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“Fine Tuning” Feed Prices

While dairy producers can't control the milk price they can fine tune their feed prices. That's according to Dr. Mike Hutjens, retired dairy extension specialist from the University of Illinois. He joined us on Friday's Dairy Radio Now with an update on the latest...

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...

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...

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...

Marketing Direct To The Consumer

Lois Federman is the Something Special from Wisconsin™ Program Director. She joined us on today’s PDPW’s World of Dairy segment for part 2 on managing the day to day details of selling ag products directly to the consumer.    

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...

FUTP 60 Summit: Nourishing Communities Panel Discussion

During this guided Q&A discussion/panel, dairy farmers and NFL alumni Jason Brown speak about the role of farmers in feeding the world. Hear their insights into the important role farmers and agriculture play in communities.  ...

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...

No Simple Answers To Tariff Trade War

The tariff war is starting to hurt dairy producers but, when it comes to trade, there are no simple answers, according to Matt Gould, editor, and analyst with the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter. He talks with Lee Mielke about it on this week's Mielke Monday:...

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...

DAIRY RADIO NOW

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.

The Calf Wheel of Health

This month’s Fresh of Breath Air segment focuses on the ‘Calf Wheel of Health.’  Dr. Ryan Leiterman of Crystal Creek encourages producers to look at their calves like a bicycle wheel – emphasizing the spokes of colostrum, calories, bedding, air quality, and more.  The analogy of strong spokes keeps the wheel round, meaning the calf stays healthy. He also tells us about automatic feeder barns and the impact a calf’s health.

 

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

Butter Fights Off Bearish News

Demand for butter has yet to slow down this spring. Both 80 percent and 82 percent varieties are moving out of storage and headed to end usage. Some butter producers are suggesting domestic sales are the lionļs share of their output, but export interest remains strong for others.

The NASS Cold Storage stock increases have some questioning how the markets will react, but butter has been unbending in the face of bearish news in recent months. Although min past weeks cream suppliers and buyers were expecting a jump in cream availability ahead of the holiday weekend, prices have gone unchanged this week. There are expectations that weekend cream prices may dip during and/or after the holiday weekend, as many intake plants will be closed on Monday.

The DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for May 18-24 noted the national weighted average advertised price for a 1 pound package of butter is $3.36, 23 cents above one week ago and 15 cents above than one year ago. The weighted average regional prices in the Midwest and South Central were $2.76 and $2.07, respectively.

Prices for: Central U.S., All First Sales, F.O.B., Grade AA, Conventional, and Edible Butter Bulk Basis Pricing  – 80% Butterfat $/LB:  +0.0200 – +0.0700

The NASS Cold Storage report noted U.S. butter stocks as of April 30th, 2018 were 307.3 million pounds, a 5 percent increase from last year and up 12 percent from last month. Bulk stocks in all warehouses were 292.3 million pounds last year at this time. Wednesday’s CME Group price for Grade AA butter is $2.3850, compared to $2.3800 last Wednesday.
From Dairy Market News

Dairy Digester Demand Continues

Several California dairies are supplementing their revenue stream by investing in methane digesters. Neil Black, with CalBio says his company brings together digester development and dairy expertise to create successful digester projects that integrate with milking operations.

CalBio designs, develops, operates and finances digester projects. They help dairy operators with programs to sell the electricity or produce vehicle fuel with funding from the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. He says they have also utilized U.S. Treasury tax programs and USDA farm incentives.

 

World Dairy Expo Virtual Farm Tours Highlight Unique Features

World Dairy Expo Virtual Farm Tours have been bringing the best dairy operations in North America to Madison for more than 15 years. The eight dairies selected this year are no exception, highlighting topics ranging from technology and genetics to strong community ties and cow comfort.

These virtual outings include a visual presentation led by the farm’s owner or manager, with time for questions and an open discussion to follow. Tours are presented daily during World Dairy Expo, Tuesday through Saturday, in the Mendota Room 1 of the Exhibition Hall.

