Survey finds area dairy farmers want to grow

Staff report


A survey conducted by Team Northeast Ohio and the Ohio State University Extension among dairy farmers across five counties, including Trumbull, shows that many of them have plans to continue operating and grow their herd size despite broader challenges for the industry.

Team NEO, an economic development group working across 18 counties in Northeast Ohio, set out with the extension and other local development agencies to learn more about the concerns and attitudes of dairy farmers to better gauge what can be done to assist them.

Though only 43 percent of the 189 dairy farms approached for the survey responded, those who conducted the research say the report is one of the region’s most comprehensive to date.

It found that more than 78 percent of the local dairy farms surveyed plan to continue operating during the next five years. Nearly 35 percent plan to increase their herd size during the next five years, adding 818 additional cows in the region.

Asked what was limiting farmers from expanding — other than milk prices and the costs of fuel and feed — the survey found 61 percent didn’t have the land to grow more crops, 31 percent could not find adequate labor, and an additional 29 percent of respondents said financing was an issue.

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