Arizona dairy farmers adjusting practices during coronavirus outbreak

Shocking videos of dairy farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk have been circulating on the internet, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced dairy farmers across the country to dump their excess milk supply to offset their losses and keep prices stable. Arizona dairy farmers have taken part in this dumping process to help stay afloat. With demand for milk down from stay at home orders shutting down schools and restaurants, farmers are trying to reduce surpluses they can’t afford to produce and hold onto, while also maintaining prices for consumers. Cooperatives, including the United Dairymen of Arizona, have been working to help their farmers survive. “We have about 12 million pounds of milk a day and we’re dumping about a million a day,” said Keith Murfield, CEO of the United Dairymen of Arizona. The co-op is losing about $160,000 a day by dumping milk from approximately 70 member farms, Murfield said. The milk, however, is not being entirely wasted in the dumping process and is being run through digesters that convert it into such products as gas and electricity in some places. Other excess milk is fed to the cows and young livestock.

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