Sponsors of the 2018 Virtual Farm Tours include: American Jersey Cattle Association, Compeer Financial, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Mycogen Seeds, NC Dairy Advantage, Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC, QLF and Waikato Milking Systems. Below is the schedule of tours this year:
read more…

Author Nina Teicholz Gets National Attention

The following is a submission from Arden Tewksbury of Pro-Ag (progressiveagricultureorg@gmail.com):

One evening, as I was strolling through my house, I heard a commentator on the news, saying he was going to have a presenter on his program to talk about the unpopular dietary guidelines being forced on our children in school.

I said to myself, “Can that be anyone but author Nina Teicholz?”  And in a few minutes, Nina Teicholz was on TV,  getting national attention, and explaining that the dietary guidelines were incorrect, and that food with some fat in it is good for you.  She went on to illustrate how whole milk sales have dropped 79%.  Nina realized that these dietary guidelines, now in effect for 4 years, are not beneficial to children, consumers, and farmers.

We in Pro-Ag were made aware of Nina’s book, “The Big Fat Surprise”, and one of our members sent the book to me.  I read this book, which took Nina 9 years to write, and I was surprised to read the tremendous amount of references she used to support her writings.

Unfortunately, it appears that many farm organizations and members of the press have been very slow in picking up on Nina’s work.  Even the American Dairy Association published a page on Nina’s work.   I feel Pro-Ag has been leading the tremendous fight to make her work more well known.   For 5 years now, we have been handing out thousands of flyers proclaiming Nina’s work on getting the facts out about it being okay to drink whole milk and use real butter.

In addition, we have encouraged different school boards to pass resolutions supporting the need of getting whole milk back in our schools, and we have gone into schools demonstrating the need for whole milk, and believe you me, our students do want whole milk back in our schools.

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

June Federal Order Class I: $15.25

The June Federal Order Class I base milk price was announced today by the USDA at $15.25 per hundredweight, up 81 cents from May, 6 cents below June 2017, but the highest Class since January 2018. It equates to $1.31 per gallon, up from $1.24 in May and compares to $1.32 a year ago.

That put the half-year average at $14.47, down from $16.27 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.01 in 2016.
Courtesty Mielke Market Weekly 

Hutjens: Make A Buck With Feed Additives

Dairy managers are squeezed between profits and just paying the bills. Dr. Mike Hutjens is a world-renowned Dairy Extension Specialist who spent most of his career at the University of Illinois and has authored many columns, articles, and books. Retired at the end of 2010, he continues to teach, speak and travel. Today, we asked him about the importance of executing a forage program with feed additives.

 

Plenty of Butter in Storage

Dairy product inventories continued to grow in April and remain above a year ago. The Agriculture Department’s latest Cold Storage report shows April butter stocks at a bearish 307.3 million pounds, up 33.4 million pounds or 12.2 percent from March and are 15.1 million pounds or 5.2 percent above April 2017.

American type cheese hit 781.5 million pounds, up 14.9 million pounds or 1.9 percent from March, but 23.2 million or 2.9 percent below a year ago. 

The other cheese category grew to 536.1 million pounds, up 7.1 million pounds or 1.4 percent from March and 64.4 million or 13.7 percent above a year ago. 

The total cheese inventory stood at 1.35 billion pounds, up 22.1 million pounds or 1.7 percent from March and 43.5 million or 3.3 percent above a year ago.
Courtesy of Mielke Market Weekly

Got U.S. Jobs? Dairy Creates Nearly 3 Million!

Most Americans know milk and other dairy products are an essential part of a healthy diet. But less well-known is dairy’s contribution to the health of the U.S. economy and the economies of every state across the country. A new storytelling campaign launched today by the U.S. dairy industry aims to shine a brighter, data-driven spotlight on the positive effects of dairy’s economic engine.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are collaborating to create the new “Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More” campaign. Over the next year, they will share in-depth data and compelling narratives featuring hardworking dairy farmers, innovative dairy company employees, resourceful retailers and many others throughout the food supply chain at GotDairyJobs.org.

Dairy Delivers℠

The U.S. dairy products industry supports nearly 3 million workers, 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 DeliversSM. The tool also examines dairy’s economic ripple effect on other sectors of the national economy, showing dairy is responsible for $24.9 billion in state and local business tax revenues and another $39.5 billion in federal business tax revenues.

