seen before… and with the restaurants being shut down and those sales being diminished, it’s really created a backlog.” The backlog is like the oil that is sitting is reserves because the demand is really low. But milk has a shelf life and it cannot be stored until needed. That is the beauty of the all-producing cow.

In the state of Arizona alone there are an estimated one million pounds of milk drained every day. Altogether in the past two weeks, 12 million pounds of milk has found its way to the drain. Many people may see it as a waste. But that is the cost of business sometimes. When demand drops, production must follow. But this is a drop that many know is temporary. Murfield also stated that “It’s one of the most discouraging things to the producers, you go there and you have to dump their milk. You know they make high-quality milk, some of the best milk in the nation, and then we have them dump it down the drain.”

Regular consumers would have thought that there was a deficit of milk. All one has to do is go to the store and see that they are out of the product. But when there is a run on one or more items it will take time for the product to catch up. What people are going through right now will not last. At some point, people are going to start living again.

President Trump has provided relief funds for small businesses to take so they can continue to exist. The funds are there so the companies can pay their employees and pay their bills. All they have to do is apply for the funding.

The president is already toying with the idea of opening the country sooner than later. He knows that the strain is great, and things cannot continue the way they have been for too much longer. The borders will have to open so the dairy farmers can deliver their products to their international customers. If there is one industry that is set to bounce back quickly it is the dairy industry. Everyone loves milk so it is a matter of time before demand comes back.