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Light At End of Tunnel Pushed Backward

Matt Gould of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter discusses the messages from the August Milk Production report and how the light at the end of the tunnel may have been pushed backward by the latest tariff war salvo with China.  

Expected Corn Grain Price Sees Big Range

Feed and forage from around the U.S. with Dr. Mike Hutjens, a retired dairy extension specialist from the University of Illinois.  

Crunch Time in Washington

Both the deadlines to fund the government and pass a new farm bill are less than two weeks away.  Chris Galen of the National Milk Producers Federation gave Dairy Radio Now listeners an update on what's been happening in our nation's capital.  

August Milk Up 1.4 Percent

Increased milk per cow coaxed U.S. milk output to climb in August more than expected. The Agriculture Department’s latest data for the top 23 states puts output at 17.2 billion pounds, up a pretty bearish 1.4 percent from August 2017 and the 57th consecutive month...

October Federal Order Class I Up $1.48

The Agriculture Department announced the October Federal order Class I base milk price at $16.33 per hundredweight, up $1.48 from September, 11 cents below October 2017, but the highest Class I since December 2017. It equates to $1.40 per gallon, up from $1.28 in...

Dairy Markets Face Global Uncertainty

How are the dairy markets reacting to the recent headlines? FC Stone's Dave Kurzawski discusses with Lee Mielke.  

High Moisture Corn Options

It's that time of year again, and in the Midwest, producers are looking at their options regarding high moisture corn. Dr. Mike Hutjens from the University of Illinois has more on this Feed Form Friday:    

World Dairy Expo Focuses on “The Next Frontier”

World Dairy Expo is not only home to one of the best-known dairy cattle shows in the world, it also brings together the latest in dairy innovation with the world's largest dairy-focused tradeshow.  Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy...

Moderation Is Key To DCAD Management

SoyChlor nutritionist Dr. Tim Brown joined us again on Dairy Radio Now to tell us more about feeding a negative DCAD diet to pre-fresh dairy cows to prevent hypocalcemia at calving. He also shares the latest research being done with more extreme levels of DCAD but...

July U.S. Dairy Exports Up From A Year Ago

The Trump administration appears to have worked a deal with Mexico and while talks continue with Canada, High Ground Dairy's Lucas Fuess tells us the latest U.S. dairy export data:    

DAIRY RADIO NOW

August Milk Up 1.4 Percent

Increased milk per cow coaxed U.S. milk output to climb in August more than expected. The Agriculture Department’s latest data for the top 23 states puts output at 17.2 billion pounds, up a pretty bearish 1.4 percent from August 2017 and the 57th consecutive month that output topped year-ago levels. The 50-state August milk total, at 18.3 billion pounds, was also up 1.4 percent. Revisions added 16 million pounds to the July estimate, now put at 17.3 billion pounds, 0.5 percent above a year ago.

August cow numbers in the 50 states totaled 9.4 million head, up 5,000 head from July but 4,000 less than a year ago, the second time cow numbers were below a year ago since May 2016. Output per cow averaged 1,946 pounds, up 27 pounds from a year ago.

California output was up 1.2 percent, thanks to a 35 pounds increase per cow offsetting a loss of 12,000 cows from a year ago. Wisconsin was up 1.4 percent on a 35 pound gain per cow but 4,000 fewer cows were milked.

One footnote to California; 2018 output in the first six months totaled 20.6 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent, according to data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and follows previous years of decline.

The Daily Dairy Report credited a mild winter and said “This year’s first-half output compares to a 2.9 percent decline for the same period in 2015, a 2 percent drop in 2016, and a 2.2 percent decrease last year. The additional milk in California went into churns and drying facilities; butter production increased 9.8 percent and nonfat dry milk for human consumption climbed 15.7 percent.

Meanwhile; Idaho inched up 0.9 percent, thanks to 4,000 more cows and a 5 pound increase per cow. New York was up 1.7 percent, on a 40 pound gain per cow outweighing the loss of 2,000 cows. Pennsylvania was down 2.6 percent on 6,000 fewer cows and a drop of 25 pounds per cow. Minnesota was up 1.4 percent, on a nice 50 pound gain per cow offsetting a loss of 6,000 cows.

Michigan was down 0.6 percent, on 5,000 fewer cows, though output per cow was up 10 pounds. New Mexico was up 0.4 percent, on a 30 pound gain per cow outweighing 3,000 fewer cows milked. Everything is big in Texas they say and so was milk output, up a whopping 9.5 percent, on a 105 pound gain per cow and 20,000 more cows.

Vermont was off 0.9 percent, on 2,000 fewer cows, though output per cow was up 10 pounds. Washington State was up 2 percent on a 25 pound gain per cow and 2,000 additional cows milked.

Courtesty Mielke Market Weekly

October Federal Order Class I Up $1.48

The Agriculture Department announced the October Federal order Class I base milk price at $16.33 per hundredweight, up $1.48 from September, 11 cents below October 2017, but the highest Class I since December 2017. It equates to $1.40 per gallon, up from $1.28 in September and $1.41 a year ago. 

The 10-month average stands at $14.75, down from $16.41 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.60 in 2016. The November price will be announced on October 17 and will for the first time apply to the new California Federal order.

World Dairy Expo Focuses on “The Next Frontier”

World Dairy Expo is not only home to one of the best-known dairy cattle shows in the world, it also brings together the latest in dairy innovation with the world’s largest dairy-focused tradeshow.  Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo draws crowds of nearly 70,000 people from 100 countries. Make plans to visit Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018. General Manager Scott Bentley gave Dairy Radio Now listeners a preview on today’s broadcast:

 

 

Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat or YouTube for more information.

The Heat Is On In D.C.

The heat is on in our nation’s capital. Not only the recent triple-digit temperatures but also some hot dairy policy topics to discuss. Chris Galen, Sr VP of Communications with the National Milk Producers Federation gave Dairy Radio Now listeners an update on confirmation hearings, farm bill conference, and the sign up for the Market Facilitation Program. Listen here:

 

 

Focus On The Calf Pen – Not The Barn

Proper calf barn ventilation is more than just having fans in the barn, according to Dr. Ryan Leiterman with Crystal Creek®. He tells us on today’s “Breath of Fresh Air” segment that the real focus should be on the calf pen rather than the barn. Often the air inside the calf pen is poorly ventilated despite having numerous fans throughout the barn. Listen here:

 

Heifers Eating Into Your Profit?

Raising quality replacement stock involves spending money without an immediate return. UW-Madison’s Dairy Management Specialist Matt Akins will talk through the complex issues that interfere with having the right amount of high-quality heifers. Akins works with producers and industry professionals with a specific focus on the management and nutrition of dairy replacement heifers.  He also collaborates closely with scientists at the USDA-ARS Institute for Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management at the Marshfield Stations, working to solve problems related to interactions between agronomic practices, herd management protocols, animal facilities, and the environmental impact of dairy operations.

If you have a date/time conflict, you can watch the recorded session on-demand at your leisure from the PDPW World Class Webinar Library, following the Webinar date.  All past PDPW webinar sessions can be found online at the PDPW World Class Webinar Library – this incredible collection highlights key experts from around the globe. Find the greatest ideas, solutions and resources at www.pdpw.org/webinar_library.

PDPW’s World Class Webinars are perfectly suited for those who are not always able to leave the dairy for ongoing education on key dairy industry topics. For additional information regarding PDPW’s past or future webinar sessions, please contact us at mail@pdpw.org or by phone at 800-947-7379. Listen to Matt’s interview on Dairy Radio Now:

 

How To Fix Dairy Crisis

A recent meeting in Albany, NY organized by Agri Mark dairy cooperative drew more than 300 attendees. The public meeting was held to hear various proposals in an open forum for comment and discussion. More proposals are being accepted at dairyproposals2018.com

Mike Eby, a retired dairy farmer and chair of the National Dairy Producers Organization was one of those in attendance. Like many, he’s concerned about the future and long-term viability of the dairy industry. He tells us his reaction to the meeting and the latest from NDPO.

 

Milk-Feed Ratio Slips

A 90 cent drop in the July U.S. All Milk price average could not be offset by lower feed prices and pulled the July milk-feed price ratio back down after it rose in June for the first time in six months. The Agriculture Department’s latest Ag Prices report puts the July ratio at 1.91, down from 1.98 in June and down from 2.27 in July 2017. 

The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a dairy ration consisting of 51 percent corn, 8 percent soybeans and 41 percent alfalfa hay. In other words, one pound of milk today purchases 1.91 pounds of dairy feed containing that blend.

The U.S. All-Milk price averaged $15.40 per hundredweight (cwt.), down 90 cents from June and $1.80 below July 2017. The price ranged from $14.10 in New Mexico and $14.20 in Michigan to Florida’s $20.10. California was at $15.05, down 58 cents from June; and Wisconsin was at $15.30, down $1.20 from June. 

