A few months ago, a report from The Wall Street Journal laid out some of the most revealing statistics to date on the milk industry.
The results were shocking: Big dairy companies made more than half of all dairy sales in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2018, but their profits were stagnant.
The industry’s profits fell from $4.3 billion to $3.3 bn, and the share of sales that went to farmers fell from 22 percent to 14 percent.
The report also found that the dairy industry has struggled to find enough milk to feed its customers in the wake of the record-setting drought.
According to the report, milk prices are at record highs in part because consumers are increasingly concerned about the quality of their milk.
The Wall Journal found that for every $1 of milk cost in the United States, the industry spent $4 on costs related to the drought, which means the industry has spent nearly $1 billion on water, fertilizer, pesticides, and other waste to manage the situation.
In the dairy sector, the largest losses are to dairy producers in the Midwest and Northeast, whose farms are struggling with high water and nutrient levels.
The report also notes that farmers in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest are particularly vulnerable to the impact of the drought.
The Journal found, however, that the impact on the dairy farm was less severe than many of the other sectors.
According, the dairy business lost more than $1.7 billion during the drought—an amount equivalent to more than two percent of its gross revenue.
And while dairy farms have suffered losses, the amount of losses on the farm is actually lower than many industry experts expected.
For example, the USDA estimates that farmers will lose more than 60 percent of their gross farm income in 2018, and that the industry will have more than 100 million gallons of water lost.
As the industry continues to struggle with water, the report notes that the farmers have also struggled to pay for their equipment.
Dairy farmers have to contend with a wide range of water regulations, which include restrictions on water pumping and restrictions on the amount and type of fertilizer that can be used.
It’s not clear whether the restrictions will continue into 2019, but the report found that many farmers were paying for their water with a combination of fines and surcharges.
The dairy industry is currently facing a number of problems as well.
Farmers in Iowa and Wisconsin are facing growing competition from farms in the Great Plains, and there’s concern that farmers and ranchers are not receiving adequate water in the drought-affected regions of the Midwest.
And the price of milk in the state has increased over the past few years, which some dairy farmers argue has hurt the industry’s ability to make profits.