The dairy industry is coming off a phenomenal year. In 2021, producers say prices hit eight-year highs, and exports are on track to hit a record. Doug Chapin, board chair of the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), is bullish this momentum will be in producers’ favor into 2022.
“We anticipate a strong market for dairy in the first six months look very strong, and we’ll continue to see better margins for dairy producers,” he says.
That strong market comes from a combination of domestic and foreign demand.
“We’re coming off a year where we had the highest dairy consumption per person in the U.S. since the 60s,” says Chapin. “We think that same opportunity for growth in exports continues into 2022 as we see our main trading partners, New Zealand and the EU flatline production and decrease.”
MMPA is also keeping close tabs on what’s happening in Washington. One of the main areas of focus is the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which was passed by the House last year.
“We’ve always asked for help for dairy to have access to employees through the H-2A program, and we thought the Workforce Modernization Act could offer that opportunity,” he says. “Now that we’re in an election year, the foreign labor side of that seems to be a lightning rod. I hope the Senate takes it up.”
In his full comments in the January 19, 2022 edition of the Michigan Ag Today Podcast in the player below, Chapin discusses when dairy producers could see producer price differential payments and other areas of focus for dairy producers.