July corn averaged $3.47 per bushel, down 11 cents from June and 2 cents per bushel below July 2017. Soybeans averaged $9.10 per bushel, down 45 cents from June and 32 cents per bushel below a year ago. Alfalfa hay averaged $179 per ton, down $2 from June but $26 per ton above a year ago.

Looking at the cow side of the ledger; the July cull price for beef and dairy combined averaged $66.80 per cwt., up 50 cents from June, $10.50 below July 2017 and $4.80 below the 2011 base average of $71.60 per cwt. 

Milk cows for the quarter averaged $1,320 per head in July, down from $1,360 in April, and $300 per head below July 2017. They averaged $1300 in California, unchanged from April but $300 below a year ago. Wisconsin cows averaged $1250 per head, down from $1320 in April and $1650 per head in July 2017.
Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly 

USDA Announces Details of Farmer Assistance

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Perdue announced details of actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets, in the long run, to help American farmers compete globally. As announced last month, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations.
The bottom line for dairy producers is that they will receive a payment of $0.12/cwt.
The statement specifies: USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers starting September 4, 2018

The initial MFP payment will be calculated by multiplying 50 percent of the producer’s total 2018 actual production by the applicable MFP rate. If CCC announces a second MFP payment period, the remaining 50 percent of the producer’s total 2018 actual production will be subject to the second MFP payment rate.

MFP payments are capped per person or legal entity at a combined $125,000 for dairy production or hogs. Payment for dairy production is based off the historical production reported for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). For existing dairy operations, the production history is established using the highest annual milk production marketed during the full calendar years of 2011, 2012, and 2013. Dairy operations are also required to have been in operation on June 1, 2018 to be eligible for payments.


You can find the full Press Release here:

Federal Order Class I Jumps 70 Cents

The Agriculture Department announced the September Federal order Class I base milk price at $14.85 per hundredweight, up 70 cents from August but $1.86 below September 2017, and the lowest September Class I value since the disastrous year 2009 when it was at $10.93. The 2018 Class I average stands at $14.58, down from $16.41 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.37 in 2017.  Read More

Rural Firefighters Delivering Ag Safety

The Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health (RFDASH) project provides farm safety tools and knowledge to rural firefighters through community colleges, emergency responder training events, and individual training officers. Fire departments, community colleges, and insurance companies in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois are currently participating. Dr. Casper Bendixsen is a project scientist with the National Farm Medicine Center. He tells us more on today’s Dairy Radio Now, sponsored by the PDPW, dairy’s professional development organization.

 

July Milk Output Up 0.4 Percent

Farm milk prices remain well below the cost of production, slaughter numbers are up, and so is the thermometer and that combination slowed U.S. milk output in July. The Agriculture Department’s latest Milk Production report shows dairy farms in the top 23 states milked 17.3 billion pounds, up just 0.4 percent from July 2017, still the 56th consecutive month output bested that of a year ago. Revisions added another 40 million pounds to the original June estimate, now put at 17.2 billion pounds, 1.6 percent above a year ago. The 50-state July milk total, at 18.4 billion pounds, was also up a bullish 0.4 percent. 

July cow numbers totaled 8.74 million head in the 23 states, up 1,000 head from June but 8,000 less than a year ago. The 50-state total, at 9.4 million, was down 8,000 head from June and a year ago, first-time cow numbers were below a year ago since May 2016. Output per cow averaged 1,980 pounds in the 23 states, up just 8 pounds from a year ago. 

California output was down 2.5 percent as the heat took a toll on output per cow by 35 pounds and 12,000 fewer cows were milked from a year ago. Wisconsin was up 1.2 percent on a 30 pound gain per cow but 4,000 fewer cows were milked. 

Idaho inched up 0.8 percent, thanks to 6,000 more cows offsetting a drop of 5 pounds per cow. New York was up 0.6 percent, on 20 pound gain per cow outweighing the loss of 2,000 cows. Pennsylvania was off 0.7 percent on 5,000 fewer cows but output per cow was up 5 pounds. Minnesota was down 0.2 percent, on a 20-pound loss per cow and 6,000 fewer cows. 

Michigan was down 0.9 percent, on 4,000 fewer cows. Output per cow was unchanged. New Mexico was down 0.8 percent, on a 10 pound per cow gain outweighing the 4,000 fewer cows milked. Texas continues to roar, up 7.3 percent, thanks to an 85 pound gain per cow and 15,000 more cows. Vermont was off down 3.0 percent, on a 15-pound loss per cow and 3,000 fewer cows were milked. Washington State was up 1.8 percent on a 20 pound gain per cow and 2,000 additional cows milked. COURTESY: Lee Mielke of the MIELKE MARKET WEEKLY

Consuming Milk at Breakfast Lowers Blood Glucose Throughout the Day

A change in breakfast routine may provide benefits for the management of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the Journal of Dairy Science. H. Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at the University of Guelph, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk at breakfast on blood glucose levels and satiety after breakfast and after a second meal. Milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, and high dairy protein concentration reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with normal dairy protein concentration. The high-protein treatment also reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent.

“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health,” Dr. Goff and team said. “Thus, there is impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health.”

In this randomized, controlled, double-blinded study, the team examined the effects of increasing protein concentration and increasing the proportion of whey protein in milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast cereal on blood glucose, feelings of satiety, and food consumption later in the day. Digestion of the whey and casein proteins naturally present in milk releases gastric hormones that slow digestion, increasing feelings of fullness. Digestion of whey proteins achieves this effect more quickly, whereas casein proteins provide a longer lasting effect.

Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption at the lunch meal when increasing whey protein at breakfast, they did find that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk had a greater effect. Milk with an increased proportion of whey protein had a modest effect on pre-lunch blood glucose, achieving a greater decrease than that provided by regular milk.

According to Dr. Goff and colleagues, “This study confirms the importance of milk at breakfast time to aid in the slower digestion of carbohydrate and to help maintain lower blood sugar levels. Nutritionists have always stressed the importance of a healthy breakfast, and this study should encourage consumers to include milk.”

The study is available online at https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14419

Clock is Ticking for WDE Dairy Cattle Show Entries

Time is running out to enter cattle to compete on the legendary colored shavings in October at World Dairy Expo®; entry fees increase after midnight (CST) on Friday, August 31. Both paper and electronic entries will remain open through September 9, with only paper entries continuing to be accepted until the day of the show.

All animals must have an official Canadian CCIA or USDA AIN RFID or visual tag number listed on their entry form at the time of submission. Animals lacking this number – or with a pending identification number – will not be accepted. More information regarding identification requirements, along with entry forms, schedule of events, rules and other updates are available online at www.worlddairyexpo.com and are included in the Premium Book – mailed to recent dairy cattle exhibitors on July 1.

Questions related to cattle entries and the WDE Dairy Cattle Show may be directed to Laurie Breuch, Dairy Cattle Show Coordinator, at lbreuch@wdexpo.com or Ann Marie Magnochi, Dairy Cattle Show Manager, at amagnochi@wdexpo.com, or by calling the Expo office at 608-224-6455.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused Trade Show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class Dairy Cattle Show and more will be on display. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on FacebookTwitter,InstagramSnapchat or YouTube for more information.

 

All Hands on Deck – Guest Editorial

Guest Editorial by Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag

Ok, All Hands on Deck! Let’s Do Something for our Dairy Farmers

Agri-Mark dairy cooperative needs to be further congratulated for pulling off one of the greatest assemblies of dairy farmers and interested parties.  The event was scheduled to give dairy farmers an opportunity to speak their peace, and they certainly spoke it real well.

However, now we can’t dilly-dally around any longer.  It’s time for action!

I urge Agri-mark to take charge and inform all members of the Senate and House Ag Committees that the majority of dairy farmers want something done now.   It’s obvious that pay prices for August produced milk in Federal Order #1 could plummet to $15.50 per cwt. (prices in all Federal Orders could drop dramatically.)

While different presenters proposed different ideas, I believe these ideas centered around two main ideas. 

When I presented my proposals, I also did something else.

1)   I asked the crowd if they truly supported a feasible supply management program.  A substantial amount of hands went up in support of my question.

2)   Then I asked the crowd if they supported a milk pricing formula that would allow them an opportunity to cover their production costs.  Again, a substantial number of hands went up in support of this proposal.  I can’t understand why the news media has ignored this survey.

So let’s do something that dairymen said “Yes” to!    Dairy farmers need more money in their pocket and they need it now.  The only way that I know of to obtain funds for our dairy farmers is for the United States Congress to take appropriate action to place a $20 per cwt. (hundredweight) floor price under milk used to manufacture dairy products. 

This could be done in two or three increments, but it must be done now.  If needed, a base excess plan could be developed. 

