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2012 Dairy Summit Held at Kaskaskia College Thursday

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The lingering impact of the drought last summer was one of the main topics of the 2013 Dairy Summit held at Kaskaskia College on Thursday.  Retired University of Illinois Animal Scientist Professor Mike Hutchins says the shortage of feed for the dairy herds is only the start of the problems.  

"One that is creating all kinds of interest is aflatoxin and other micro-toxins.  Other dairies and co-ops really monitor that very carefully to insure that consumers are getting safe, dairy products, but again that means this milk has to be discarded or farmers have to add some additive to it and that raises the cost", said Hutchins.  

Hutchins says income from milk production is also down.  "The price of milk is going down, so they are really going to get squeezed, especially the next two or three months with these high feed costs and then not having that feed raised.  For us it's a problem down here because most farmers raise that feed and put all that money in the ground to raise the feed.  Now they have to go out and buy some of it; so it's a double whammy", said Hutchins.

Hutchins worked with those in attendance on cost cutting measures.  He notes while many would only amount to pennies per day per cow, they add up overtime.  Over 120 attended the summit.  It was one of three held around the state for dairy farmers.  Clinton County is the top dairy production county in the state. 

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