If milk prices don’t climb, it’s not for lack of effort from dairy producers.

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) announced recently it has tentatively accepted bids to retire another 86,710 dairy cows accounting for 1.8 billion lbs. of milk production. CWT’s most recent herd retirement completed last month removed 101,000 cows and 1.96 billion lbs. of milk production.

"These two summer 2009 herd retirements, combined with the USDA’s recent price support increases, should result in very positive movement in dairy farmers’ milk prices," said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, which administers CWT.

This latest round of retirement is also removing 3,104 bred heifers.

"CWT stands ready to conduct yet additional herd retirements later this year in order to help address the severe supply-demand imbalance that has depressed farm-level milk prices. We intend to use all the resources at our disposal to help farmers deal with this severe economic crunch that they’re confronting," Kozak said.

CWT is funded by dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers, who are contributing 10¢/cwt. assessment on their milk production through December 2010.