Dairy Farmers of America, the region’s biggest private company, today reported that net sales for 2016 of $13.5 billion, down slightly from $13.8 billion in 2015, and attributed the decline to lower milk prices, down 88 cents per hundredweight over the previous year.
In a news released coinciding with the dairy cooperative’s annual convention in Kansas City, officials said net income hit a record of $131.8 million for the year, compared to $94.1 million in 2015. It cited higher sales volumes, overall operating efficiencies and lower commodity input costs for that increase. That figure, the company said, was boosted when DFA acquired the remaining 50 percent equity interest in DairiConcepts, a manufacturer of cheese, dairy ingredients and dairy flavor systems with eight facilities across the United States.
“Being owned by dairy farmers, we are always working to strengthen our milk marketing business and to bring value to our dairy-farmer members,” said Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer. “While 2016 was a year of challenges for many of our farmers, DFA itself continues to grow, and remains focused on continuing our investments in new and existing plants, as well as progressing on our strategic initiatives.”
DFA directed the marketing of 62.6 billion pounds of milk for both members and others through its consolidated businesses, the company said, accounting for about 29 percent of total U.S. milk production in the United States.