Farmers’ production could be analyzed and if needed, dairy farmers who over-produce their established base would be penalized on the milk they over-produce above their base, but they would receive a full price on the remainder of their milk.

All these prices could be predicated on the $20 floor price as a starter.   Some people think the present efforts regarding tariffs are the reason for the dairy farmers’ prices plummeting.   Phooey.  I don’t know what the President’s efforts on realigning tariffs will do to our dairy farmers, but as the President continues to say we are making America great again, someone must tell him that dairy farmers are being left behind!

A controversial item I brought up is the escalated use of whey and milk protein concentrate that could be causing some if not much of the so-called “over-production”.   Some people are claiming it’s possible that at least 20 billion pounds of milk are being displaced by these products.  What kinds of fillers are being used?    If nothing is done this time, then dairy farmers will lose faith in all of us who came to Albany.

Join in with Agri-Mark and make calls to your Senate and House people in Washington and urge them to put a $20 floor price under hundred pounds of milk!

Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.

 

Dairy Markets Have Bullish Week

The bulls were fed the week of August 13. Barrel cheese marched higher, commercial dairy product disappearance looked solid, the U.S. and Mexico appeared to be coming together in their trade spat, and even China’s commerce ministry stated that its commerce vice-minister had been invited by the U.S. to discuss economic and trade issues. And, for the first time ever, the USDA announced that it will purchase $50 million in pasteurized fluid milk. 

HighGround Dairy’s Lucas Fuess tells Lee Mielke on Dairy Radio Now – that reports of heat stress in the Western U.S., Europe, Australia, and Japan is a cause for concern, and CME barrel cheese trading above the blocks for the first time since December 19, 2017, bodes well for prices and “we could have a trade deal with Mexico yet this month.”  Listen here:

 

Two California Dairy Students Selected as International Interns

Fourth generation dairy producer Tony Lopes of Gustine and third generation producer Jeremiah Tiemersma of Visalia have been selected to serve as international interns in a new program from the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the promotional arm of the state’s dairy farmers. The interns, selected from students enrolled in agriculture-related programs at colleges and universities throughout the state, were chosen based on academic achievement, their connection to the industry and a willingness to travel abroad and learn more about international dairy sales and marketing as well as a plan to work in the California dairy industry in the future.

Over the six-week period, each intern will spend time with in-country CMAB marketing organizations – Lopes in South Korea and Tiemersma in China – to gain a better understanding of these markets, consumer buying habits and promotional efforts on behalf of California’s dairy industry.

 

read more…

Testing Is Key For An Optimal Metabolic State

Today’s program focuses on the importance of urine pH testing to help minimize the management that’s required for a Dietary Cation-Anion Difference (DCAD) program while still reaping the majority of the benefits. We’re joined by Dr. Tim Brown, who provides technical support and educational assistance to the SoyPlus® and SoyChlor® sales team and customers. Tim also manages the division’s academic relationships, working with research universities to continually develop product information, explore new ways to use these products, and find additional industries that can benefit from the products.

 

USDA To Purchase $50 Million in Fluid Milk

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is buying 11 to 13 million gallons of milk from dairy farmers for $50 million and planning to send it to local food banks. It’s the first time the USDA program that buys surplus products has purchased liquid milk. Read the full USDA announcement here.

According to ABC News, the acquisition is not related to the emergency assistance for farmers linked to President Donald Trump’s tariff proposals, although dairy farmers have been hurt by trade issues related to NAFTA and declining demand for milk from cows. The USDA is buying the milk under a program that allows the government to buy surplus food or agricultural products and redirect them to food banks or school-nutrition programs.

Hundreds of dairy farms have closed, citing economic pressure and government regulations, over the last 15 to 20 years. The Los Angeles Times reported that Califonia Republican Congressman David Valado lost his family farm this year and that 36 percent of dairy farms in the state closed between 2001 and 2017.

The National Milk Producers Federation welcomed the announcement, saying it will help spur better market prices for the industry. – Read More

Food Marketers On Notice Over Fake Milk Labels

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally recognized the need to increase its scrutiny of plant-based products imitating standardized dairy foods, there’s been some opposition on Capitol Hill for the FDA to move forward. Chris Galen from the National Milk Producers Federation updates on the latest in fake milk labeling and also has some info on the federal dairy assistance offered through the tariff mitigation plan,

 

Farm Employee Manual Do’s & Dont’s

It is extremely important that employees have an understanding of exactly how your farm operates, according to Attorney George Twohig, who provides agricultural estate planning, corporate and real estate legal services in Wisconsin. He joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now with some tips on writing a farm employee manual.

 

Agri-Mark Calls For Public Meeting To Discuss Options

Board members of Agri-Mark, a major dairy cooperative in the Northeast, are asking for federal support for the U.S. dairy industry in light of burdensome supplies and tariff wars that have sent milk prices plummeting. The co-op has also scheduled a national meeting for mid-August to consider policy and market options as dairy farmers struggle through another year of below-breakeven milk prices.

Dave Natzke, an editor with Progressive Dairymen, will be attending the meeting and joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now for a preview:

 

Federal Benchmark Drops $1.11

The Agriculture Department announced the July Federal order Class III benchmark milk price at $14.10 per hundredweight, down $1.11 from June, $1.35 below July 2017, and the lowest Class III since February 2018. It equates to $1.21 per gallon, down from $1.31 a month ago and $1.33 a year ago. The seven month Class III average is at $14.37, down from $16.02 at this time a year ago and compares to $13.73 in 2016. Wednesday’s Class III futures settlements portend an August price at $14.86; September, $15.65; October, $16.33; November, $16.37; and December at $16.15.   

The July Class IV price is $14.14, down 77 cents from June, $2.46 below a year ago, and the lowest Class IV since April 2018. Its seven-month average is at $13.73, down from $15.30 a year ago and compares to $13.42 in 2016. The four-week USDA-surveyed cheese price used in calculating the month’s Class milk prices averaged $1.4868 per pound, down 12.8 cents from June. Butter averaged $2.2596, down 11.6 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged 78.24 cents per pound, down 3.3 cents, and dry whey averaged 33.72 cents per pound, up 2.9 cents from June.

California down 34 cents 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announed its July Class 4b cheese milk price at $14.09 per cwt., down 34 cents from June, $1.20 below a year ago, a penny below the FO Class III price (smallest differential since February’s 2-cents) and the lowest 4b price since March 2018. Its seven-month average is at $14.06, down from $15.14 a year ago and compares $13.02 in 2016. 

The Class 4a butter-powder milk price is $13.72, down 50 cents from June and $2.69 below a year ago. Its seven-month average is at $13.42, down from $15.07 a year ago and compares to $13.11 in 2016.

Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly

Farmers Health & Well Being Spotlighted

Just like big city stress – dairy producers have a lot on their shoulders  Dr. Josie Rudolphi, Associate Research Scientist with the National Farm Medicine Center joined us to spotlight the resources available and what Congress is doing to put farmers first.

This is the second part of our interview with Dr. Rudolphi, brought to you by the PDPW, dairy’s professional development organization.

 

 

Real California Cheeses Bring Home 32 Awards at American Cheese Society Competition

Cow’s milk cheesemakers that use the Real California Milk seal brought home 32 awards from the 2018 annual cheese competition held by the American Cheese Society (ACS), July 25-28, 2018 in Pittsburg, Pa. The American Cheese Society recognizes the finest cheeses and dairy products made in the Americas. A total of 1954 cheese and cultured dairy products were entered the competition. Cheeses made with 100% California cow’s milk had another strong showing this year in a field of 259 processors representing the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Columbia.

California cheesemakers won a total of 53 awards – the second largest showing in the competition – with Real California cow’s milk cheeses bringing home 32 prizes: 6 first-place, 11 second-place and 15 third-place awards in this year’s judging. Highlights from these wins include:

read more…

Hoping For Full Scale Tariff Reduction

Uncle Sam is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by the ongoing trade and tariff wars. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced July 24 that the USDA will “take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation,” according to a USDA press release. The plan “authorizes up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.”

HighGround Dairy’s director of market intelligence, Lucas Fuess, talks with Lee Mielke about the plan. A big question is, would direct payments to farmers be WTO acceptable? Fuess says that’s another issue and “there has been pushback in Congress on how this plan will be carried out. WTO has frowned upon some of these subsidies that the government is planning on making,” he concluded. “HighGound hopes for a full-scale reduction of the overall tariff situation and for farmers to compete better in the world market without subsidies.”

 

NMPF Welcomes Assistance to Dairy Farmers Suffering from Retaliatory Tariffs

The new tariff mitigation program announced Tuesday by the Trump Administration should provide badly needed economic assistance to dairy farmers facing significant financial losses, the National Milk Producers Federation said today.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it is preparing a $12 billion economic assistance program designed to help dairy farmers and other agricultural producers suffering from the effects of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico, China and other key trading partners. NMPF’s economic estimates indicate that these tariffs will cost U.S. dairy farmers $1.8 billion just through the remainder of this year, based on the decline in milk futures prices since the retaliatory tariffs were implemented.

