Dairy farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador are facing some tough times following a poor growing season.

High temperatures and low rainfall amounts across the country made for terrible conditions for growing feed for cattle.

There's a reduction of about 40 to 50 per cent in the amount of forage grown in the province this year.

Fewer crops mean feed prices have spiked.

Brent Chaffey, the owner and president of New World Dairy in western Newfoundland, said drought conditions in the U.S. corn belt have driven up costs for grains by more than 40 per cent.

Forage grasses have jumped by a whopping 80 per cent.

Drastic measures

He said some farmers will have to secure forages on and off the island, while others will have to take more drastic measures to stay afloat.

"The young animals that we would normally raise to replace our retiring animals, we may have to look to liquidate those animals — sell them to other farms or whatever options may exist to reduce our need to secure additional forage," he said.

Chaffey said the impact on farmers is far-reaching.

"We're certainly going to see a [scaling] down of some businesses, and maybe the disappearance of others, and all those things will certainly impact a number of people employed in the industry," he said.

"Growth efforts on any farm will most certainly come to a screeching halt …Farmers are not going to be spending on new equipment. They're not going to be going through expansion phases. They're not going to be hiring the services of people in the local community."

Chaffey said it's going to be a long road to recovery for local farmers.

"Those who weather the storm are going to see a two, three, five-year period lapse before they [will] get back to where they were prior to this year," he said.