Special Report

Helping dairy through the financial storm

There is no doubt the big topic of discussion at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days this year is the crisis in the dairy industry. Milk prices have been below the cost of production for months, all indications those prices are not going to improve substantially for a while and financial institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to extend much further. Mark Binversie is with Investors Community Bank, he says banks are in the same situation as dairy farmers, “We don’t know how much gas it is going to take to reach the finish line.” The key says Binversie is to talk to your banker, “Try not to make any major decisions that are going to long-term affect you.”

He recommends producers do a month-by-month budget, calculate your expense per cow, if that number is higher than it was a year ago, you need to change something. He notes there are some positives, interest rates are low and while the price is low, “Someone is still picking up your milk.” He compares this to an appliance store that has the same expenses but may not have any sales.

Binversie also stresses to be very careful, “This is an erosion of equity and equity is still the key to making it through anything.”

AUDIO: Mark Binversie talks about the current dairy situation 5:45

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