A curious cow looks over a fence in a paddock near Trittau, northern Germany, on Tuesday Nov. 28, 2000. Mad cow disease is a topic after a cow was found infected by it for the first time in Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
One of our biggest food staples could be in jeopardy.
Some dairy farms are closing and others are struggling to stay open.
Only half the amount of cattle that used to be on some dairies are left.
This is what's happening at several dairy farms in New Mexico and Texas.
"We can't turn the cows off, they keep running and producing milk. So, we as dairy farmers have to sell our milk everyday. We are price takers and not price makers, says Art Schaap.
Conditions for dairy farmers have been extremely tough.
"You can't produce crops and you have to haul in the feed, so we are hauling feed out as far as Canada, and as you know the fuel costs, we can't just afford those," says Art Schaap.
Plus, the drought and the ethanol subsidy on corn has caused them to suffer even more...but, what's tougher is finding ways for them to manage.
"We move our cattle to other states to feed them, to Colorado, Nebraska, and to Missouri so that they can graze. We are also selling cattle so that we can reduce our debts," says Art Schaap.
Several farms in the western states have been forced to close.
"I know of at least five here and have heard of at least 6 or 7 in the Texas panhandle. I've heard of as many as 8 to 10 in the middle part of Texas,” says art Schaap.
Milk production is already taking a hard hit
"There are 40 less semis going to the market with milk right now than last year, “says Art Schaap.
Which is nearly two million pounds less per day. That's why they are asking the government to be on their side.
"I think the new AG bill that is coming on, we are going to control the supply of milk so that we don't overproduce," says Art Schaap.
We're told a shortage is expected this fall and prices are anticipated to go up for consumers.