NMPF’s Chris Galen, SVP of Communications, tells us more on today’s Dairy Radio Now.

 

Trump Offers Tariff Mitigation To Farmers

The new tariff mitigation program announced Tuesday by the Trump Administration should provide badly needed economic assistance to dairy farmers facing significant financial losses, the National Milk Producers Federation said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is preparing a $12 billion economic assistance program designed to help dairy farmers and other agricultural producers suffering from the effects of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico, China and other key trading partners. NMPF’s economic estimates indicate that these tariffs will cost U.S. dairy farmers $1.8 billion just through the remainder of this year, based on the decline in milk futures prices since the retaliatory tariffs were implemented. Read more

President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets, in the long run, to help American farmers compete globally.  Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.

“This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” Secretary Perdue said.  “The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong. Unfortunately, America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes illegal retaliatory tariffs.  USDA will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations. The programs we are announcing today help ensure our nation’s agriculture continues to feed the world and innovate to meet the demand.”

Background: Of the total unjustified retaliatory tariffs imposed on the United States, a disproportionate amount was targeted directly at American farmers. Trade damage from such retaliation has impacted a host of U.S. commodities, including field crops like soybeans and sorghum, livestock products like milk and pork, and many fruits, nuts, and other specialty crops. High tariffs disrupt normal marketing patterns, affecting prices and raising costs by forcing commodities to find new markets. Additionally, there is evidence that American goods shipped overseas are being slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which can affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops.  This can boost marketing costs and discount our prices, and adversely affect our producers.  USDA will use the following programs to assist farmers:

·        The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. This support will help farmers manage disrupted markets, deal with surplus commodities, and expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.

·        Additionally, USDA will use CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs.

·        Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products

Minimizing Global Trade Troubling For U.S. Agriculture

Global trade turmoil remains in the spotlight and FC Stone’s Arlan Suderman wrote in his July 16 Morning Commentary that “Europe and Japan have signed a trade agreement to fight against the protectionist efforts of the United States, failing to mention protectionist efforts of their own in recent decades.” He talked of the “battle of public opinion and political persuasion, with most countries decrying protectionism while fully engaged in the same, and aggressively so.” 

FC Stone’s Dave Kurzawski, in the July 23 Dairy Radio Now broadcast, said the ultimate question is, “Are we in this to build walls and barriers to slow global trade or expand it?” He said our actions right now appear to want to minimize global trade, which would be troubling for U.S. agriculture. 

 “One thing is clear,” he said, “The U.S. has no trade agreement with Japan and it looks like all the other major exporters now have at least some advantage, or will have an advantage, in the coming years.” Suderman adds that “Few countries are willing to fully eliminate tariffs and other protectionist mechanisms, although most want you to believe that is precisely the environment in which they operate.” 

Kurzawski sees the Administration’s actions as an exertion of power and leverage to “essentially better our place at the negotiation table and although things over the past eight weeks have been fairly grim as far as the trade wars are concerned, and it may still get worse before it gets better, but I do think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Listen to Lee Mielke’s interview with Dave Kurzawski here:

Farm Bureau Response to Navarro’s ‘Rounding Error’ Statement

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says making farmers and ranchers “pawns in this chess game is extremely risky for our nation’s agriculture economy and food security.”

“White House trade advisor Peter Navarro’s recent comments that the damage this trade war is doing to certain sectors of the U.S. economy, of which we all know includes agriculture, is little more than a ‘rounding error’ are out of touch with the pain our farmers and ranchers are experiencing.”

“Prices for all of our export-sensitive farm goods have tanked since May when this tariff game started. Farm income was already off by half compared to four years ago, with debt levels rising—hardly a strong position for agriculture going into this trade war. This situation will only worsen as combines roll between now and the fall election season. The nation’s farmers and ranchers support the broader goal of strengthening our overall economy and trade balance but not at the risk of long-term, irreparable harm to our ag exports and the jobs they create.

“Farmers and ranchers are looking for reasons to be optimistic about the current trade situation. We need a win. We must wrap up this trade war quickly, complete the negotiations with Mexico and Canada, and open more markets by negotiating deals with Japan, the UK and other trade partners around the world.”

June Sees Highest Production Per Cow Ever

Milk production in the 23 major States during June totaled 17.2 billion pounds, up 1.3 percent from June 2017. May revised production at 18.0 billion pounds, was up 1.1 percent from May 2017. The May revision represented an increase of 40 million pounds or 0.2 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,964 pounds for June, 23 pounds above June 2017. This is the highest production per cow for the month of June since the 23 State series began in 2003.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.75 million head, 12,000 head more than June 2017, but unchanged from May 2018.

Read more

 

The Importance of Preventing Hypocalcemia

Dr. Tim Brown joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now to tell us about the importance of preventing hypocalcemia in dairy cows with proper nutrition balancing. Dr. Brown provides technical support and educational assistance to the SoyPlus® and SoyChlor® sales team and customers. for Dairy Nutrition Plus.

Tim also manages the division’s academic relationships, working with research universities to continually develop product information, explore new ways to use these products, and find additional industries that can benefit from the products.

Tim’s professional career in university research and teaching spanned from 1976 to 2002. Since 2002, he has worked in the feed industry and joined the staff at Landus Cooperative in 2009.  Tim and his family reside in Westmoreland, Kansas.

 

Federal Order Class I Price drops $1.21

The August Federal order Class I base milk price was announced July 18 by the USDA at $14.15 per hundredweight, down $1.21 from July and $2.57 below August 2017. It is the lowest August Class I price since 2009 when it stood at $10.04. It equates to about $1.22 per gallon, down from $1.44 a year ago.

The eight-month average is at $14.54, down from $16.37 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.10 in 2017.
Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly 

DeLaval Opens $1 Million KC Training Center

DeLaval celebrated the grand opening of a Training Center at their Kansas City, MO, facilities today. The DeLaval Training Center is the result of a $1 million dollar facility renovation investment in robotics and food safety. It features the all-new Voluntary Milking System VMS™ V300. Read more. 

 

NMPF Encouraged by FDA Commissioner’s Desire to Enforce Dairy Labeling Regulations

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told an audience at a Politico Pro Summit on Tuesday in Washington that his agency will soon begin enforcing regulations that define milk as an animal product, not a plant-based food – an indication that the National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) requests for action by the agency are being heard. After acknowledging that “an almond doesn’t lactate,” Dr. Gottlieb said the agency soon will seek public input as a prelude to enforcing existing regulations on dairy labeling standards.

NMPF welcomed Gottlieb’s recognition today that the labeling practices of many plant-based dairy imitators violate long-standing federal standards. Gottlieb said that going forward, “he intends to enforce” those standards.

“After years of inaction in response to our complaints about these labeling violations, Dr. Gottlieb’s announcement that the agency is intending to act on this issue is very encouraging,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The marketing of non-dairy imitators must comply with federal standards of identity, and consumers should not be misled that these products have the same nutrition as real milk, yogurt, cheese and other actual dairy products.” Read More

World Dairy Expo Seminars Announced

Seminars have been announced for the upcoming World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Presented by industry leaders daily, these seminars address topics centered around policy, research, finances and the future. Each seminar is approved for one continuing education credit for members of both the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) and the American Association of State Veterinary Boards – RACE Program (RACE). Sponsors of the 2018 Expo Seminars include Feed Supervisor Software, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Micronutrients, Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc. and Semex.

The following is a schedule of 2018 Expo Seminars, which will be held in the Mendota 2 meeting room of the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall.

Tuesday, October 2, 1:00 p.m. Entering the Dairy Industry; How do Young People get Started into Dairying, Gary Sipiorski, Dairy Development Manager, Vita Plus

Wednesday, October 3, 11:00 a.m. Large-Scale Robots: Is It Worth the Hype, Brian Houin, Owner, Homestead Dairy, LLC, Sponsored by: Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc.

