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By Matthew Saari

It may be time to start crying over spilled milk.

Dairy farmers locally and across the country are having to dump their milk products because of complications arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“There are quite a few farms that have been dumping,” said Kenny Thomas, who owns a dairy farm on County Route 24 in Middle Granville. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Last week alone, Thomas said, he had to dump “at least three days” worth of product, the equivalent of $21,600 in revenue based upon last month’s dairy prices.

“That’s a lot of money,” said Thomas.

The Dairy Farmers of America, Thomas added, reported that farmers across the Northeast dumped 359 loads last week – equating to 72,000 pounds of milk – and are projecting another 400 loads to be dumped this week.

The problem, at least for Thomas, is that the processing plant he typically ships to, based in Connecticut, was shut down last week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and so he has to find another vendor to sell to.

“It’s hard to find a place for it,” said Thomas.

Locally, Thomas said he has heard farms in Cambridge and Hudson Falls have also had to dump milk. WCAX, a Vermont news agency, also reported Green Mountain dairy farmers dumping milk and having to feed dairy products such as cheese to their livestock rather than sell it.

 

Photo credit: Silo Thomas

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