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More Than 100 Dairy Farms Folded This Year

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(credit: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

(credit: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

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ST. PAUL (AP) — State agriculture officials say more than 100 dairy farmers have called it quits so far this year.

Farm business instructor Tom Anderson at Riverland Community College in Plainview says a rocky market has forced at least a dozen farmers to sell their herds or retire in Winona County alone.

Anderson says the loss of 1,500 cows in Winona County has an economic impact of more than $17 million on local communities.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that nationally, the average base price of milk dropped 65 percent in 2009 compared to the year before. The newspaper reported that prices sank so low that, for the first time in more than 50 years, the average dairy herd in Minnesota lost money.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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