Summer drought expected to raise milk prices

This hot summer is taking a toll on farms across Central New York.

Dairy farmer Skip Hardie says when itâ??s this hot, the cows at Hardi Farms don't eat as much and because of that, they don't make as much milk.

Less milk on the farm means the rest of us can expect higher milk prices at the grocery store.

â??It's economics. This is economics 101 in the dairy industry right now," says Hardie.

The USDA estimates this summerâ??s record heat could drop milk production by as much as 20% on some dairy farms. To make matters worse, drought across much of the country is drying up corn supplies and driving up the amount it costs dairy farmers to feed their cows.

â??This is a very, very major drought long-term this is going to be felt initially on the farm probably in the stores,â?? says Hardie.

The USDA is warning consumers to expect at least a 5% increase in milk prices by the end of the year.

Hardie says if the drought continues to raise corn and feed prices then some Central New York dairy farmers could have a hard time staying in business.

"It would appear unless something miraculous happens there is going to be less milk,â?? says Hardie.