FARM consequences - milk being dumped in Canada

zeker

Veteran Member
GOT MILK?


Some Ontario dairy farmers have been told to dump their excess milk, as COVID-19 closures have caused the demand for dairy products to drop drastically.


With schools, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops now closed, the commercial sales of key dairy products, including cream, butter and milk, that set the pace for production have ground to a halt.



"It's not a good feeling. [This is] something that I've worked hard for — and all my hard work is going down the drain," said Remko Steen, a dairy farmer from Tillsonburg, Ont.


Last week, Steen said he was forced to dump about 12,000 litres of perfectly good milk down the drain.


The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) — the body that sets milk production quotas in the province — began ordering farmers to get rid of their surplus milk last week. In an email to CBC, CEO Cheryl Smith said only once before in the agency's 55-year history have farmers been asked to throw out what they produce.

'It's hard to plan for anything'

It's not just the business and restaurant closures causing the supply problem, dairy farmers say, but also bottlenecks at the grocery store.


The problems started about two weeks ago, when shoppers swarmed Ontario's grocery stores, fearing essentials would run out. Soon, many coolers were empty of all milk products, so some grocers responded by clamping down on panic buying, restricting buyers to one or two bags of milk at a time.


"We're hoping we can get the grocery stores to stop limiting the milk, so that we can move this milk and get it [on] the shelves instead of dumping it," Steen said.



For fellow dairy farmer Melinda Foster-Marshall, the past week has been a quota roller-coaster.


On Monday, DFO was offering incentives to farms that could ramp up milk output to meet the demand caused by the panic buying. But by Friday, the board warned that the tanker truck may not come to pick up her milk at all.


"You're sitting here waiting, and you don't really know what direction you're going to go. It's hard to plan for anything," said Foster-Marshall, who runs an operation in rural Ottawa, near Stittsville, Ont.

Farmers will share losses

Canada's dairy industry is overseen by supply management, a system that allows specific sectors to limit the supply of their products to what Canadians are expected to consume in order to ensure predictable, stable prices. In order to sell their products, a farmer must hold a quota, somewhat like a licence, to produce up to a set amount.


In a co-op system, all farmers whose product is marketed by the board will share the losses that come with the collapse in demand.


Farmers can manipulate a cow's diet to reduce the amount of milk it produces, but those who try to limit output by restricting the amount the animal eats may end up endangering its health.


With Ontario dairy farmers set to see lean times, the DFO is calling on Canadians to make sure they're choosing made-in-Canada products when they shop.
 
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zeker

Veteran Member
even dropping the price, they would still get 'something' for thier hard work

whytf can it not be made into powdered milk.. or something?
 

zeker

Veteran Member

Some Ontario dairy farmers have been told to dump their excess milk, as COVID-19 closures have caused the demand for dairy products to drop drastically.


With schools, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops now closed, the commercial sales of key dairy products, including cream, butter and milk, that set the pace for production have ground to a halt.



"It's not a good feeling. [This is] something that I've worked hard for — and all my hard work is going down the drain," said Remko Steen, a dairy farmer from Tillsonburg, Ont.


Last week, Steen said he was forced to dump about 12,000 litres of perfectly good milk down the drain.


The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) — the body that sets milk production quotas in the province — began ordering farmers to get rid of their surplus milk last week. In an email to CBC, CEO Cheryl Smith said only once before in the agency's 55-year history have farmers been asked to throw out what they produce.

'It's hard to plan for anything'

It's not just the business and restaurant closures causing the supply problem, dairy farmers say, but also bottlenecks at the grocery store.


The problems started about two weeks ago, when shoppers swarmed Ontario's grocery stores, fearing essentials would run out. Soon, many coolers were empty of all milk products, so some grocers responded by clamping down on panic buying, restricting buyers to one or two bags of milk at a time.


"We're hoping we can get the grocery stores to stop limiting the milk, so that we can move this milk and get it [on] the shelves instead of dumping it," Steen said.



For fellow dairy farmer Melinda Foster-Marshall, the past week has been a quota roller-coaster.


On Monday, DFO was offering incentives to farms that could ramp up milk output to meet the demand caused by the panic buying. But by Friday, the board warned that the tanker truck may not come to pick up her milk at all.


"You're sitting here waiting, and you don't really know what direction you're going to go. It's hard to plan for anything," said Foster-Marshall, who runs an operation in rural Ottawa, near Stittsville, Ont.

