KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A six-state study will attempt to pinpoint the causes of the decline in the Southeastern U.S. dairy industry.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is the lead institution for the study, funded by a $3 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Assistant Dean Steve Oliver of UT AgResearch said the Southeastern dairy industry is in serious trouble. Despite a surge in consumer demand for dairy products, the region's milk output has declined by more than 37 percent and more than two-thirds of the region's dairies have closed since 1995.
Regional participants in the study include the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and Virginia Tech.
The project is expected to be funded for five years.