“With the Trump administration’s current focus on global trade, it’s important for consumers and policymakers to understand how dairy drives the American economy,” said

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “The United States needs sound trade policy that will place the U.S. dairy industry on a level playing field with global competitors. Backed by fair and proactive trade policies, the U.S. dairy industry will continue to keep and create jobs in states across the country.”

Easy-to-access Information

The new campaign provides a clearinghouse of information at GotDairyJobs.org. The site will offer monthly features, videos and plenty of hard facts that demonstrate dairy’s continued impact on jobs, tax revenue and communities around the country. Using #GotDairyJobs, the dairy industry will amplify the campaign and create the dairy jobs conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“Dairy has a positive story to tell, affecting a wide swath of America, creating jobs and tax revenue in rural, suburban and urban communities,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC, who saw dairy’s impact first-hand as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. “I’m delighted we now have a go-to place where people can find state-by-state data and compelling human stories that reinforce the same message: `Dairy creates jobs and exports create more.’”

Farm to Table

“As milk continues its journey from farm to table, it becomes a job-creation machine, employing farm workers, truck drivers, construction workers, factory workers, retailers and even cargo ship captains navigating the ocean to ports in fast-growing countries demanding more dairy than their own countries can produce,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The United States is uniquely positioned to meet this growing global need, which allows U.S. dairy to provide opportunities for job creation and growth in the United States.”

Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board Hears From Dairy Farmers

The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, which controls the price of milk in the state, heard comments from a range of dairy industry groups at a recent hearing in Harrisburg. The dairy industry has been suffering with low prices because of falling demand.

Mike Eby, board chairman of the National Dairy Producers Organization tells us why the hearing took place and what he thinks needs to be done to help dairy farmers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S.

Agenda and Speaker Testimony here: http://www.mmb.pa.gov

April Milk Production Up Just 0.7 Percent

The slowdown in U.S. milk output was more obvious in April, though it still bested previous year output for the 52nd month. USDA’s preliminary data put output at a bullish 17.3 billion pounds in the top 23 states, up 0.7 percent from April 2017. The 50-state total, at 18.4 billion pounds, was up 0.6 percent. Revisions lowered the March estimate 9 million pounds to 17.8 billion pounds, up 1.4 percent.

April cow numbers in the 50 states totaled 9.4 million, unchanged from March and just 8,000 above a year ago. Output per cow averaged 1,961 pounds, up 9 pounds from a year ago.

California topped its year-ago output for the fourth consecutive month but not by much, up just 0.4 percent on a drop of 19,000 cows from a year ago. Output per cow was up 30 pounds. Wisconsin inched 0.7 percent lower on a 5-pound loss per cow and 5,000 fewer cows milked.

A 55-pound drop per cow took New York output down 2.4 percent, though cow numbers were up 2,000. Idaho was up 3.5 percent, thanks to a 40-pound increase per cow and 9,000 more cows. Pennsylvania was down 1.7 percent on a 30-pound loss per cow. Cow numbers were unchanged. Minnesota was down 2.2 percent, on 5,000 fewer cows and 20 pounds less per cow.

Michigan output was also down, 1.4 percent on a 15-pound loss per cow and 3,000 fewer cows. New Mexico was up 2.6 percent on 6,000 more cows and 15 pounds more per cow. Texas producers saw a 100 pound gain per cow propel their overall output 7 percent higher and the extra 10,000 cows helped as well. Vermont was down 3 percent on a 30-pound loss per cow and 2,000 fewer cows. Washington State was up 3.1 percent on a 45 pound gain per cow and 2,000 more cows milked than a year ago.
Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly

MPP Enrollment Deadline Fast Approaching

The deadline to enroll or change coverage in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) is Friday, June 1st, 2018. Chris Galen, Sr. VP of Communications joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now to tell us why it’s important for dairy producers to take a second look at the program since it was revised under the Bipartisan Budget Act passed by Congress in February.

Coverage choices made this spring for calendar year 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. All dairy operations desiring coverage must sign up during the eight-week enrollment period. USDA also announced that dairy producers can participate in either MPP or the Livestock Gross Margin program for dairy (LGM-Dairy), but not both.

