Thanks in large part to inflation, the price of milk moved higher throughout the year, with the average price for a gallon of whole milk is up by nearly 60 cents, sitting at $4.41 in October.  How is inflation affecting the average dairy farmer in Washington?


Dan Wood, Executive Director of the Washington State Dairy Federation, said producers statewide continue to struggle, thanks to input costs that are rising faster than the price of milk.


"With the costs being up, we're seeing a number of farms have gone out of business," said Wood. "And so, we're seeing more consolidation.  So, despite the farm gate price being up, it's been a pretty tough year for a lot of dairy farmers." 


Wood added weather hasn't helped dairy farmers this past year, noting he anticipates a feed supply issue into 2023.  Wood said energy costs are hurting farmers as well.  He noted the Biden Administration’s effort to move the U.S. off of fossil fuels as made the country dependent on overseas sources of energy.


"If we were producing our own energy in this nation, and less dependent on OPEC, or Venezuela, or Russia, then we would be more insulated from world events and world economic trends.”


Wood said energy independence is critical for all of the sectors of the American economy, including agriculture.


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