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.