Dairy experts optimistic about Wis. milk harvest

CREATED Jan 23, 2013

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  • The Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha, an 83-year-old milk bottling company, closed suddenly Saturday. Image by Mike De Sisti

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin produced a record 27.2 billion pounds of milk last year. However, the 4 percent increase didn't necessarily translate to more money for dairy farmers.

Milk prices were down and feed costs were higher. Both factors helped offset the increase in revenue from harvesting more milk.

But agriculture experts are predicting that 2013 will be a better year for Wisconsin dairy farmers. At an agriculture forum Wednesday in Madison, dairy experts said milk prices are expected to nudge upward and feed costs will likely fall.

However, there's still uncertainty about the weather. One reason feed costs were higher last year was the prolonged drought, which led to higher feed prices. If the drought persists into this year, milk production could tighten, leading to even higher prices.