What a change 2014 has brought for the nation’s dairy farmers. Milk prices have reached record levels, and feed prices have plunged to the lowest level in nearly a decade, thanks to ideal growing conditions in the Corn Belt.
It’s a long way, indeed, from the dark days of 2009, when farmers lost money on every hundredweight of milk they produced, month after month. That prolonged period of non-existent operating margins between 2007 and 2009 robbed farmers of a collective $20 billion in equity.
In the 1973 Woody Allen comedy “Sleeper,” Allen’s character awakes from two centuries of suspended animation to find that his preferred diet of wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk has fallen out of favor. Scientists in the future have concluded that the benefits of those substances, believed in the 1970s to contain life-preserving properties, were inferior to deep fat, steak, cream pies and hot fudge.