Dairy industry braces for a bust after 2014 boom; some farmers asked to pour out surplus milk

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Despite record-setting milk sales in 2014, plummeting prices are forcing some dairy farmers to spill the surplus down the drain.

The current glut is due to global factors and overproduction. And dairy farmers say they worry about the futures markets predicting dwindling prices in 2015.

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But shoppers in the dairy aisle are milking savings by the gallon — below $3 for skim milk in some places.

Norbert Hardtke is the director of milk marketing at Family First Dairy Cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin.

He says farmers responded to global demand and record-high prices by pumping more from each cow and expanding their herds, which oversaturated the market.

China also pulled back on imports after stockpiling milk powder and Russia halted trade with the U.S.