 

NMPF’s Chris Galen and Peter Vitaliano discuss the recent improvements to the dairy Margin Protection Program and what it all means for dairy producers. They also review USDA’s Decision Tool, which helps farmers determine the appropriate coverage. The deadline to enroll in the program in June 1.

Protect Your Roots

More than 300 attendees learned about animal rights activism at the recent Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Virginia. The theme was “Protect Your Roots” – as we hear in part two of our conversation with Hannah Thompson-Weeman.

“We also talked about some of the groups and individuals out there who are just opposed to what we do in animal agriculture regardless of our efforts to continuously improve in key areas,” says Thompson-Weeman. “So we shared some insights with our attendees about animal rights activism.”

More details at: http://animalagalliance.org

 

 

Managing Cows With Robots

“The American dairy farmer always thinks big,” says Paul Berdell, automation sales specialist with GEA Farm Technologies. “Conventional milking made sense for a number of years but that swing is starting to change every year….making automation more viable.”

From being a dairy manager on a robotic milking farm, robotic milking service and working for a robotic dealer overseas, Berdell has gained years of experience and education of automated milking from all the levels of the industry. Listen to his comments here:

Dairy Products See Strong Global Growth

U.S. dairy exports set a new record high in March on a total volume basis surpassing the previous record high set in March 2014. Exports of whey protein concentrate and lactose each hit all-time highs. Suppliers shipped 204,453 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose during the month, up 26 percent from March 2017. U.S. exports were valued at $510 million, 8 percent greater than in March 2017 and the highest total value since April 2015.

Ingredient sales drove much of the gains. Shipments of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) to Southeast Asia were nearly double the prior-year level and sales to Mexico were the second-most ever. Shipments of lactose to China increased by 57 percent during the month and were at a record high.

FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski tells Lee Mielke that on a total milk solids basis, exports were equivalent to 17.3 percent of U.S. milk production.

California Class 1 Prices Up $1.10

June Class 1 milk prices jumped in California. The northern price was announced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture at $17.19 per hundredweight and the southern price is $17.46. Both are up $1.10 from May, 20 cents above June 2017, and the highest Class 1 since December 2017. 

The six-month northern average stands at $16.00, down from $17.65 at this time a year ago and compares to $15.45 in 2016. The southern average, at $16.27, is down from $17.93 a year ago and compares to $15.72 in 2016. The June Federal order Class I base price will be announced by the USDA on May 23.
Courtesy of Mielke Market Weekly 

California Dairy Groups Support New FMMO

The three largest milk marketing cooperatives in California, California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc., announced that, on behalf of their respective members, they have voted in support of the California Federal Milk Marketing Order (CA-FMMO) as proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Since the very beginning, the three cooperatives collaborated to create a potential California Federal Milk Marketing Order as a means of helping the state’s dairy farmers receive more equitable, market-based milk prices.

“Three years ago, farmer leaders of our cooperatives agreed to work toward a change in the regulatory structure, one that would benefit California dairy farm families. Following careful consideration of the final decision issued by USDA, we believe the proposal will better address disparities between farm gate prices in California and the rest of the nation. It is our pleasure to now conclude this administrative process with joint support for the proposed Federal Order language,” said the three cooperatives in a joint statement.

After USDA’s release of the final decision on March 30, the three cooperatives held educational sessions for their member-owners to provide an overview of the final decision, address specific questions and discuss their voting preferences. Each of the cooperatives then participated in bloc voting, meaning a single affirmative vote from each cooperative represents the voting cooperative’s total membership in the state.

USDA will officially announce the results of the referendum in the coming weeks. If the results support approval of the CA-FMMO proposal, the new system is expected to be in place by November 1, 2018.

