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What’s In Store For 2019

Dairy farmers and allied industry will get an update on the U.S. dairy markets and global report from economist Dan Basse at PDPW's World Class Webinar on November 21, 2018.  Click here to register.  Listen below to Basse's comments on what he is looking at for 2019:...

NMPF Urges Congress to Put Farmers First in Lame-Duck Session

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), urged Congress to make passing a new farm bill a top priority in its lame-duck session that starts tomorrow, saying that dairy farmers harmed by low prices would benefit from the...

Great Buys in Feed

What are some of the good buys for byproduct feed? Dr. Mike Hutjens give us his two cents on this Feed Form Friday on Dairy Radio Now.  

ADSA Enhances The Learning Experience

Dr. Ken Olson from The American Dairy Science Association joined us on today's Dairy Radio Now to share with us the wide variety of resources at dairy producers and industry professional's fingertips....

Focus on Bedding & Nutrition to Prevent Pneumonia

This month, Dr. Ryan Leiterman of Crystal Creek debunks the myth that ventilation is the main cause of pneumonia.  

PDPW Calf Care Connection Is Next Week

Geek out on calves at the PDPW Calf Care Connection® training on Nov. 13, 14, 15, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., in Fennimore, Eau Claire and Chilton, Wis., respectively. This workshop is designed to challenge the most seasoned calf care managers, calf feeders and...

Is There A Silver Lining in Dairy’s Dark Cloud?

Matt Gould, an analyst of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst newsletter joined us on today's Mielke Monday to see if there is any silver lining in the down milk prices that producers are facing.  

Collaboration Creates Nutrition Package

Micronutrients USA (Micronutrients) and Kemin Industries (Kemin) are partnering to introduce IntelliBond® VITAL 5 Cr, the world's first nutrition package containing six essential trace minerals to support dairy and beef cattle well-being and performance. Dr. Scott Fry...

Profitability Is Possible

Today's Feed Form segment with Dr. Mike Hutjens focuses on being more profitable during a challenging time:  

Class III Drops 56 Cents

The Agriculture Department announced the October Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price at $15.53 per hundredweight, down 56 cents from September, $1.16 below October 2017, and equates to $1.34 per gallon, down from $1.38 in September and $1.44 a year ago. The...

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NMPF Urges Congress to Put Farmers First in Lame-Duck Session

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), urged Congress to make passing a new farm bill a top priority in its lame-duck session that starts tomorrow, saying that dairy farmers harmed by low prices would benefit from the certainty and improvements likely to be part of the final law. read more…

PDPW Calf Care Connection Is Next Week

Geek out on calves at the PDPW Calf Care Connection® training on Nov. 13, 14, 15, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., in Fennimore, Eau Claire and Chilton, Wis., respectively. This workshop is designed to challenge the most seasoned calf care managers, calf feeders and other team members that work with and care for young stock and newborn calves. PDPW’s Shelly Mayer tells us more on today’s Producer Tuesday:

 

Collaboration Creates Nutrition Package

Micronutrients USA (Micronutrients) and Kemin Industries (Kemin) are partnering to introduce IntelliBond® VITAL 5 Cr, the world’s first nutrition package containing six essential trace minerals to support dairy and beef cattle well-being and performance. Dr. Scott Fry of Micronutrients and Jeff Murphy of Kemin joined us on Monday’s Dairy Radio Now to tell us more about the partnership.

 

Class III Drops 56 Cents

The Agriculture Department announced the October Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price at $15.53 per hundredweight, down 56 cents from September, $1.16 below October 2017, and equates to $1.34 per gallon, down from $1.38 in September and $1.44 a year ago. The 10-month average is $14.72, down from $16.18 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.42 in 2016.

October’s Class IV price is $15.01, up 20 cents from September,16 cents above a year ago, and the highest Class IV since September 2017. Its 10-month average is $14.10, down from $15.44 a year ago and compares to 13.65 in 2016.

California’s final Class 4a and 4b milk prices were announced Thursday by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as the nation’s Number 1 milk producer became part of the Federal Milk Market Order system on November 1. The October 4b cheese milk price is $15.43 per cwt., down 19 cents from September, 74 cents below a year ago, and 10 cents below the Federal order Class III price. The 10 month 4b average stands at $14.45, down from $15.33 a year ago and compares to $13.72 in 2016. 

