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Increased Milk Demand For Dairy Farmers

Increase Milk Demand

Southern Tier (WENY) -- New York's yogurt boom should be good news for local dairy farmers, but they can't keep up with demand at current market prices for milk.

Dairy regulations will be the main focus in Albany tomorrow at the New York State Yogurt Summit.

Yogurt sales have more than doubled in five years to $1.6 billion, and it takes three times as much milk to make greek yogurt. New yogurt plants in New York are driving demand to new levels.

"The real issue is economics and that is it doesn't make any sense for people to get more cows if those cows aren't profitable," said David Hardie, owner of Hardie Farms in Lansing.

"If they want a lot of milk in New York state, they should get that price up to $30 a hundred [pounds of milk] -- that'd be $2.50 a gallon to the consumer," said Scott Bush, owner of Sco-Li Dairy Farm in Elmira. "Then a lot of farmers would milk a lot more cows and the dairy industry would be a boom to New York state."

Governor Cuomo invited local dairy farmers to the summit tomorrow in Albany to address the issues.

"I'm hopeful that we have a dialogue between not just dairy farmers and state government, but dialogue between dairy farmers and yogurt processors and the public," said Hardie.