Cheese Producer Cancels Contracts Because of Milk Glut

The Wisconsin State Journal reports 11 Wisconsin dairy farms will stop buying their milk from Arla Foods’ Hollandtown Dairy in Kaukauna. The cheese producer notified the farms earlier this week that it would stop buying their milk as of July 1st because Hollandtown has more milk than it needs to make cheese. Read story

Dairy Farmers Helping To Preserve Tricolored Blackbird

The California Fish & Game Commission voted 4-0 to lift the tricolored blackbird as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. For more than a decade, California dairy organizations have worked shoulder to shoulder with conservationists to preserve and increase the state’s threatened tricolored blackbird population. Partners in this effort include Audubon California, California Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Cares, Sustainable Conservation, and Western United Dairymen (WUD).

Paul Sousa, WUD director of environmental services tells Dairy Radio Now that a grant is available for California dairy producers who have to deal with tricolored blackbirds on their operation. Patrick Cavanaugh reports:

 

On-Farm Training Available for Non-Farm Professionals

Join fellow food system professionals for the PDPW Agricultural Professional Partnerships (APPs), an on-farm training designed exclusively for “non-farm” professionals with limited on-farm experience.

The training will be held May 22-24, 2018, departing at 9 a.m. and returning at 5 p.m. to the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Madison, located at 4402 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704.  Transportation will be provided to and from each respective host farm.

Held on dairy farms throughout southern Wisconsin, our farmers open their barn doors to allow you a safe experience to explore their animal care practices, environmental stewardship techniques, employee management, and the economics of production agriculture.

Attendees will leave the training with 20+ hours of hands-on, on-farm experience, Enhanced knowledge of modern agriculture, A comprehensive understanding of farm management practices and relevant acronyms, Access to training resources and go-to experts, Direct connection and relationship with host farm owners/managers, Network of like-minded industry peers. PDPW’s Shelly Mayer tells us more:

 

Updated 5/15/18 – Part 2 with Shelly Mayer:

read more…

Challenges and Opportunities Discussed

Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) visits the Rutgers Dairy Farm and is joined by USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach and local New York dairy farmer, Lyman Rutgers, where they discuss the challenges of the current dairy industry and opportunities available to aid beginning farmers in their quest to be successful.

“We need to do everything we can to support the next generation coming in.”


Rep. Collins, Rutgers and Ibach said [in part]:

Collins:
We need to do everything we can to support the next generation coming in. Lyman, you’re doing a great job and holding your own, looking for growth. What do you say? Rutgers:
You know we’ve been able to weather this storm pretty well and we’re still looking forward to what we’re going to do next and how to make our business more viable.

Ibach:

We want to learn from him but also understand at USDA what we can do to make conditions better for him. Whether that’s regulatory or market support or export support. We have short-term problems but we’re also looking for long term answers.

April Class III Price $14.47

The April Federal order Class III benchmark milk price picked up 25 cents to $14.47 per hundredweight (cwt.), up a quarter from March.  

California’s April Class 4b cheese milk price was announced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture at $14.27 per cwt., up 31 cents from March, 3 cents below a year ago, but the highest 4b price since November 2017. The 4b average now stands at $13.75, down from $14.97 a year ago and compares to $13.02 in 2016.

The 4a butter-powder milk price is $13.29, up 28 cents from March but 44 cents below a year ago.  Its four-month average, at $12.99, is down from $14.69 a year ago and compares to $12.87 in 2016.  

The March Class IV price is $13.04, up 17 cents from February but $1.28 below a year ago. Its First Quarter average stands at $13.01, down from $15.37 a year ago and compares to $13.75 in 2016.

Class and Component Prices for April 2018

Class II Price:                             14.03   (per hundredweight)
Class II Butterfat Price:                  2.5183   (per pound)
Advanced Class II
Skim Milk Price 1/:                          5.41   (per hundredweight)

Class III Price:                            14.47   (per hundredweight)
Class III Skim Milk Price:                   5.89   (per hundredweight)

Class IV Price:                             13.48   (per hundredweight)
Class IV Skim Milk Price:                    4.86   (per hundredweight)

Butterfat Price:                           2.5113   (per pound)
Nonfat Solids Price:                       0.5401   (per pound)
Protein Price:                             1.7810   (per pound)
Other Solids Price:                        0.0619   (per pound)

Somatic Cell Adjustment Rate:             0.00079   (per 1,000 somatic cell count)