The 4a butter-powder price is $14.49, up 40 cents from September, 2 cents below a year ago, and the highest 4a since October 2017. Its 10-month average is at $13.66, down from $15.24 a year ago and compares to $13.25 in 2016. Courtesy: Mielke Market Weekly 

Dairy Farmers Ask Trump For Compensation

U.S. dairy farmers at their annual meeting in Pheonix this week asked President Donald Trump to recognize the significant economic losses milk producers are suffering because of the administration’s implementation of Section 232 and 301 tariffs. The duties have resulted in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. dairy exports, particularly in Mexico and China. They continue to cause severe economic harm to U.S. dairy farmers, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), as its board of directors adopted a resolution calling for aid commensurate to that damage. NMPF’s Chris Galen tells us more:

 

What is Dairy Revenue Protection?

Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) is a concept plan of insurance, developed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services and other collaborators which would allow dairy farmers to purchase risk management protection against declines in quarterly revenue from milk sales, i.e. unexpected declines in milk prices, unexpected declines in milk production, or both.

Matt Mattke, director of Stewart-Peterson’s Market360 dairy risk management service, joined us on Monday’s Dairy Radio Now to give his input. Here’s the entire interview:

 

NMPF Asks USDA to Bolster Dairy Aid Package

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs to better reflect the dairy-farm incomes lost to tariff retaliation when it calculates its next round of trade mitigation payments, the National Milk Producers Federation said today. In a letter sent Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, NMPF Chairman and dairy farmer Randy Mooney cited four studies illustrating that milk producers have experienced more than $1 billion in lost income since May when the retaliatory tariffs were first placed on dairy goods in response to U.S. levies on foreign products. In contrast, the first round of USDA trade mitigation payments, announced in August, allocated only $127 million to dairy farmers.

“We are ever-grateful for your advocacy on agricultural trade, which is crucial to the economic health of our industry,” wrote Mooney, who operates Mooney Dairy in Rogersville, Missouri, with his wife, Jan. “However, our members are greatly concerned about the level of aid that was provided in the initial effort.” The letter details four analyses, including two independent studies using sophisticated economic modeling, that each show losses to dairy producers far above USDA’s initial payment level.

  • NMPF analyzed the CME dairy futures-based milk prices through the end of 2018, based on the settlement prices in late May, just before retaliatory tariffs were announced, with those same prices after tariffs had been thoroughly incorporated into market expectations.  The expected impact of the retaliation may result in roughly $1.5 billion in lost revenue for producers during the second half of 2018.
  • USDA’s own monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) showed a drop in its forecast milk prices for the full 2018 calendar year of $0.70/cwt., after the imposition of the tariffs. The WASDE estimate amounts to a loss in dairy farm income of $1.5 billion for the year.
  • An Informa Agribusiness Consulting study estimated that the tariffs would lower U.S. dairy farm income by $1.5 billion for the full year 2018.
  • The Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University, estimated an annual loss of $1.17 billion.

“These estimates show that farmer losses from the tariffs will notably exceed $1 billion in 2018,” Mooney wrote. “Significant income losses will continue” if tariffs imposed by Mexico and China – two of the largest dairy export markets for the United States – remain in place. Perdue has said a second trade mitigation payment to producers may be made this year, after additional calculations of farmer losses.

“We are eager to work with you on a plan that better reflects the struggles dairy producers across the country have faced due to the tariffs,” Mooney wrote. “Thank you for considering the critical implications of these trade challenges for us as dairy farmers and cooperative owners.”

Improving Cow Comfort – Intelligently

The Livestock Comfort System by Genesys Energy Systems is an all-in-one, automated barn ventilation management system that provides significant energy savings, paying for itself in as little as one year. CEO Joe Borgerding joined us on today’s Dairy Radio Now and said it’s the only system of its kind on the market – a complete plug-and-play power and system that controls and adjusts fan speed, curtains, alarms, lighting and sprinklers both inside and outside the freestall barn.