Wednesday, October 3, 1:00 p.m. Will the Farm Bill Hurt or Help?, Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, October 4, 11:00 a.m. Are You Raising the Right Number of Heifers?, Jason Karszes, Senior Extension Associate, PRO-DAIRY at Cornell University, Sponsored by: Micronutrients

 Thursday, October 4, 1:00 p.m. KPIs: Your Yardstick to Improve What Matters on Your Operation, Dr. Tom Fuhrmann, Consultant, DairyWorks Management System, Terry Battcher, Consultant, DairyWorks

Friday, October 5, 11:00 a.m. Improved Genomic Selection for Health and Other Traits, Dr. Paul VanRaden, Research Geneticist, USDA-AGIL, Sponsored by: Semex

Friday, October 5, 1:00 p.m., View from the top: How corporate restaurant and food retail sourcing policies are being developed and the implications to the farmer, Panelists: Mike Brown, Director, Dairy Supply Chain, The Kroger Co., Sarah Hendren, Nutrition & Quality Assurance Manager, Culver Franchising System, LLC, Moderator: Angela Anderson, Director, Customer Outreach, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. Learning from the Future – Dairying in 2068, Dr. Jack H. Britt, Senior Consultant, Jack H. Britt Consulting

USDA Appoints Members to National Dairy Promotion and Research Board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 13 members to fill vacancies on the 37-member National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Twelve appointees will serve three-year terms, November 1, 2018, through October 31, 2021. One appointee will serve the remaining portion of a vacant position, effective immediately, and expiring October 31, 2019.

“These appointees represent a cross section of the dairy industry and will aid the National Dairy Board as it carries out its coordinated program of promotion and research to maintain and expand domestic and international markets for dairy products. I know the industry will be well served by them,” said Perdue. Read More

FDA Gathers Input Over Animal Cell Culture Technology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is holding a public meeting today to discuss foods produced using animal cell culture technology. Cell culture technologies that have been increasingly used to produce cells and tissues for human therapeutic use are now being used by the food sector to create innovative products that resemble conventional meat, poultry, and seafood. “The FDA has multiple authorities and programs that can support efforts to safely bring products with new ingredients to the market, according to FDA. “Food safety is at the core of the agency’s mission to protect and promote public health for our nation’s consumers.

As the use of laboratory-based cell culture technologies to replicate naturally made foods continues to develop, the FDA must first enforce its own existing regulations on the labeling of imitation products, according to Chris Galen, Sr. VP of Communications with the National Milk Producers Federation.

At an FDA hearing today focused on the regulation of cell-cultured products replicating meat, NMPF said that these rapidly evolving technologies impact dairy foods, as well. Just as scientists have discovered how to make “meat” imitations look and feel like the real thing, so, too, have they used genetically modified yeast to produce proteins that share a chemical identity with those found in milk. Listen to NMPF’s Chris Galen’s comments here:

 

Something Special From Wisconsin

Something Special from Wisconsin™ is a trademarked marketing program administered by the Division of Agricultural Development of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded in 1983, the Something Special from Wisconsin™ program has helped its members stand out above the rest.  Products showcasing the logo enjoy a strong competitive edge with consumers.  Surveys indicate that over 70 percent of Wisconsin consumers are more likely to purchase a commodity made or grown in Wisconsin than one from outside the state.

Lois Federman is the Something Special from Wisconsin™ Program Director. She joined us on today’s PDPW’s World of Dairy segment to share insights into managing the day to day details including assisting program members with increasing their brand presence and sales through building networks and business education.

California Class 4 Prices Announced

California’s June Class 4b cheese milk price is $14.43 per hundredweight, down 47 cents from May and $1.17 below a year ago. The 4b’s six-month average stands at $14.05, down from $15.12 a year ago and compares to $12.75 in 2016. 

The Class 4a butter-powder price is $14.22, up 16 cents from May, $1.69 below a year ago, but the highest 4a price since October 2017. The 4a average for the year now stands at $13.37, down from $14.85 a year ago and $12.92 in 2016.

Comparable Federal order prices will be announced by the USDA on Thursday.

Oversupply, Trade Talks Affecting Dairy Markets

FC Stone’s Dave Kurzawski addressed the global markets on today’s Dairy Radio Now,  stating “A majority of the talk surrounding the recent and drastic sell-off on Cheese and Class III (futures) revolves around President Trump’s newly imposed tariffs on the likes of China and Mexico. However, putting the blame solely on the administration is a bit of a stretch.” “A larger issue at play here seems to be the current oversupply of barrels in the marketplace, which is not an abundantly exportable cheese.” 

Kurzawski admitted that, while the Mexican tariffs sent jitters throughout the market and are not good when trying to grow U.S. dairy exports, the reality is that those tariffs are only projected to effect a 4-5 cent reduction in the cheese price and not the 25-30 cents that we saw in the barrel market over the last couple weeks. “The seeds of this precipitous decline in the spot cheese market, particularly on the barrel side in the month of June, were sown probably a month or two ago,” he argued. Global dairy demand was great the first four to five months of 2018, he said, but in mid-May “the spigot was turned off, things calmed down, and the markets were of the mindset that we have enough milk for the time being. We had really good demand that was eating away at that milk, allowing us to make cheese, but now we have a lot of fresh cheese sitting out there and the phone stopped ringing.” 

“The sellers got really aggressive and said, we can bleed out slowly at $1.40 (per pound) or we can go down and try to find a bid and I think they found a bid at the low $1.20s,” he said, though he doesn’t believe prices will stay that low for long. Summer heat can change this in a hurry, he said, as can other factors like cows coming off rbST in key areas, labor issues, poor income-over-feed margins, and continued good global demand. “This is not 2009,” he concluded, “even though we can see a price on the spot barrel market that we haven’t seen since 2009.”

 

The Colored Shavings are Calling

World Dairy Expo® is now accepting entries for its 52nd annual Dairy Cattle Show, October 2-6, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin. Online and paper entry forms are due August 31 by 11:59 p.m. (CST). Late entries may be submitted online through September 9, and paper entries will be honored until the day of the show, both for an increased fee.

To be eligible to show, all animals must have an official Canadian CCIA or USDA AIN RFID or visual tag number listed on the entry form at the time of submission. Animals lacking this number – or with a pending identification status – will not be accepted. For exhibitors residing within the United States and needing tags with an USDA AIN number, Datamars, Inc. is generously providing up to ten 840-series RFID tag sets per exhibitor. More information regarding identification requirements is included in the Premium Book.

Entry forms, the schedule of events, rules and other updates can also be found in the Premium Book – mailed to recent dairy cattle exhibitors on July 2, or available online at www.worlddairyexpo.com. New exhibitors may request a copy of the Premium Book by contacting Laurie Breuch, Dairy Cattle Show Coordinator, at lbreuch@wdexpo.com or Ann Marie Magnochi, Dairy Cattle Show Manager, at amagnochi@wdexpo.com.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat or YouTube for more information.

Farmer Led Research Shows Environmental Practices Compatible With Ag

UW Discovery Farms develops on-farm and related research to determine the economic and environmental effects of agricultural practices on a diverse group of Wisconsin farms; and educates and improves communications among the agricultural community, consumers, researchers and policymakers to better identify and implement effective environmental management practices that are compatible with profitable agriculture.

Co-Director Amber Radatz tells us how farmers have learned through the years and continuous improvement of practice in water quality and soil health. Listen here:

 

Dairy Prices Looking Better

The Agriculture Department announced the July Federal Order and soon to be California Class I base milk price at $15.36 per hundredweight, up 11 cents from June, $1.23 below July 2017, but the highest Class I price since January 2018. The seven-month average is at $14.60, down from $16.32 at this time a year ago and compares to $13.96 in 2016.

Dairy prices are looking better according to Dr. Mike Hutjens, long-time dairy extension specialist with the University of Illinois. “The good news is there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, with milk prices projected over $16 per cwt.,” he said, looking at futures prices. Listen here:

 

 

What’s In It For You: Senate, House Farm Bill Dairy Proposals Compared

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee released a draft of its 2018 Farm Bill proposal, so far a less contentious version than the House proposal defeated on the House floor in May. For the most part, dairy provisions of the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill are similar to those contained in the House version, but there are differences. Those include the premium structure and the flexibility (or lack of flexibility) to make changes in annual coverage selections under a revised and renamed Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).

Dave Natzke, an editor with Progressive Dairymen, joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now to break it down:

 

Wolfe Family Named 2018 McKown Master Breeder

The Wolfe family has been recognized as Premier Breeder and Exhibitor at the New York State Fair, New York Spring Red and White Show, New York International Spring Holstein Show and Pennsylvania All-American Red and White Shows. Shown (L to R) are: Doug, Mike, Howard, and Ginny Wolfe.

The Klussendorf Memorial Association is pleased to announce the Wolfe family of Ovaltop Holsteins in Richfield Springs, New York has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award. For a decade, this award has recognized an individual or family’s ability, character, endeavor and sportsmanship while experiencing success in the showring as an exhibitor and judge. The Wolfes will be formally recognized during the heifer portion of the International Holstein Show at the 52nd World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin on October 5.

Ovaltop Holsteins, owned and developed by Howard, Ginny and Mike Wolfe, has bred 170 Excellent and 427 Very Good cows since its 1929 founding. Their commitment to an exceptional type and production herd has helped the family garner 28 consecutive Progressive Breeder of Registry awards in New York. Today’s Ovaltop herd consists of 90 cows with a rolling herd average of 26,519 pounds of milk and a Breed Age Average (BAA%) of 110.3.

