Milk and Dairy Prices Up

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Milk and dairy prices are up, but not everyone has noticed it yet.

One Marianna grocery shopper says, "You know, because I have to have it, I haven't noticed it, but it is up."

And even some who have noticed say it hasn't affected their dairy consumption, at least not yet.

"They're about the same everywhere. It's a little bit higher here as some other places," says another grocery shopper.

But it's hard to tell if shoppers will continue to buy milk and dairy products without getting upset, especially if the price of milk goes up 50 cents more per gallon, as is expected in the next month.

Industry experts say the high price of milk and its by-products is partly due to a decrease in the number of dairy cows taken in from Canada after that country's mad cow disease, and partly due to the low-carb, high-protein diet trend: a high demand for cheese means a higher price per slice.

Also would-be American dairy cows are favored by farmers for their more profitable beef than for their milk, leaving less dairy cows to provide the nation's milk supply, and so milk consumers must pay more if they don't want to give up their preferred breakfast drink.

Beef prices are also up 25 percent from last year. Economists say that increase is also due to the mad cow effects as well as all-around higher production costs for the food industry.


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