Dairy farmer Rob Wonderlich of Ollie, Iowa, testified recently before the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry. Wonderlich's testimony focused on the biofuel revolution and how it has increased the feed and fuel costs associated with operating a dairy.
According to Wonderlich, those costs are adversely affecting not only his dairy farm, but the 62,000 dairy farms across the United States. He says that while the increase in commodity prices "is great for U.S. grain farmers that have experienced several consecutive years of depressed prices, it is tragically affecting the financial viability of dairy farmers."
"Based on my farm's financial reports, my costs have risen sharply since 2004, which on hundredweight basis is an operating cost increase of approximately $2 per hundredweight," Wonderlich says.
Despite any perception formulated from my comments today, I am a firm believer in renewable fuels derived from agriculture commodities," Wonderlich told the committee. "However, this biofuel revolution occurred very quickly and did not allow for farmers, such as myself, in the various livestock industries to properly adapt, which has sent a shock across the industries in the form of increased operating costs."