Dairy Farmers Bracing For the Worst 

Maine’s dairy farmers are bracing for tough

times amid falling prices and potential cuts in a state subsidy

program, but organic farmers appear to be in better shape than most

to weather unfavorable market conditions.

Spencer Aitel’s Two Loons Farm in China, which went organic in

1998, belongs to an organic-farm cooperative that offers a set

price for milk. Other organic farms have fixed-price contracts with


Those arrangements provide stability at a time when a supply

glut in the U.S. dairy industry is driving down prices. Some

industry predictions have prices falling next month to $11.54 per

hundred pounds of milk, or roughly half the average cost of

production in Maine.

With farmers relying on government subsidies to make up the

difference, there are fears that cuts in the state’s dairy support

program could prove fatal to many of Maine’s 330 dairy farms.