Wisconsin dairy exports up more than 20 percent - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin dairy exports up more than 20 percent

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- Wisconsin exported more than $170 million worth of dairy products in the first 6 months of this year.  

That's good for 4th in the country; not bad for a smaller state like Wisconsin up against much larger states like California.

"The economic impact the dairy industry has on the state is huge," explains Mark Hagedorn with Eau Claire County's UW-Extension.

Dairy products are up 23 percent in the first half of this year compared to last.

"Production a year ago was down a little and production has almost doubled this year," points out Hagedorn.  "We've got a little bit more inventories on hand and that could be influencing exports."

Experts say milk production slowed down near the end of last summer due to high feed prices and hot weather; problems we really haven't seen for long periods this year. 

Governor Walker wants to see Wisconsin do even more, annually producing 30 billion pounds of milk by 2020.  But some dairy farmers are concerned more supply will mean lower milk prices.

"A lot of people criticize it because he's out there to push more production and we are trying to cut production so we can get a little bit more for our product," says Dairy Farmer Don Jensen.  "They promised $20 milk or something and we haven't seen that for a couples years."

But Hagedorn says it's not just about what's going on here that determines prices.

"The 30-20 program is good that we maintain production here because what's going on outside of the state of Wisconsin as far as production goes has as much of an influence on prices as what is going on in the state," explains Hagedorn.

Jensen says his cows have been eating less in this hot weather, and because of that, production this week has dropped.

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