COVID-19 impacts dairy industry nationwide

Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 3:37 PM PDT
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April is spring flush season.

Cows are peaking at their best and with warmer weather, it's a high time for production...all during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately for Sand Hill Dairy owner Isidro Alves, it's business as usual.

"We're warning everyone to be careful as well on being told what to do," said Alves. "On the processing side, we're taking precautions when it comes to making deliveries and just being careful on not bringing anything back to our farm."

In the recent weeks, the pandemic has disrupted a balance in the supply and demand of milk with many restaurants and other food services running on curbed hours in the United States.....leaving large and milk and cheese plants across the nations stuck on restrictions.

"So if you ship your milk off to a milk plant that does 400 block pounds of cheddar cheese that are then shredded into smaller packages for food service those plants aren't taking in any milk," added Alves.

Which means the milk has to be diverted somewhere else, leaving some dairy farmers with major limitations.

"The only thing that's large in demand is the food retail from the stores and things like that so there's no where to go with things like that," explained Alves. "That's why we're seeing milk being dumped across the country and of course the farm prices have just sunk pretty bad for the next 3 months."

For now it's all about taking it one day at a time....with most of the dairy industry closely monitoring the next several months.

"The biggest help in our industry is when things free up again. So, lets get over this problem first so the state and government opens up everything," said Alves. "Then that's when we're going to catch up the supply again."

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020