America’s dairy farmers are crying over spilled milk — the 43 million gallons of it they have dumped in fields and elsewhere over the first eight months of the year as the US deals with a massive milk glut.
It’s the most discarded milk in at least 16 years, according to a report on Wednesday.
The reason for the spilled milk is that the glut has cut the price of milk 22 percent since spring, to $16.39 per hundred pounds on Wednesday.
At that price, some farmers can’t afford to truck the milk to market, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the sharp increase in discarded milk.
The glut is the result of a price spike in 2014, which persuaded farmers to bring more dairy cows on line, the Journal reported.
Milk cows have increased by 40,000 this year, and each one is producing 1.4 percent more milk than a year ago, according to the US Dept. of Agriculture.
Price have declined 33 percent since 2014, but the market got especially challenging this spring, said Chris Galen, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation.
Because the surge was global, US producers had difficulty exporting the surplus in timely and cost-efficient ways.