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Processing plant forced to dump milk

Dairy farms in Wayne County are disappearing and now the spread of COVID-19 is taking a toll on business as milk processing plants are forced to dump milk.

DAMASCUS, Pa. — As people still venture out to shop for the essentials, many shoppers are grabbing milk. That should sound like good news to people, but that's not the reality for people in the milk business.

"There was somewhat of a supply built up and then in a week and a half to two weeks ago when the big push came on, when everybody started to panic and went out and started to buy up the milk and everything, well that took everything away," explained Andy Diehl of Diehl Trucking.

Diehl Trucking in Damascus Township transports milk from area farms to processing plants and were told to dump a whole truck full of milk that was to be delivered to a processing plant. They posted video on Facebook of the milk being dumped from their tanker. In 24 hours, the video has over 60,000 views.

A very sad day here at Diehl Trucking......after nearly 42 years of hauling milk.....we were told today for the first time to dump two full loads of milk. The uncertainty of the world has hit the dairy industry. The lack of demand for milk and milk products and plants that process have been hit by sickness. Please keep all in your thoughts and prayers ❤️

Posted by Diehl Trucking Inc on Thursday, April 2, 2020

The dairy industry is pointing to several problems right now. Schools and restaurants are closed, and some processing plants are closed.

"We're very sad. It's very sad to see. In almost 42 years we've been hauling milk, it's the first ever we were asked to dump good milk just because there was no place to go with it."

Highland Farm is one of those dairy farms that get their milk picked up by Diehl Trucking. They're not sure if some of their milk was on that truck headed for the plant but tell Newswatch 16 they were just starting to see an increase in the price of milk and now with less of a demand, they know it's just going to drop again.

Dairy farms like Highland Farm in Wayne County say they hate to see milk being dumped. They know they have to get up each day and run their farm in the hopes that things turn around again soon.

Cows are still producing the same amount of milk each day. This results in a surplus of raw product with nowhere to go because the shelves are now full and people are staying home longer.

"I hope we can all come out on top of it without losing more of our farms. They hit hard times as it is. We don't want to lose any more than we have to."

There's still a way you can help local dairy farms.  Farmers say when you're buying your essentials at the grocery store, buy local products that come from our area.  

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