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April dairy prices set record - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

April dairy prices set record

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's turning out to be a great year for the region's dairy farmers. Those who track the numbers say farmers received a record price for their milk in April. Economists says one big reason for the record price can be attributed to the world wide demand for dairy products. News Director Anson Tebbetts spoke with Bob Wellington, an economist with Agri-Mark and Cabot.  He says the current situation is encouraging after a long stretch of low prices.

Bob Wellington: In the month of April farmers reached record high levels for their prices -- they really needed that.

Anson Tebbetts: People are paying bills, they are investing -- that has to be good for the overall farm economy?

Bob Wellington: The entire state of Vermont, the whole NE. The farmers have really struggled and so they are coming out of it at this point. We are not sure how long it's going to last. We don't think prices are going to be collapsing anytime in the very near future.

Anson Tebbetts: Over the history there has always been a cyclical thing. The treadmill farmers get on. High peaks and low peaks. You are anticipating stability for farmers?

Bob Wellington: We hope so. Farmers certainly need that. We probably have peaked a month or two ago nd now prices are starting to slide down somewhat.

Anson Tebbetts:  So why is this happening?

Bob Wellington: There is a tremendous amount of demand for dairy products and food in general in this country across the world. We found this winter that we actually had between 15 and 18 percent of the milk produced in this country was exported as other dairy products across the world. We have always been the bread basket for the world, now we are starting to become the milk pitcher of the world and that's a good thing. It keeps up the demand, and at a premium price.

Wellington says the two countries that are buying a tremendous amount of U.S. dairy products include China and India. He says as residents in those countries increase their wealth they are buying more dairy from America, and that's helping dairy farmers in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire.

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