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We all know the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” When it comes to milk in 2009, the market may be handing us the proverbial lemon. For many producers, milk prices may barely come near, let alone exceed, break-even levels. That certainly is the sour taste of a lemon.

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Rachel Kaehler
Dairy Cattle Show Coordinator at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin

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The dairy outlook presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in late February contained some dismal forecasts.

“This is a challenging time for the dairy sector,” said Dairy Analyst Roger Hoskin of USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

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The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s (PDPW) Annual Business Conference, March 17-18, in Madison, Wisconsin, fulfilled its theme by “Adding Passion, Multiplying Profits.”

More than 1,100 producers gathered from across the U.S. for the two-day event. Together they faced their challenges head-on, discussed solutions and walked away with a proactive approach to the future.

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Producers who made the trip to the bi-annual Western Dairy Management Conference in Reno, Nevada, last month had two things on their minds – depressed milk prices and how long they would last. More than 25 presenters addressed visitors during the three-day conference, and in one way or another, each spoke to producers’ economic concerns during presentations or after while fielding their questions.

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