Numbers don't add up for dairies

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
0211_MalloriesMilkThe closing of a longtime Oregon dairy has delivered another blow to an already fragile industry suffering from declining milk prices and rising feed costs. Five years ago Oregon had about 330 dairy farms that produced and sold milk. Today it has 280.

Silverton-based Mallorie’s Dairy closed last month after more than 50 years of producing and distributing milk to Mid-Willamette Valley grocers. Officials for the dairy said the combination of low milk prices and rising feed costs made it difficult to remain profitable.

“It was a very well run operation, extremely efficient,” says Jim Krahn, executive director for the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association. “What was sobering about Mallorie’s was that they had been in existence for a long time, and had been a legend in the industry to that extent.”

The dairy was founded in 1954 by Robert Mallorie and remained a family-run operation when his children, Rick and Teri, continued to run the company after his death in 1996. The business employed more than 50 people full time and had around 3,000 dairy cows.

In Oregon and across the rest of the U.S., dairy producers have been facing declining milk prices while suffering from rising feed costs since late 2008, along with an oversupply problem.

“[When] the economy went south in ’08 we lost a lot of exports,” says Krahn. “Our surplus built up and we are still sitting on it. We simply have too much of it.” In 2009, Oregon’s dairy farm production was valued at $307 million.

While Krahn emphasizes the optimism of dairy producers, he is beginning to admit the current climate is making it harder for producers to stay hopeful.

“It’s hard to be optimistic over this length of time,” says Krahn. “I know many people have said, if [Mallorie’s] can’t make it, how can we? It’s causing people to take a second look, if they are going to get through this or not.”

MAX GELBER
 

More Articles

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Oregon needs a Grand Bargain energy plan

Linda Baker
Monday, June 22, 2015
0622-gastaxblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS