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Dumping Milk, Then and Now

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In 1933, a coalition of Wisconsin dairy farmers protested the collapse of milk prices by intercepting shipments headed to market and dumping milk cans. The strikers hoped that reducing the supply would drive up prices. Today, dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other states are dumping their own milk for the same reason. The closure of schools, restaurants, and other large commercial dairy purchasers as a result of COVID-19 has gutted the American dairy market.

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  2. This is utterly ridiculous. I’m sure the virus ‘crisis’ is hard on them but they have been over producing for years and relying on the feds for support. It’s just bull crap.

    1. ^^^ this guy gets it.

      2018 :
      https://www.dairyherd.com/article/low-milk-prices-sending-some-dairy-farmers-out-business


      Milk prices in 2014 averaged $23.16 per 100 pounds. So far this year the average is $14.43, a 38 percent drop. The supply of milk is outstripping the demand, by far, which is driving down the price.

      “There’s just so much excess milk right now, and it looks like that’s going to continue to be the case for a while,” Shoemaker said.

      Maybe stop producing so much milk? And along with that, maybe stop producing so much cheap beef that the average American eats almost twice as much meat as notoriously meat-averse… German people?

      1. Hey, leave my steaks alone. Grilling steaks and enjoying good beer and whiskey has got me through this ‘crisis’ so far. Also, I not sure that cattle farmers get government support like dairy and grain farmers do. Maybe some.

        1. I’m sure that if we hand ranchers $1 to raise a cow, we hand the poor enough money to keep them alive in order to eat the cow. Save much more money and have many fewer cows by getting rid of the latter rather than the former.

          Not that I believe the Germans are particularly meat-averse or that that represents anything other than “The Norse are tall, let’s spend more money on tall people.” fallacious thinking.

          1. I recall the Germans really love their pork too. Maybe more than beef. This is my first day off in 12, have a little time to comment for once.

            1. “I recall the Germans really love their pork too.”

              Maybe that explains their bizarre traditional toilet architecture? https://wonderfulengineering.com/know-german-toilet-design-different-rest-world-wisdom-behind/

              Pre-modern food science and processing, didn’t pork have a higher frequency of parasites in the meat than other meats?

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            2. Traditionally Germans like pork more than beef but I’ve heard that is changing

        2. Gentleman Farmer here, we grow corn and soybeans in Iowa and the only thing that’s subsidized or supported by the government (beyond the normal tax code stuff that any corporation gets) is our crop insurance. And that’s only subsidized up to a certain point, you can’t insure a 110% yield and then file a claim when it’s only 100%.

          It’s really just to prevent bankruptcies and to make sure that we pay our debts to the banks, seed and fertilizer companies.

          1. But why can’t we just have you buy private insurance at market rates? I’m sure it would be more expensive than the government kind, but you can just build that into your sale price. Consumers are paying that extra price anyway through taxes, though less precisely.

      2. Fuck off slaver

      3. 1.5/10

        1. Hey , who died and made you Fist ?

        2. I think you are being too generous. No cookie for you.

      4. And along with that, maybe stop producing so much cheap beef that the average American eats almost twice as much meat as notoriously meat-averse… German people?

        You know who else felt the German people should be an example for how the people of the world should live?

        1. Kaiser Wilhelm II ?

        2. Yesterday, an Italian marine biologist discovered a new species of octopus off the coast of Italy. This new species is capable of generating an electric charge similar to an electric eel.

          He dubbed this new species: IM Sparktopus.

      5. And along with that, maybe stop producing so much cheap beef that the average American eats almost twice as much meat as notoriously meat-averse… German people?

        Rating: 3 Pinochios. While the US does eat more meat per capita than Germany, it is not double the amount, it is instead about one a a half times the amount. Additionally, the “average american” numbers are misleading due to the inclusion of meat used for pets and exclusion of fish.

    2. “I’m sure the virus ‘crisis’ is hard on them but they have been over producing for years and relying on the feds for support.”

      Somehow, all of those federal dairy subsidies never made it into one of that asshole Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Awards.

      Burn, you fucker. And kick McCain in the nuts a few times when you see him down there.

