Drought relief and new technology help panhandle dairy industry

Published: Oct. 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2014 at 10:57 PM CDT
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Relief from the drought and new technologies are helping the dairy industry get back on track and this is having a positive impact on the panhandle economy.

In the past several years the drought was causing high prices of feed for dairy cows.

Darren Turley with the Texas Association of Dairymen says dairy farmers are seeing a drop in feed costs and an increase in the price of milk they are selling, which is improving revenue.

"We are seeing corn reduction in price being the biggest impact to our bottom line right now. As that reduction happens it has really been positive to for dairy. We are starting to see that with our soy bean and and protein costs. So everything is getting more positive with our ability to feed those cattle" said Turley.

Dr. Ellen Jordan with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service says this will help with prices consumers see at the grocery store in the future.

"Although right now our prices on milk are up, we expect them to drop as we move into the new year because we are seeing an increase in production. That way we will see some prices going down to the producer, which means consumers are going to see those prices too," said Jordan.

The Texas Association of Dairymen says the panhandle is an ideal spot for the dairy industry.

"The panhandle dairy is huge in Texas. That is where most of our milk comes from, that is going to continue to be where a lot of our milk is produced. There is no way around it.  You have this great climate, you have a lot of feed, it is a good place to milk cows," said Turley.

New ID technology that allow dairies to keep track of cows and their health is also helping dairy farms be more efficient.