Prior to this recognition, the Wolfe family has won multiple Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor banners at local, regional and state shows across the Northeast. Howard and Ginny were recognized as the 2000 New York State Active Master Breeders, and in 2011, Ginny was named the “Friend of New York Holstein.” The Ovaltop owners, in addition to Mike’s brother Doug, show they’re dedicated to the success of their farm, their community and their local and state Holstein associations through continued involvement and support.

Past winners of the Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award include: Wendon Holsteins, Innisfail, Alberta, Canada, 2017; Ferme Jacobs Inc., Cap-Santé, Quebec, 2016; Walk-Era, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., 2015; Pond View Farm, Danville, Vt., 2014; Quality Holsteins, Vaughan, Ontario, 2013; New Windsor Farm, New Windsor, Md., 2012; Moondale, Monona, Iowa, 2011; Snider Homestead, New Enterprise, Pa., 2010; and Windy Knoll View, Mercersburg, Pa., 2009.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit worlddairyexpo.com or follow us on FacebookTwitter,InstagramSnapchat or YouTube for more information.

Water Matters Tour Preview

In partnership with PDPW, UW Discovery Farms is presenting a Water Matters Tour in Verona, Wisconsin on June 26th from 9:30am-3:30 pm. Stops include SunBurst Dairy, City of Verona Public Works, and Wisconsin Brewing Company. Together, with community members, dairy producers, consumers and local elected officials, learn how we work together to keep our water safe and accessible.  Join for tours, discussions, solutions, and answers to your water quality questions.

The registration cost of $30/person includes bus travel, snacks, refreshments, and lunch.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Amber Radatz is Co-Director with Discovery Farms. Her work focuses on assisting farmers with issues related to manure management, water quality and nitrogen use efficiency, especially in western Wisconsin. She joined us on Tuesday’s Dairy Radio Now to preview this year’s tour.

For additional information or to register, call 800-947-7379 or email mail@pdpw.org.

 

MPP Enrollment Extended

Dairy farmers have additional time to review their 2018 coverage options in the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP). The deadline to enroll has been extended to June 22, 2018.  Chris Galen, Sr. Vice-President of Communications with the National Milk Producers Federation joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now with more information:

Meanwhile, NMPF today commended the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee for crafting a bipartisan Farm Bill that contains beneficial provisions for America’s dairy farmers. Following today’s passage by a margin of 20-1, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate Farm Bill contains enhancements to the dairy Margin Protection Program sought by NMPF, including improved coverage levels and greater program flexibility. The measure raises the maximum covered margin to $9/cwt. and adjusts the minimum percentage of milk that can be insured. It also includes an important agreement reached between NMPF and the International Dairy Foods Association on price risk management. Read more

 

Senate Farm Bill Improves Risk Management While Boosting Milk Consumption

IDFA endorsed a proposal from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that would encourage SNAP participants to buy more milk and gain essential nutrients that many Americans are missing in their diets.

IDFA today commended the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee for approving a farm bill, with a 20-to-1 bipartisan vote, that allows for greater access to risk management tools for dairy processors and producers to address price fluctuations. The legislation also extends the Dairy Forward Pricing Program to 2023, improves the safety net for dairy farmers and creates a new milk incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to improve participants’ diets by increasing fluid milk consumption.   

“Managing price risk and increasing consumption are the dairy industry’s key priorities, and we commend Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., for drafting a farm bill that will provide increased health benefits to consumers, while empowering dairy processors and producers to help fuel the American economy,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. 

The committee included an IDFA-endorsed proposal from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that would encourage SNAP participants to buy more milk and gain nutrients essential to good health that many Americans are missing in their diets. 

“IDFA worked closely with Sen. Ernst and her staff to develop the proposal for a SNAP pilot program that will encourage Americans receiving food assistance to protect their health and strengthen their bones and muscles,” Dykes said. “Only one in 10 Americans consumes the number of servings of dairy a day recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This proposal takes a crucial step toward narrowing this gap, especially for low-income families with children.” 

IDFA also welcomed the committee’s decision to include a new Milk Donation Program, as well as enhancements to the Margin Protection Program (MPP), a voluntary safety net program for dairy farmers. The Milk Donation Program would allow dairy processors and producers to team with charitable organizations to donate milk to people in need and to reduce food waste. 

“U.S. dairy products companies support nearly 3 million jobs, generate more than $39 billion in direct wages and have an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. Our powerful engine for American jobs and economic stimulus will only continue to contribute and grow under this farm bill,” Dykes said.

More Milk Needed To Cover Demand in 2030

Between now and 2030, the worldwide demand for milk and milk products will be three times the level of current U.S. milk production, according to findings released in the latest publication from the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), and discussed recently at the 19th IFCN Conference.

“More milk will be needed on the market. The increase of demand is not only due to more people living in the world, but also the per capita consumption will increase, due to growing prosperity and worldwide investments in dairy product development,” Dr. Torsten Hemme, Managing Director of the IFCN, stated.

The founder of IFCN underlined that the increased demand will be covered by higher global milk supply. The dynamics of structural changes of dairy farms internationally will continue and farms will intensify their farming systems. Hemme said that ‘By 2030, IFCN forecasts an increase in milk production and demand in total by 35%’. Read more: IFCN Dairy Outlook 2030 Brochure, Read more: IFCN Dairy Outlook 2030 Article

Agriculture Can Be a Dangerous Job

Too often we hear or read of farm incidents where a farm worker or family member was seriously injured or killed, but injuries are preventable. Melissa Ploeckelman, outreach specialist with the National Farm Medicine Center says the center is providing resources to help drastically lower the number of on-farm accidents involving children.

She tells us about the UMASH Farm Safety Check – a quick monthly review to identify and fix potential hazards before they cause harm to your family and employees – and your bottom line.  Each month, Farm Safety Check focuses on a different topic, offering checklists and tips to help identify hazards, along with resources to remedy any problems.

Listen to Melissa Ploeckelman’s comments here:

 

Observations in Washington DC

The following opinion piece was written by Arden Tewksbury of Pro-Ag based in Pennsylvania: After spending parts of three days in Washington DC last week, I am fully convinced that there won’t be anything coming out of the new Farm Bill that will have a real benefit to our family dairy farmers, unless there is a tremendous effort put forth by these dairy farmers to demand a change.

Remember, as I reported earlier, there are approximately 10,800 dairy farmers in Federal Order #1.  Unfortunately, 673 of these dairy farmers produce 55% of the milk in Order #1, while slightly over 10,000 dairy farmers produce 45% of the milk.

It’s high time these 10,000 plus dairy farmers start getting behind a solid proposal to help all dairy farmers, while a few of these 673 dairy farmers like to shove their weight around.  Just stop to think what would happen if these 10,000 dairy farmers quit?  You 10,000 dairy farmers are just as important as the 673 are, and as far as having a positive effect on the local economy, the 10,000 dairy farmers are still the champions. 

read more…

Soybeans Under Pressure

Soybean prices continued to move lower last week as trade issues and a strong start to the growing season continue to pressure prices. At this time, very little positive news is entering the market to support soybean prices on either the supply or demand side. The potential size of the soybean crop and trade uncertainty continue to be the main forces behind soybean price weakness. Read the Weekly Outlook

Source: Hubbs, T. “Soybeans under Pressure.” farmdoc daily (8):106, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, June 11, 2018.

Calif Class 1 Drops 33 Cents

California’s July Class 1 milk price was announced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture at $16.86 per hundredweight for the north and $17.13 for the south. Both are down 33 cents from June, $1.59 below July 2017, and reverse three months of gain.

The seven-month average stands at $16.12 for the north, down from $17.77 a year ago and compares to $15.37 in 2016. The southern average, at $16.39, is down from $18.04 a year ago and compares to $15.64 in 2016.

Only three more Class 1 announcements will come under California’s long-standing state order. Dairy producers there have voted to join the Federal Milk Market Order system.
Courtesty Mielke Market Weekly, CDFA website complete report

Calif Gov Proclaims June “Real California Milk Month”

In celebration of June Dairy Month and the contribution of the state’s more than 1300 dairy farm families to the communities and economy of California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proclaimed June as “Real California Milk Month”. This regional distinction is in addition to the annual National Dairy Month celebration that recognizes the range of dairy products and the farmers who produce the milk that helps feed the nation and, increasingly, the world.  

In the proclamation, Governor Brown states, “The landscape, economy, health, and nutrition of California would not be the same without our dairy farms. I urge all Californians to take time to appreciate the privilege of living in one of the world’s great dairy-producing regions, and to support our industry by buying milk and other dairy products from our Golden State.” 

Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family-owned. California produces more fluid milk, butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. Dairy products made with California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, launched in 2007, which certifies that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. 