Product Price Averages:
Butter                                2.2452   (per pound)
Nonfat Dry Milk                       0.7134   (per pound)
Cheese                                1.5737   (per pound)
Dry Whey                              0.2592   (per pound)

1/ March 2018 Advanced Price Announcement

For more information about the Federal Milk Market Order Program please review:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/mmr/dmr read more…

Dairy Exports Up, But So Is Supply

og_logoThe U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) reports that U.S. dairy export volume reached an all-time high in February (on a daily-average basis), led by strengthening ingredient sales to Southeast Asia, record lactose exports to China and broad-based increases in overseas sales of cheese.  

So why are U.S. milk prices where they are? HighGround Dairy’s director of dairy market intelligence, Lucas Fuess, blamed supply. Listen to the interview conducted by Lee Mielke: 

Enrollment For Improved MPP Starts Monday

Margin-Protection-ProgramThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will re-open the sign-up period for the improved Margin Protection Program (MPP) next week and urged dairy producers to review the new coverage options available, which will have a new enrollment window from April 9-June 1, 2018.

Christopher Galen with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) joined us on Dairy Radio Now to encourage producers to take a second look at the program since it was revised under the Bipartisan Budget Act passed by Congress in February.

March Class III Price Up 82 Cents

USDAThe March Federal order Class III benchmark milk price started climbing out of its hole and hit $14.22 per hundredweight (cwt.), up 82 cents from February but is $1.59 below March 2017. It is 26 cents above California’s comparable 4b cheese milk price and equates to $1.22 per gallon, up from $1.15 in February and $1.36 a year ago. That put the First Quarter average at $13.87, down from $16.49 at this time a year ago and compares to $13.75 in 2016. 

The March Class IV price is $13.04, up 17 cents from February but $1.28 below a year ago. Its First Quarter average stands at $13.01, down from $15.37 a year ago and compares to $13.75 in 2016. Courtesy of Mielke Market Weekly 

USDA Opens Door For California FMMO

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released their final decision supporting the establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order for California.

Many California dairy producers have expressed interest in entering the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs), a dairy pricing mechanism, which would allow California dairy to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the United States. Annie AcMoody is director of economic analysis with Western United Dairymen. This was recorded just before USDA’s announcement:

USDA Opens Door For California FMMO

2000px-Map_of_USA_CA.svgThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released their final decision supporting the establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order for California.

Many California dairy producers have expressed interest in entering the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs), a dairy pricing mechanism, which would allow California dairy to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the United States. Annie AcMoody is director of economic analysis with Western United Dairymen. This was recorded just before USDA’s announcement:

Domestic Dairy Demand Dips

U.S. dairy prices are threatening the survival of many dairy farmers across the country. Matt Gould, analyst/editor of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst Newsletter tells Dairy Radio Now that the main reason is supply and demand. U.S. consumers buying dairy products like butter, cheese, whey and nonfat dry milk are “not fantastic.”

Gould says in order to bring prices up the U.S. dairy industry needs more international demand, which is “heading in the right direction.” Listen here:

 

 

 

Optimism Over Omnibus Bill


The congressional spending bill signed by President Trump addresses several issues important to dairy farmers. Today, we look at the hotly debated 199A provision, which gives farmers a financial incentive to sell to cooperatives.

“I’m somewhat conflicted on this, ” Bob Gray of Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives tells Dairy Radio Now. “But I understand the problem.” Listen to his comments here:

FDA Wants Soy Health Claim Removed

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to revoke an authorized health claim that links soy protein with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

National Milk’s Chris Galen tells Dairy Radio Now why it’s important that FDA take action against plant-based food companies that inappropriately use dairy terminology to market inferior imitation dairy products, such as soy “milk.” press release

Dairy Exports Up 9%

U.S. dairy exporters picked up where they left off at the end of 2017, topping the prior-year level for the third straight month. According to the US Dairy Export Council, Suppliers in January shipped 160,746 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose during the month, up 9 percent from last January. U.S. exports were valued at $415 million, up 1 percent.

FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski discusses the latest numbers with Lee Mielke on today’s Dairy Radio Now.