    3. This comment is disappointing. It missed the obvious pun. I am *udderly* disappointed.

    4. Yup. My cousins are beef producers. Not too far from a bunch of dairy producers. Both raising cows. Look at a feed lot and a dairy lot, and there’s not much difference. Beef gets the benefit of free range and pasturage, but it’s still essentially the same business right up to the point where you gotta produce the product.

      So who gets the subsidy? Dairy. And not a tiny subsidy at that. The subsidies are so big they’ve essentially driven the small dairies out of business as one makes so much more per cow as a big dairy. Economy of scale always applies, but the subsidies mean enough profit to just buy out the small dairies so you can count their herd as your own for the big Federal Bucks.

      Beef ranchers, on the other hand, get jack shit from the Feds.

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  4. Today, dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other states are dumping their own milk for the same reason.

    Reason “Fuck Free Markets” Magazine.

    What’s the proposal Reason? You want these dairy farmers to bring the milk to market at a loss?

    Very telling that if there’s a libertarian angle here (and I’m pretty sure there is) Reason decided to stop at the purely socialist one.

    1. Look, the dairy farmers have been sucking on the government teat for years, as have the grain farmers. The ‘crisis’ just exposed their over production. It’s a shame all these businesses are hurting. That said it may be time to eliminate the federal interference and support to farmers.

      1. To the extent that dairy farmers get subsidies, fine, let’s get rid of those subsidies.

        However in this case, the farmers aren’t dumping their milk to manipulate the market. If they do not milk their dairy cows, they will stop producing milk. And then when (if) the demand for milk starts up again, they will not be able to serve that demand.

        The old version of that photo was from unions manipulating the market by seizing other peoples’ milk. The latter version is just an anachronism of the milk production process.

        1. However in this case, the farmers aren’t dumping their milk to manipulate the market.

          Actually, it’s “worse” than this. They are trying to manipulate the market because they are the market. You know, producers or suppliers and consumers? The shitburger is that Reason has bought wholesale into the idea that anybody manipulating any market in ways they don’t approve of is bad.

          Two gallons of milk (or juice or eggs or…) in your fridge and one will expire before you can consume it? Don’t dump it down the drain, that’s market manipulation! Sure, you’re the consumer and you mistakenly bought too much but you don’t need 23 different choices of how to handle excess milk while there are children starving.

          Personally, I’d to see milk prices lower. Dairy is among the most nutritious food on the planet and I’d love to have a bunker full of dried dairy protein that cost me nothing and would last me until the end of time. Hell, one for everybody! However, even the sadistic capitalist in me can see that compelling dairy farmers to operate at a loss is effective slavery and could/would ultimately produces less milk in total.

      2. Look, the dairy farmers have been sucking on the government teat for years, as have the grain farmers.

        See?! One sentence and it could be about something remotely libertarian.

        Instead, Reason’s statement is that producers shouldn’t have a say in markets.

        Every market produces surpluses a cornerstone of the free market system is that the producers resolve that issue. Dumping milk in a lean year is more flexible than liquidating portions of the herd. Would Reason be telling the Big 3 that they need to be running scrap through their production lines just to keep them running rather than shut them down or, worse, selling off equipment? Fuck Reason*, that’s the Big 3s business.

        *Given Reason’s disingenuousness on virtually every topic. I could see a legitimate analysis from economic or industry-specific magazines, but not one that conflates seized property with owned property, rioters with protesters, immigrants with illegal immigrants etc., etc.

    2. I don’t see an angle. Just someone reporting the news with a reference to history. Must everything be political?

      1. Today, dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other states are dumping their own milk for the same reason.

        Fine, dumbass, the real news is Reason Magazine’s newfound ability to read minds and the shithole magazine buried the lede.

        1. Four sentences, dude. I seriously don’t get how you can find all these nefarious motivations and other excuses to complain about and insult this magazine over a four sentence article. And then you accuse them of reading minds? Get a fucking grip already. And take a sedative while you’re at it.

          1. I don’t understand the vitriol, but Reason is undoubtedly wrong here. The dairy farmers are not dumping milk to manipulate prices. They are dumping milk because they have to milk the herd or lose it, but it incurs costs to process it, and no one is buying it. That is a very different reason than seizing it on the way to the market.

            1. You’re probably right, especially since most states manipulate milk prices and don’t allow them to rise and fall with supply and demand.