“Beyond the contribution, our dairy families make to their local communities, California dairy is an essential part of our identity as an agriculture state,” said John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). “As the state’s leading agricultural commodity, the industry adds approximately $21 billion to the local economy each year and is responsible for 32 percent of U.S. dairy exports and 189,000 jobs that are dependent upon dairy production and processing.” 

Dairy producers are dedicated to creating access to healthy foods. It is part of the legacy of the dairy industry, which provides education about healthy eating and the five food groups to teachers, children and families through Dairy Council of California and support for initiatives like the Great American Milk Drive, a partnership with Feeding America to provide families in need access to fresh fluid milk, one of most requested but least donated food bank items. RealCaliforiaMilk.com.

A Visit With CFBF’s Jamie Johansson

Jamie Johansson, President of the California Farm Bureau Federation joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now to discuss a few of issues. First, the producer referendum determining whether California dairy farmers will join a Federal Milk Marketing Order. He also commented on how Canada’s dairy industry directly impacts the U.S. dairy industry.

CFBF is a nonprofit organization of farmers and ranchers consisting of county Farm Bureaus from nearly every county in California, established in 1919 to work for the betterment of family farmers and ranchers in California. Their mission is to improve the well-being and quality of life for California farmers and ranchers. CFBF does this through advocacy, ongoing outreach, and economic services and products for those involved in agricultural production.

 

USDA Approves California FMMO

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that California dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the entire State of California. As a result of this favorable vote, USDA today published a final rule in the Federal Register indicating that approval. The new California FMMO will be implemented October 17, 2018, with publication of the Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors, and affected parties must comply with all provisions beginning November 1, 2018. USDA will work over the next few months to educate handlers who will become regulated by the new FMMO.

California represents over 18 percent of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk marketing order administered by California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). Once this new FMMO is established, over 80 percent of the U.S. milk supply would fall under the FMMO regulatory framework.

FMMOs are legal instruments that regulate the sale of milk between dairy farmers and the first buyer. Where appropriate, the California FMMO adopts the uniform order provisions contained in the 10 current FMMOs in the national system. These uniform provisions include, but are not limited to, dairy product classification, end-product price formulas, and the producer-handler definition. The new FMMO recognizes the unique market structure of the California dairy industry through tailored, performance-based standards to determine eligibility for pool participation. The order also provides for the recognition of producer quota as administered by the CDFA.

The entire record of the rulemaking is available at www.ams.usda.gov/caorder. Today’s Federal Register notice is available at: www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/08/2018-12245/marketing-orders-milk-in-california.

MPP Enrollment Extended Until Friday, June 8th.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue extended the deadline for producers to sign up for the Farm Service Agency’s Margin Protection Program – Dairy (MPP) for one week. The program provides a much-needed safety net for dairy producers, and signup will continue until Friday, June 8, 2018, for them to elect coverage. All dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.


The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill through Dec. 31, 2018. Significant changes to MPP-Dairy for the 2018 coverage year are further authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.


Changes to MPP-Dairy

Based on feedback from dairy producers, Congress made several changes to MPP-Dairy in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, including:

  • Calculations of the margin period are monthly rather than bi-monthly.
  • Covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered.
  • An exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.

USDA is mailing postcards advising dairy producers of the changes. For more information, contact your local USDA service center.

2018 Registration and Re-Enrollment Period

The registration and re-enrollment period for the coverage year 2018 will begin April 9, 2018, and continues through June 1, 2018. Dairy operations must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if you enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018.  More Info

UW Ag Economist Retiring After 34 Years

Long-time ag economist Bruce Jones is cleaning out his desk this week and retiring from the University of Wisconsin. Jones has been a professor in the Department of Dairy Science for 34 years. He joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now during his final week at UW-Madison.

Jones tells us that dairy producers are making supply adjustments. “That reduction in supply would put less milk on the market and that will take some pressure off the prices and we should start seeing some recovery,” he reported.

More than three decades as an ag economist, Jones has seen the cycles, challenges, and improvements in the dairy industry. “Some phenomenal progress that dairymen have made in terms of increase inefficiencies and productivity in their herd…..unheard of 30 years ago. Listen here:

Apprehension Among Dairy Producers

Friday was the first day of June Dairy Month, but it arrives with a lot of apprehension among dairy producers. The cash dairy markets ended the Memorial Day holiday-shortened week with block Cheddar at $1.5975 per pound, down 1 1/4-cents on the week, 10 1/4-cents below a year ago, and 6 1/4-cents lower than it was on May 1, as the week’s global politics may have influenced traders some. More on that ahead. The barrels finished at $1.52, down 2 1/2-cents on the week, 3 cents above a year ago, but 8 1/4-cents below its May 1 perch. There were 7 cars of block that traded hands on the week at the CME and 26 of barrel.

Matt Gould, editor, an analyst with the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter says the second half of 2018 will be better than the first half – but he says that still doesn’t mean dairy producers will be profitable. Listen to his conversation with Lee Mielke of the Mielke Market Weekly on today’s Dairy Radio Now.

June Dairy Month Kicks Off With ‘World Milk Day’

USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack with granddaughter Caroline and grandson Jake.

Around the world, people are raising a glass of milk in celebration of World Milk Day. U.S. Dairy Export Council’s blog is celebrating World Milk Day. USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack got a head start earlier this week with granddaughter Caroline and grandson Jake. They are ready for more today!

The U.S. dairy industry creates nearly 3 million jobs, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion, according to IDFA’s economic impact tool, Dairy Delivers℠.

A new online portal, GotDairyJobs.org, has been created by USDEC, in a collaborative effort with National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association, to provide people with the facts they need to show the importance of dairy to the U.S. economy on national, state and local levels.

The “Got Jobs?” campaign also highlights U.S. dairy exports.

Consider Mexico. Those exports create thousands of jobs in the United States and billions of dollars in economic impact, according to research from “The Impact of NAFTA on U.S. Dairy Exports to Mexico,” a report by Informa Economics. 

Raise a glass of milk in celebration of World Milk Day!

Dairy is increasingly important in the Mexican diet, and USDEC is partnering with Mexican dairy organizations to create even more demand.

On Sunday, USDEC and Mexican dairy organizations set up a booth in downtown Mexico City to prepare for World Milk Day. They handed out free milk, cheese and dairy-themed t-shirts to participants in a bicycle race.

On Thursday, USDEC and Mexican dairy organization Canilec and livestock organization CNOG held a  joint news conference with nutrition experts to review the health benefits of dairy consumption.

Consider this statistic on exports. Milk from one out of seven tankers leaving American farms is turned into dairy products and ingredients exported overseas. That’s a lot of milk, and a good reason to raise a glass.

 

May Federal Order Class III Gains 71 Cents

The May Federal order Class III benchmark milk price was announced at $15.18 per hundredweight (cwt.), up 71 cents from April but still 39 cents below May 2017 though it is the highest Class III price since December 2017. It equates to $1.31 per gallon, up from $1.24 in April. 

The five-month Class III average stands at $14.25, down from $16.05 at this point a year ago but compares to $13.53 in 2016. The May Class IV price is $14.57, up $1.09 from April, 8 cents above a year ago, and the highest it has been since October 2017. Its five-month average is at $13.42, down from $14.92 a year ago and compares to $13.06 in 2016.

U.S. Dairy Industry Invests in Southeast Asia

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the Food Innovation and Resource Centre (FIRC) at Singapore Polytechnic signed a partnership agreement in May that furthers U.S. dairy’s commitment to food innovation to meet the needs of Southeast Asian customers and consumers. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) lays out a framework under which USDEC and U.S. dairy suppliers will work together with FIRC to deepen dairy knowledge, develop innovative food products for the Southeast Asian market, and provide consumers in the region with more options suited to their specific tastes.

“Singapore is a hotbed of food innovation and the gateway to Southeast Asia,” said USDEC president and CEO Tom Vilsack. “FIRC’s team of food technologists, packaging specialists and engineers is at the forefront of establishing Singapore as a strategic food hub. We are very excited to be working with this innovative group and look forward to sharing U.S. dairy technology and expertise.” Listen to his comments here:

 

Deadline Looms For MPP Enrollment

More than 10,000 dairy producers have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program, a safety net that already guarantees retroactive payments for those that enrolled in $8.00 coverage or less. Producers have until June 1, 2018, to enroll.

USDA reported the April national average margin at $6.62, which guarantees payments for producers enrolled at the $8, $7.50 and $7 coverage levels. Producers are also guaranteed payments in January and February. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) produced a fact sheet explaining changes to the program’s coverage levels and premiums and offers an online MPP-Dairy Decision Tool to estimate potential costs and payments. Chris Galen with the National Milk Producers Federation joined us on Dairy Radio Now to tell us more:

 

Farm Kids Less Likely To Develop Allergic Diseases

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have teamed with the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation to examine how farm environments, especially those with livestock, stimulate stronger immune systems and make children far less likely to develop allergic diseases.