Farmers will share losses

Canada's dairy industry is overseen by supply management, a system that allows specific sectors to limit the supply of their products to what Canadians are expected to consume in order to ensure predictable, stable prices. In order to sell their products, a farmer must hold a quota, somewhat like a licence, to produce up to a set amount.


In a co-op system, all farmers whose product is marketed by the board will share the losses that come with the collapse in demand.


Farmers can manipulate a cow's diet to reduce the amount of milk it produces, but those who try to limit output by restricting the amount the animal eats may end up endangering its health.


With Ontario dairy farmers set to see lean times, the DFO is calling on Canadians to make sure they're choosing made-in-Canada products when they shop.
 
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naturallysweet

Has No Life - Lives on TB
even dropping the price, they would still get 'something' for thier hard work

whytf can it not be made into powdered milk.. or something?
Powdered milk factories are expensive and labor intensive to build. Milk goes bad very, very fast.
 

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
_______________
condensed milk??

ice cream??

butter?

anything s better than dumping
Is production limited to storage?

The JIT system doesn't allow for a lot of mid-stream storage.

From the pasture to the dairy aisle, the whole thing is tuned for a known amount of consumption.
 

Plain Jane

Veteran Member
The irony here is that about 25 years ago dairy farmers were informed that they either had to " go big or get out". The investments in going big are enormous. Now what?
 

KMR58

Senior Member
Big dairy finally getting what they deserve. I'm not talking the actual farmers here. I'm talking big dairy who has been running the show since the 30's. All the MM getting schools on milk, milk ads, etc. Will big dairy take the hit. Nope. Once again it will be the farmers and their families who lose out. :(
 

Bubble Head

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We use to have a Farm Commodity Program for excess production. The Government would purchase the excess in one area and place it in reserve for parts of the country that needed it due to drought or other disasters. It worked very well with grains and milk products. Milk was dehydrated for human and animal consumption and made into butter and cheese. They use to distribute the surplus in butter and cheese on a regular bases to seniors and those in need. If you were a farmer in a drought area you could purchase grain out of storage at a very low price as well as dry milk. Yes it worked but it was probably far to Biblical to remain. Last I heard it was phased out during Bush 2. TPTB would be very wise to start this back up ASAP. By the way I tried the cheese. It was cheddar and could back you up for a month.
 

colonel holman

Veteran Member
Dairy farms produce an unrelenting amount of product. Production cannot be scaled back to accommodate fluctuations in demand. Drop in demand results in discarded milk. Cheese, butter, ice cream, condensed or dehydrated cannot be logistically plugged in. These are set on planned supply chains. And the product is rapidly perishable.
 

TammyinWI

1st Amendment Right and Pertinent
Wisconsin farmers were advised to do this, too. My heart sank when I saw the picture in the paper of, iirc, a 22,000 gallon tanker full being emptied out to the ground.

Such a big waste.
 

TxGal

Day by day
It's a shame they can't dehydrate that excess milk - it's near impossible to find dry milk anywhere. I'm still hoping my LDS order for nonfat dry milk comes in, but it's looking increasingly less likely.
 

JMG91

Senior Member
Wow. I think I'd donate it before I dumped it. I mean, shoot, if you're going to take the hit regardless, why not do something good with it?
 

night driver

ESFP adrift in INTJ sea
I'm sure that if you know of a place that can process the product as a donation the farmers would LOVE to know where that was.
 

zeker

Veteran Member
sry bud just seen this. will try

ok done

I always hear about not being able to fix titles cuz 'edit' expired

worked
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Wow. I think I'd donate it before I dumped it. I mean, shoot, if you're going to take the hit regardless, why not do something good with it?
To whom? In what containers? Who will cover the liability? (It's all raw milk from the farm) And last, but certainly not least, from the farmer's perspective... how will you manage the "donation" so the entire bulk tank gets emptied within 20 minutes, so it can be washed and sanitized in time for the next milking to start?

Farms the size they're talking dumping milk in Wisconsin generally milk 24 hours a day, with a single half hour break to scrub and sanitize all equipment before starting again.

Summerthyme
 
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kyrsyan

Veteran Member
If I could get it to "water" my gardens I would. Some research I did a few years ago revealed that it would be great for microbe balance. But no dairy farmers around here and we don't drink it.
 
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