Drop in demand forces Berks dairy farmers to dump milk -TV

RICHMOND TWP., Pa. – The coronavirus is milking some dairy farmers in Berks County dry.

“The future is looking really poor for dairy,” said David Kurtz, co-owner of Sunrise Dairy Farm in Richmond Township, near Fleetwood.

Berks farm struggling during coronavirus - COVID-19 crisis

Kurtz said the milk from his farm is all contracted out, and much of the product goes to restaurants, which are now closed or offering limited service due to coronavirus restrictions.

He said the price for a gallon of milk has dropped by about 40%, and the projections for the rest of April and into May are very low.

Berks farm struggling during coronavirus - COVID-19 crisis

“There’s not demand for milk, apparently, or people aren’t buying enough,” Kurtz said. “People aren’t able to get to the retailer the way they should, so we just get paid what we get paid and take what we can get.”

Kurtz said he and many other area farmers are left with no other choice but to dump excess milk.

“It’s quite a challenge to know that your work is going down the drain pretty much,” Kurtz explained.

Kurtz said he’s doing his best to cut costs wherever possible, but if the price doesn’t go up in the next few months, dairy farmers could be in trouble.

Berks farm struggling during coronavirus - COVID-19 crisis

“We should be able to recover if the price recovers,” Kurtz said. “If price stays low for six months, it’ll be a challenge.”

He and his family, however, remain hopeful that everything will turn out alright.

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“I guess it’s just time to put our faith in God and do our best, hope that, through prayer, we can get through it,” Kurtz said.

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