What’s ahead for the Texas dairy industry in 2018
By Darren Turley, TAD Executive Director
The year 2018 is upon us, and it could not pass any faster than 2017 has. The last year has been one that most Texans will never forget with many people impacted by Hurricane Harvey working on rebuilding that will last for years to come.
The outlook for the dairy industry in 2018 is not as favorable as we would like, but it does not look as bad for Texas as other areas of the nation. The southwest area is in the process of spending over three quarters of a billion dollars on plant expansion and new plant construction. Not all of this is in Texas, but all this growth will have a huge impact on the milk produced in Texas. This continued growth and expansion will secure a prosperous milk market for decades to come.
A large portion of the nation, including Texas, dumped milk in the spring flush, but this year Texas should weather the storm much better than the northern states. This should give a slight advantage to Texas producers trying to handle low milk prices. Discussion already is underway for the next step needed to secure Texas dairy farmers’ livelihood – a new plant in Texas to to handle the expected growth in future years. If started soon, the plant could be on line in a few years, before production increases again are a detriment to milk prices.
The Texas Association of Dairymen works to plan for the future of the dairy industry as well. Our legislative work to increase milk truck weight limits is one example. Other issues that we will be working on are the labor needs for Texas dairies, regional permit issues and the shift in the perspective of Texans as the state grows in its urban numbers.
TAD has strived for years to help make Texas a great place to be a dairy farmer and dairy family. Most of that work is out of the spotlight but still very important to the future landscape of the most forward-thinking dairy state in the country. More milk, bigger loads and a better image of dairy farmers are the mission for TAD in 2018.
Merry Christmas to your family and a Happy New Year in 2018! ▪