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Michigan dairy farm shutters amid industry oversupply

Associated Press
In this Friday, April 6, 2018 photo, Nate Elzinga, right, looks over the auction brochure during the dairy cow auction at his farm in Zeeland, Mich. Friday was the day of the auction where Elzinga and his partners sold the herd. Market forces and larger milking operations made it difficult for them to be profitable.

ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, MI - A young Michigan dairy farmer has auctioned off his herd of 230 milking cows after being unable to absorb losses brought about by an oversupply of milk in the state.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that Daybreak Dairy in Ottawa County has shuttered after 32-year-old dairy farmer Nate Elzinga and his family couldn't keep up with maintenance costs for the herd.

In this Friday, April 6, 2018 photo, a cow walks in for the auction at Nate Elzinga's farm in Zeeland, Mich.  Friday was the day of the auction where Elzinga and his partners sold the herd.

Elzinga says they weren't getting paid enough for their milk.

Michigan's herd is growing faster than the demand because of its temperate climate and abundance of water and pastures. Cows are also producing more milk than ever due to improved genetics and nutrition programs.

Michigan farmers are making between $1 and $2 less per hundred pounds of milk than farmers in other parts of the Midwest.