Dairies Close Over Low Milk Prices

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CELINA, Ohio (AP) — Low milk prices are forcing dairy farms in northwestern Ohio to either close or liquidate a large portion of their herds.

The Daily Standard of Celina reports six dairies in Mercer County and four dairies in Auglaize County have closed or reduced their herds in an effort to cut costs while milk prices remain low.

Ohio State University Extension says milk prices averaged at $23.16 per 100 pounds in 2014. The average this year is at $14.43, a 38 percent decline.

OSU Extension educator Denny Riethman says smaller dairies have to increase their size to remain profitable, and the investment is too much of a risk.

The extension says the state has seen a drop in 59 licensed dairy farms over the past five months.