            2. It incurs even more losses to fill the truck and then dump it publicly. If their only goal was as you say, they’d dump it much closer to home, much sooner.

              1. It incurs even more losses to fill the truck and then dump it publicly.

                Spend a lot of years in the dairy industry or farming? What’s the cost to fill the truck? Got stats on what percentage is dumped “privately” vs. “publicly”? Got stats on market shifts and lead times? Ever bring product to market only to find the price had dropped?

          2. Four sentences, dude.

            As I said above, it’s quite conceivable that someone would/could write whole books of straightforward, impartial market/economic analysis of milk production. Unfortunately, Reason can’t even eek out four sentences with out one that’s, politically or not, slanted to the point of being obviously incorrect.

            Moreover, between this and other articles like the ‘Space Force Horse’, their slanted ignorance is demonstrated to be habitual.

            On top of all that, will you see a retraction, clarification, or amendment? Will the article be pulled? Nope. They deserve ridicule for consistently committing and committing to such stupidity and that’s being generous in the assumption that their issue is ill-considered stupidity.

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  6. There have been many studies over the years that solitary confinement will mess up your mind.
    Self quarantine seems to have had the same effect on the reason staff.

    1. Faulty reasoning. Most Reason writers were messed up before any quarantines.

      1. Well, there’s crazy and then there’s more crazy.

  7. Ranchers are destroying their own product to create scarcity in an attempt to drive up prices. So. Fucking. What.

    1. ^Right; Don’t like it – go GROW your own cattle and make milk cheaper. Subsidies need to go that’s for sure – but complaining that your neighbors would rather see their old car rot than give it to you for free isn’t going to get anyone anywhere.

  8. So, milk producers have to dump their own production because schools are closed? Maybe this is just maximizing efficiency, and avoiding all that wasted packaging, transportation, and distribution that used to happen before kids dumped the same milk in the cafeteria.

  9. Only at a site devoted to free minds can you find the actions of those who steal milk equated the actions of the legal owners of milk.

    I cannot help but notice that no one will actually put their name in this mess.

    1. The article is not defending the dumping in 1933. And the current dumping is claimed to be their own milk. Punching someone else’s nose is bad, punching your own is just silly. Free minds may point out that it’s silly, but they got no Reason(tm) to decry it as violence.

  10. Did someone say “udderly ridiculous”?

    “Sucking at the government teat”?

    Rich.

    1. Rich

      Casein point?

  11. Milk is, for environmental purposes, an oil. This is pollution on a large scale and should be responded to with EPA fines.

    1. Good grief; Is the EPA going to charge wildlife for poops in public too?

      1. If pooping in public were within EPA’s jurisdiction, then the entire city of San Francisco would be declared a Superfund site.

  12. Milk marketing gets what they deserve. Bastards. First they promulgate a myth that excessive milk consumption by children is good, when it is not. (In all things, moderation). Next they get the Federal government to subsidize producers. And then they try to outlaw almond and soy milk. Finally, they’re idiots destroying their own supply.

    Cutting supply while the demand is down doesn’t result in more demand. And even if it did, they’re destroying more than they’ll get back. It’s economic silliness.

  13. In 1933, a coalition of Wisconsin dairy farmers protested the collapse of milk prices by intercepting shipments headed to market and dumping milk cans.

    Then they formed a group, “Dairy Farmers Matter”, which was quickly co-opted by academics and marxists…

    1. Milk is white.

      1. What about chocolate milk? Seriously dude, I can’t even.

  14. They aren’t dumping it drive up prices, they are dumping it simply because no one is buying it and need to be rid of it so they can use the tank space for fresh milk (its not like dairy cows have a “off” switch, they keep producing milk and have to be milked every day)

    1. ^^Hey someone who knows whats going on… Just to add more detail; COVID-19 restrictions shut-down most processing plants. If processing plants aren’t purchasing milk what are milk producers to do with the milk? Well said, there is no “off” switch on cows.

      We’ve got one dairy outfit in our area getting by great BECAUSE they also own the processing outfit. Of which of course they didn’t shut it down in the face of restrictions. The rest have literally sold off all their stock for beef and shut down the dairy completely.

      Subsidies are a sick thing.. Stealing from the people to produce nothing for society but what the rural area I live in the dumping of milk is solely because the dairy processing outfits are closed.

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