February 1, 2013 | last updated February 1, 2013 11:32 am

Closure of dairy processor hurting farmers

Maine's top dairy farm advocate says the closure of Garelick Farms' dairy processing plant in Bangor has created widespread problems for Maine dairy farmers.

The Portland Press Herald reported that industry officials are speaking out about the impact on a fund called the Maine Milk Pool, to which Maine-based dairies contribute for milk purchased from Maine farmers. Payments to that fund are expected to drop by $600,000 this year with the closure of the Garelick plant in October.

That could translate to $2,000 less in payments to the average farm, which Maine Dairy Industry Association President Dale Cole said adds to pressure from rising fuel and feed costs.

Despite the safety net of the federal government's monthly milk subsidy, which in September amounted to $0.59 cent per hundred-weight for Cole's dairy in Sidney, the Press Herald reported, it was not enough to cover losses that month.


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