Deadline for Wisconsin farmers looming, may be forced to dump mi - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Deadline for Wisconsin farmers looming, may be forced to dump milk

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Two cows at T&R Dairy in Watertown. Farmer Mandy Peirick may be forced to dump their milk if she can't find a buyer by April 30th. Two cows at T&R Dairy in Watertown. Farmer Mandy Peirick may be forced to dump their milk if she can't find a buyer by April 30th.

WATERTOWN (WKOW) --- Next week, many Wisconsin dairy farmers may have to start dumping out their milk.

As we've reported in recent weeks, Grassland Dairy Products has told dozens of Wisconsin farmers it will no longer buy their milk after the end of April because of a change in Canadian trade rules.

While some farmers have found new milk processors, most of the nearly 60 who lost their contracts with Grassland are still looking.

Mandy Peirick's family farm, T&R Dairy is one of the farm caught in the cross hair.

“The month is almost up and still have no place to go for our milk," Peirick said.

She's a 3rd generation farmer. Her grandparents brought their farm in 1942.

“We're milking between 180 and 190 cows. And we're shipping out 13,000 pounds of milk a day.”

All that milk could go to waste if they don't find a buyer by April 30th.

“May 1st and the milk has to start going down the drain,” Peirick said

The Grassland's decision leaves farmers high and dry.

Some farmers, like Mark Navis, may be forced to sell their cows.

“We would still try to find somebody. maybe for the next week or two weeks,” Navis said.

Other farmer may have to sell their farm all together.

“I think we'll be able to last maybe a couple months,” Peirick said.

Navis said the money he makes from milk sales equals about 75% to 80% of his total profit. So he's eager to find a buyer before the deadline.

“Right now we're kind of in limbo, I guess. We're still hoping for someone to come along and take it. But then after that, if we still haven't found anyone, there's a very good chance that we'll sell,” Navis said.

He believes there's an oversupply of milk on the market, which is forcing factories to turn farmers away.

“I know that Grande Cheese did take four farms. If a lot of these factories, if they would take just one or two farms, it would help. But they just say, 'We're full of milk. We don't want anymore.'”

Peirick said the stress is beginning to take it toll.

“The last month has been pretty rough. It's just, you're sitting there just hoping somebody is going to come and say hey, we'll take your milk. But there hasn't been that answer yet.”

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board said there are ways you can help struggling dairy farmers. They recommend you buy Wisconsin dairy products, donate Wisconsin dairy products to a local food bank to drive up demand, donate to the Great American Milk Drive, and help spread the word.

Check out America's Dairyland website for ways you can show your support and spread the word.

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