USDA Answers Safety Net Questions

Margin-Protection-ProgramIt was about a month ago that Congress approved some important changes to dairy’s safety net. Some of the crucial improvements to the Margin Protection Program (MPP) include raising the catastrophic coverage level, adjusting the first tier of covered production, reducing premiums, and modifying the margin calculation on a monthly basis.

USDA chief economist Rob Johansson is directly involved in taking the next steps in rolling out the revised MPP.  He updated the National Milk Producers Federation board of directors at this week’s meeting, and Chris Galen tells us what he said:

Rhetoric on Trade Continues

DanBasseThe next few months are critical in terms of U.S. agricultural trade and “where we end up down the road,” reported Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company, a research firm in Chicago that forecasts domestic and world agricultural price trends.

Basse has been in the commodity business since 1979 and has been closely following the trade talks of 2018. He is also one of the keynote speakers at next week’s PDPW Business Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Click here for more details about the conference.  He joined us on Dairy Radio Now to discuss.

China’s Recent Dairy Appetite

ChinaLike it or not, the U.S. dairy market remains globally driven, and one of the key players is China. The hungry giant “imported record volumes of almost everything,” reports Jerry Dryer of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst Newsletter. Listen to his comments below.

Also on this edition of Dairy Radio Now: David O’ Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union, tells us American dairy farmers are well placed to have quality products on the international market.

 

Sharing the Message

DrinkMilkThe American Dairy Association Mideast is the local dairy promotion checkoff program for dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia; where farm families raise more than 274,000 dairy cows on about 2,500 dairy farms.

In an average year, Ohio and West Virginia dairy cows produce approximately 5.6 billion pounds or about 656 million gallons of milk.

“Every day I wake up I think about what I can do for dairy farmers to help them and their cause to build trust in sales among consumers,” says Scott Higgins, President/CEO of the American Dairy Association Mideast:

 

Global Trade Uncertainty

Darci VetterDairy producers are heading into uncertain times regarding trade relationships with our key partners, and the dairy industry needs to be prepared for a lengthy process. That’s according to Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative

Vetter tells Dairy Radio Now that the U.S. ag industry needs to continue to build a global presence as the U.S. re-examines trade relationships with Mexico, Canada, and Korea. Listen to her comments here:

Class III Price Hits Bottom

USDAThe Federal order benchmark milk price has dipped even more but looks to be at the bottom. The Agriculture Department announced the February Class III price at $13.40 per hundredweight, down 60 cents from January, $3.48 below February 2017, and the lowest Class III since June 2016. The price equates to $1.15 per gallon, down from $1.20 in January and $1.45 a year ago. 

The February Class IV price is $12.87, down 26 cents from January, $2.72 below a year ago, and the lowest Class IV price since April 2016. Full Report

Dairying to Thrive: Invest In Yourself

PDPW_2018conferenceSave the date for dairy’s premier educational event: The 2018 PDPW Business Conference, March 14-15, 2018 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

PDPW has gone worldwide in search of the most comprehensive, leading-edge information you can take 48 hours to fill up on knowledge, as we hear from PDPW’s Shelly Mayer. Conference overview

Make Time For Time Management

Time-managementJoin PDPW World Class Webinars: “Time Management: Organizing Your Life,” led by Brooke Layman,  Consultant at McGhee Productivity, on Wed., Feb. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. CT. 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.

As an organizational expert, Brooke will provide attendees key learnings on organizational development, strategic human resources, and project management.  Listen here:

Class I Milk Price Drops to $13.36

USDAThe Agriculture Department announced the March Federal order Class I base milk price at $13.36 per hundredweight, down 89 cents from February, $3.54 below March 2017, and the lowest Class I since June 2016.

The three-month average stands at $14.35, down from $17.03 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.49 in 2016. Link to report

USDA Urged To Reopen MPP Enrollment

Margin-Protection-ProgramThe USDA must move swiftly to reopen sign-up for the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) for 2018 now that Congress has made significant improvements to the dairy economic safety net program, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

NMPF’s Chris Galen updated us on some of the crucial improvements to the new MPP on today’s Dairy Radio Now.