The USDA said Friday reports of low organic milk prices as low as $23 per cwt. being paid to Midwest producers are “a sad legacy of continuing effects of measures to balance the organic milk supply.”
The agency said in its latest biweekly organic dairy report that even for organic dairy producers receiving somewhat higher organic pay prices, such as the $29.24 per cwt. being paid by the nation’s largest organic cooperative, Organic Valley, to its members, “in many instances, production restrictions on volumes qualifying for the higher price still apply.”
“Producers and some producer organizations point out that some producers are forced to accept lower prices to find buyers for their milk,” the USDA said.
To further illustrate the plight of organic producers, the report showed that at an Aug. 30 livestock auction in Oregon, organic cows sold for slaughter sold for just slightly more per pound than conventional cows.
The average of all organic cows auctioned brought a price of $0.6067 per pound, compared with a $0.5503 average for all conventional cows auctioned, the report said.
The top 10 organic cows brought an average price of $0.7388 per pound, versus $0.6814 for the top 10 conventional cows, the report said.
Read the biweekly organic dairy report.