Organic farmers, ahead of the industry game

US - Six years ago Vaughn Sherman became a pioneer of the organic movement when he decided to take his dairy farm organic. For the past decade, dairy farmers in Tompkins County have dealt with increasing production costs and unpredictable market prices that have driven at least half a dozen to begin producing organic instead of conventional milk.
calendar icon 15 December 2006
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This year, Organic Valley expects the biggest transition of farmers from conventional to organic milk and — according to Sherman, owner of Jerry Dell Farm in Dryden — expects their organic milk supply to double.

“The best farm managers are in conventional milk. Conventional milk is just so competitive right now,” said Sherman.
Before moving to the organic market, Sherman along with other Upstate dairy farmers such as Phil Stauderman, owner of DeepWater Farm in Geneva, were paying thousands of dollars for pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics.

“Farmers' costs kept going up and the prices (of milk) weren't going up accordingly,” Stauderman said. “Eventually things hit a point where it cost more for us to become more efficient.”

Source: Ithica Journal

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