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Dairy in the spotlight during June


(image via www.kilgusfarmstead.com)

FAIRBURY – Dairy producers hope you remember to drink an ice-cold glass of milk with dinner tonight.


It may be a shifting market, but the dairy industry is trying to hit those areas that will consume milk, especially during June Dairy Month. Overall milk prices are a little suppressed, which poses challenges.


“With higher feed costs right now, that’s a little challenging,” admits Matt Kilgus of Kilgus Farmstead and Kilgus Dairy near Fairbury.


In general, the number of dairy farms continues to decline each year and finding those smaller family farms is getting harder and harder. Kilgus and others want to continue helping to promote the dairy industry.


There has been a shift in people drinking fluid milk to milk heading to coffee shops and other places.


“Your overall consumer just sitting down at the table and drinking milk has definitely declined,” Kilgus said.


This could be due to everyone’s busy lifestyles where families don’t sit down at the dinner table together like they used to.


Kilgus and other livestock producers have been dealing with the effects of recent dry weather. They just finished their second cutting of hay with a much shorter crop. Kilgus is not sure how much re-growth they will get for a third cutting, if we don’t receive adequate rainfall.


“We’ve been doing a lot of ditch hay, waterways and trying to get grass hay wherever we can.”


In addition to the dairy operation, Kilgus and his family raise crops. He feels things still look pretty good out in the field despite the dryness.


“On some of these hot days, you start to see the corn curling up a little bit,” he noted. “Surprisingly, there must be some moisture down there that the crops are getting a hold of.”


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