Milk prices are up. The typical price for a gallon that milk is about 3.59. V all the troubles with it is provided lines and also rising car and home prices, it"s the expenses of basics prefer milk that can hit the hardest. That"s why we referred to as up Lee Mielke. That"s M-I-E-L-K-E. That is the host of "Mielke Monday" on dairy products Radio Now, and also he joins united state from Lynden, Wash. Mr. Mielke, many thanks so much for being through us.

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LEE MIELKE: girlfriend bet, Scott.

SIMON: Why are milk price up?

MIELKE: Well, they"re ~ above their way up, however they"ve been down for part time. And this industry is one the rises and falls regularly. Dairy product farmers have actually a difficult row to hoe sometimes. And while the benchmark class III milk price did walk up a $1.30 this week to 17.83 every hundredweight, that"s still well below what most farms see as a break-even price of roughly 18.50 per hundredweight.

SIMON: Well, what provides the prices, i guess I have to say, of milk change?

MIELKE: Well, that goes earlier to the regulation of supply and demand, the course. But we"ve got a different instance with the COVID of critical year. We witnessed a actual ruckus take location as demand was all over the board. And we observed restaurants closing. Price plummeted. The federal government kicked in that food crate program, i beg your pardon was among several programs, and that benefits the dairy sector significantly. And so if the benchmark price up $1.30 is great from September, it"s nearly $4 below what it was a year ago.

You need to consider, also, the farmers have seen their prices skyrocket as well, particularly feed, plus energy - i m sorry is gas and electricity, propane - and labor costs. Dairy farmers have to hire labor, and we all recognize what the labor market is looking prefer right now. It"s hard to obtain help.

SIMON: Yeah.

MIELKE: and also you have to increase her pay scale in order come attract an excellent help.

SIMON: Are troubles in the supply chain affecting either the price...

MIELKE: Yes.

SIMON: ...Or access of milk?

MIELKE: Yes, over there is harbor congestion the is walk on. The best exporter of dairy products is new Zealand and also the europe Union. The U.S. Is not constantly real competitive with them, yet we are appropriate now. And the problem has come in obtaining exports to nations that require it. And also so there is a particular amount of turning away from the U.S. As not being a dependable supplier since of the congestion that"s walking on in ~ ports.

SIMON: Mr. Mielke, i am told the you have actually been covering the dairy products industry since the 1980s. What execute you think? Is milk a reliable method to gauge inflation?

MIELKE: Oh, ns don"t understand that friend would usage milk as a method to gauge inflation. No, ns am - ns wouldn"t think that to be the case. The sleeve price of milk frequently does not correlate through the farm wholesale prices either due to the fact that retailers regularly use milk as a loss leader. And so you perform not necessarily view a many fluctuation in the price every gallon the milk. Girlfriend will check out that an ext in cheese and also in butter and ice cream, perhaps, but not so lot in fluid milk.

I can remember years and also years earlier when we were having problems with dairy farmer remaining profitable and dairy farms going the end of business and also an interview with human being saying, well, are you no concerned around the variety of dairy farmers going out of business? and also the one response that was most amazing come me was, well, not really, due to the fact that I obtain all mine milk in ~ Safeway.

SIMON: Oh, mine word. Yeah. Mr. Mielke, pardon me, is there any kind of joke about your name that actually makes you laugh?

MIELKE: ns do. And also for years as soon as I was on - I had actually my own radio program, syndicated radio program. I often said, I"m the Mielke, and my listeners space the Mielkers (ph).

SIMON: five (laughter). Lee Mielke is the host of "Mielke Monday" on dairy Radio Now. Thank you so lot for being with us.

MIELKE: friend bet, Scott.

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