The Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) Dairy Producer Survey is the first survey of its kind to directly ask dairy farmers across the state of Wisconsin how low milk prices have affected their farming operations. Farmers were also asked to share their thoughts on oversupply management, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), concentration within the agricultural industry and foreign or corporate ownership of Wisconsin farmland.
Some general highlights:
The survey was sent out in August to every dairy farmer in the state – a total of 8,442 farms.
WFU received 1,050 surveys, equaling a 12% rate of return and surpassing the desired goal of 10%.
The survey was very successful in its efforts to reach out to dairy farms of differing sizes across the state, and the quality of the additional comments and attached notes provided valuable insight on what is helping them succeed and what is hurting them.
One respondent sent in a draft of his own plan to manage milk overproduction in the market.
The average year respondents began farming was 1986.
63% of dairy farmers reported a negative profit margin from their milk costs.
This summary is broken down into sections generally following the order of questions presented on the survey. Summary statistics from the responses to each question are included as well as some findings on analysis of trends within the data. Charts, tables or graphs have been inserted where appropriate.
Read the results in their entirety here.