The study is part of the five-year Wisconsin Infant Study Cohort (WISC) project. It is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) at the University of Minnesota.

“If we can identify the key microbial exposures on farms, then we would want to offer it to non-farm kids,” said Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., NFMC principal investigator for WISC. Listen to his comments on Dairy Radio Now, sponsored by the Professional Dairy Producers.

 

Vermont Gov, Senators Talk Dairy Insurance

Republican Gov. Phil Scott, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders held a news conference at the Statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday to discuss updates to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Milk Margin Protection Program and new state support for dairy farmers. Leahy encouraged Vermont dairy farmers to strongly push the pencil and closely look at the Milk Margin Protection Program by June 1.

“The improved Margin Protection Program could be a significant net financial benefit for most Vermont dairy farmers this year, especially with the important added funds from the State of Vermont, but ONLY if farmers sign up,” Leahy said.  “Now is the time for Vermont dairies to sign up and take advantage of this extremely discounted risk protection.  Whether you have 30 cows or 330, the forecasts from USDA are clear that you should sign up at the top level of $8.00, where lower premiums that I was able to secure, at 14.2?/cwt, are now less than the 15?/cwt farmers pay for the Dairy Checkoff and promotion program.”

Now farmers could receive state dollars to sign up thanks to legislative leaders and Governor Phil Scott.

“Vermonters know how important dairy is to our economy, and that family farmers are struggling through incredibly tough times as milk prices continue to drop and feed, fuel and other production costs rise,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I’m pleased to support our family farms to ensure that Vermont farmers can afford to enlist in this federal program, which is important in this difficult period. I appreciate the support of Senator Leahy at the Federal level, and our state Legislature for its good work on this initiative.”

The Milk Margin Protection Program offers dairy farmers a risk management tool to protect the margin between milk price and feed costs – one of the greatest costs of operating a dairy farm.

All dairy farmers are eligible to take part in the program if they are not already enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program.  The program insures the margin between the national all milk prices and a nationally calculated feed cost.    The higher margin requires farmers to pay an insurance premium. Helping make the program more affordable Governor Scott and Agriculture leaders in the Senate and House have agreed to help pay for some of the costs if farmers sign up.

Vermont Senator Bobby Starr of Orleans County said, “The Vermont legislature is very committed to helping one of our state’s most important business. The dairy industry is vital to our rural economy, landscape and most importantly, it promotes and protects our heritage.”

Under the proposal, Vermont will provide a minimum of $600 toward the insurance premiums for dairy farmers that take part in the program in 2018.  This assistance could make this program even more attractive to dairy farmers of different sizes.

All farmers need to complete their own calculations.  Farmers should contact their local USDA Farm Services Office prior to the June 1 sign up deadline to ensure that sign up is completed in a timely manner.

Visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/Dairy-MPP/index for more information, calculation tools and contacts.

Margin Protection Program Sign Up Info

• Sign up deadline is this coming Friday, June 1st.  More info: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/Dairy-MPP/index
• USDA plans to have all their field offices make individualized calls to producers that have not yet signed up on May 30th when the April margin level comes out.
• Producers will be offered on their production history and an overview of MPP program changes.
• This will give producers two full days to come into the office and sign up
• Also, USDA is allowing producers to be “added to the list” if they call in and cannot make it to the county offices on June 1st so long as you show intent to sign up.
• This will ensure that county Farm Service Agency offices are not completely overwhelmed in the final days of the sign-up period ending June 1st.
• The margin levels for February and March show payments for producers who have signed up for the $8.00 margin level.
• Estimates show that dairy producers will receive a net cash return above their premium payment at the $8 margin level.
• Remember those premium payments are not due until September.
• Keep in mind that the MPP payments are retroactive to January 1st.
• Remember the Deadline for Sign Up Is This Friday, June 1st
Source: Bob Gray, NDFC Newsletter

Pro-Ag Submits Solution to the Dairy Farmer Crisis

The following is a guest editorial from Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag

With prices being paid to dairy farmers still lingering far behind the national average cost of producing milk, and where it appears there is no real effort being made to give dairy farmers a fair price for their milk, therefore Pro-Ag is urging the Senate Agriculture Committee to immediately take appropriate action to place a floor price under milk that is used to manufacture dairy products.

The proposal would establish a $20 per cwt. floor price under the above milk in three increments.  The proposal would establish a floor price at $16 per cwt. (hundredweight) on July 1, 2018, followed by the price being set at $18 per cwt. on September 1, 2018, and on November 1st, 2018, the price would be established at $20 per cwt. 

Tewksbury, manager of Pro-Ag, said, “I believe with school soon to be dismissed for the summer, additional milk would have to be marketed otherwise.  He further said, “Our $20-floor price is very defensible.  Anything less than this program will only continue the exiting of hundreds (if not thousands) of more dairy farmers this summer.”

Pro-Ag is asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to take leadership on our proposal, and hopefully, the House members will follow their proposed actions. Along with our floor price proposal, Pro-Ag is strongly suggesting that a supply management program is implemented similarly to the program contained in the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act, identified as S-1640.  This program would be administered only when needed (which might be immediate). 

Dairy farmers must realize that Federal Order #1 has lost 40% of their dairy farmers since the Federal Orders were consolidated in the year 2000.  More important is the fact (and please listen) that approximately 673 dairy farmers are producing 55% of the milk, and approximately 10,000 dairy farms are producing 45% of the milk. 

No one should linger any longer as to what must be done to enable the large majority of these 10,000 dairy farmers to be able to stay in business. These 10,000 producers, as well as all others, should immediately get behind our efforts and help us get our proposal passed.  

Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776. 

New Zealand Dealing With Mycoplasma Bovis

New Zealand officials are working on a plan to eradicate an outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis. M bovis causes illness in cattle including udder infections or mastitis, abortion, pneumonia and arthritis. “The disease was discovered last July and since then 41 farms have been confirmed as infected,” according to Radio Radio New Zealand. “That has since dropped to 37 farms, with more than 11,000 cattle slaughtered,”  Alyssa Badger, manager of dairy market intelligence with High Ground Dairy in Chicago tells us this is the first time that M bovis has been reported in New Zealand.

 

 

According to Radio New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a 10-year phased eradication, although most of the work will happen over the next one to two years, and will cost about $886 million.

 

Dairy Cow Culling Drops in April

U.S. dairy cow culling dropped in April from March but remained above a year ago. The Agriculture Department’s latest Livestock Slaughter report shows an estimated 248,900 head were slaughtered under federal inspection, down 38,000 head from March but 20,800 above a year ago. A total 1.09 million head were culled in the four-month period, up 64,700 head or 6.3 percent from 2017.

Trump Wants All or Nothing Immigration Bill

The American Dairy Coalition reports that In an interview Thursday morning, President Donald Trump expressed the need for sweeping immigration reform, not a small compromise.
“I think it’s time to get the whole package,” the president responded. “That would mean a bill featuring wall funding and provisions addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, as well as changes to the visa lottery system and so-called “chain migration.”
Currently, immigration reform is a hot topic issue on Capitol Hill. An encompassing immigration reform bill, entitled Securing America’s Future Act (SAFA), has been introduced by Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and is scheduled for a vote on the House Floor June 25th. This bill is the “whole package” President Trump is looking for. With provisions to amp up border securing and address DACA, it checks off the boxes President Trump has based his entire platform on immigration reform on. However, this bill also contains a piece of legislation that will address the critical need of our Nation’s dairy, agriculture and livestock industry for a practical guestworker visa program. Included inside SAFA is the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act).
Our nation’s farmers have waited over 20 years for legislation to help them secure a reliable labor force and the AG Act is this bill. ADC will keep you updated on developments.
Source: American Dairy Coaltion

For Some, New MPP Makes Cents

For more than 90 percent of the farmers previously enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program, coverage during 2018 is guaranteed to be profitable. Dr. John Newton, Director of Market Intelligence for the American Farm Bureau says some dairy farmers may benefit by enrolling in the new Margin Protection program, He reports on fb.org that “Anecdotal reports suggest that as of mid-May fewer than 8,000 dairy operations had signed up for the improved MPP.”

“Similar patterns were observed in years past, whereby dairy operators would finalize their coverage options in the final week prior to the enrollment deadline. However, for the improved MPP, there is no need to wait as the benefits of participation are guaranteed to be positive for 92 percent of the dairy farmers previously enrolled in the program.”

With so much uncertainty around milk and feed prices in 2018, one certainty many dairy farmers have is that the improved MPP will provide some financial assistance. With little more than a week remaining until the signup deadline, farmers should take a second look at MPP for 2018 and make sure they are not leaving money on the table. Farmers have until June 1 to make new coverage elections.
Read more on the new MPP