MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) Despite a recent drop in milk production, Governor Scott Walker still believes Wisconsin can achieve his goal of making 30-billion pounds a year by 2020. The Republican Walker was asked yesterday about the possibility of not meeting the goals of the "Dairy 30-by-20 program" -- which gives grant money to farmers who expand their operations or make them more efficient.
Walker said the industry will most likely get back on its feet eventually -- but farmers would have to be aggressive in making it happen. Wisconsin dairy farms have reduced their milk production on a year-to-year basis for six straight months through April. The Wisconsin Ag Connection says poor feed quality and higher cull rates are mostly to blame. Last year's drought and the extremely cold winter also made things worse.
Walker says Wisconsin is importing about 15-percent of the milk it needs at its cheese factories. That's up from 10-percent a year ago. But he believes Wisconsin can close the gap by growing its operations, and becoming more efficient and productive.