Nearly 20 farmers in Kentucky have been told that their milk procurement contracts with Dean Foods are expiring this summer.
The Courier Journal reported Wednesday that more than 100 farmers across several states have received certified letters from Dean Foods that their contracts will be terminated May 31. Dean Foods extended that deadline this week until the end of June.
The newspaper reports the contracts are being terminated because Walmart will no longer buy Dean's milk for its Great Value brand. That loss will cut the production at the company's Louisville plant, which will shut down. Walmart has opened its own production plant in Indiana.
Dairy farmers were already struggling with exports leveling off from a post-recession surge and alternatives like almond milk gaining ground.