Dairies squeezed like never before

Manuel Teixeira has been milking cows since he was 10 years old in Portugal, where he milked them by hand. His dream when he came to the United States was to have a dairy.

Teixeira has realized his dream. He and his wife, Rosa, own three dairies in Merced, milking a total of about 700 cows. But now Teixeira's dream is on the line.

"I don't know if we can hang on," Rosa Teixeira said. "If this (milk price) hangs on, we won't make it."

The Teixeiras, along with other dairy farmers in the county, will see a four-cent hike in the price of liquid milk next month -- but that doesn't help much.

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