 

Managing the Risk of Milk Price Volatility

Join the PDPW World Class Webinars: “Market Management: New tools to manage market volatility,” with Carl Babler, an expert in the futures industry and broker, educator and hedger. The webinar will be held on Wed., Oct. 24 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT.  Principal with Atten Babler Commodities, Babler will help you break down the options of Dairy Revenue Protection insurance and talk through available price, revenue and margin-protection programs offered by the USDA. Gain clarity and grasp the basics of Dairy-RP as Babler outlines strategies to use this insurance effectively and immediately. Listen to Carl’s comments on Dairy Radio Now:

 

Cattle on Feed Up 5 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.4 million head on October 1, 2018. The inventory was 5 percent above October 1, 2017. This is the highest October 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.09 million steers and steer calves, up 2 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 62 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.31 million head, up 11 percent from 2017. Complete Report

Milk Production Up 1.5 Percent

Milk production in the 23 major States during September totaled 16.4 billion pounds, up 1.5 percent from September 2017. August revised production at 17.2 billion pounds, was up 1.3 percent from August 2017. The August revision represented a decrease of 10 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,880 pounds for September, 30 pounds above September 2017. This is the highest production per cow for the month of September since the 23 State series began in 2003. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.72 million head, 13,000 head less than September 2017, and 12,000 head less than August 2018. Complete Report

November Class I Drops 81 Cents

The Agriculture Department announced the November Federal order Class I base milk price at $15.52 per hundredweight, down 81 cents from October, 89 cents below November 2017, and equates to $1.33 per gallon, down from $1.40 in October. It is California’s first Federal order Class I base price. As in the other milk market orders of the country, this is the price that is added to its individual Class I differential in order to determine that order’s Class I milk price. The 11 month Class I average stands at $14.82, down from $16.41 a year ago and $14.61 in 2016.
Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly

NMPF Prepares For Annual Meeting in Phoenix

Every fall, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) organizes a joint annual meeting with the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA). Dairy producers, member cooperatives, Young Cooperators (YCs), industry representatives, staff and others from all over the country arrive for three days of speeches, reports, banquets, general sessions, town hall meetings, and award ceremonies. NMPF’s Chris Galen gave Dairy Radio Now listeners a preview on today’s program.

 

New Tools To Manage Market Volatility

Carl Babler, Principal with Atten Babler Commodities, joined us on today’s broadcast to discuss market volatility. Babler is presenting a webinar, “Market Management: New tools to manage market volatility,” presented by the PDPW World Class Webinars:  The webinar will be held on Wed., Oct. 24 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT.

Babler is an expert in the futures industry and broker, educator, and hedger. He will help break down the options of Dairy Revenue Protection insurance and talk through available price, revenue and margin-protection programs offered by the USDA. Gain clarity and grasp the basics of Dairy-RP as Babler outlines strategies to use this insurance effectively and immediately.

 

Arla – Foremost Form Whey Partnership

Sharing a mutual ambition of leading the way in whey in the United States, European dairy cooperative Arla Foods and U.S. based dairy cooperative Foremost Farms USA are in advanced discussions about forming a strategic partnership. The vision of a potential partnership is to increase the value of whey through innovation, by combining Foremost Farms’ high-quality whey with Arla Foods’ extensive ingredient know-how and strong sales channels. read more…

Producers For Progress Winners Announced

The Producers for Progress recognition program, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, is in its second year, and was created in support of BI’s commitment to putting cattle first, and helping to protect the industry’s future.   Read More

ABI Urges FDA to Address Mislabeled Butter Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should take prompt enforcement action against seven “butter” substitutes that flagrantly violate the agency’s food labeling requirements and thus are misbranded, the American Butter Institute (ABI) said today at its Board of Directors Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

ABI is the Arlington, Virginia-based trade association for manufacturers, processors, marketers and distributors of butter and butter products. The majority of butter consumed throughout the United States is made and marketed by ABI member companies and cooperatives. Chris Galen of the National Milk Producers Federation updated Dairy Radio Now listeners on the latest:

read more…

September Class III Jumps to $16.09

The September Federal order benchmark milk price jumped $1.14 to $16.09 per hundredweight (cwt.), 27 cents below September 2017 but the highest Class III price since November 2017. It equates to $1.38 per gallon, up from $1.29 in August but down from $1.41 a year ago.

Wednesday’s Class III futures portend an October price at $15.81, November at $16.04 and December at $15.98. The nine-month Class III average stands at $14.62, down from $16.12 a year ago and compares to $14.38 in 2016. 

The September Class IV price is $14.81, up 18 cents from August but $1.05 below a year ago. Its nine-month average hit $13.95, down from $15.51 a year ago and compares to $13.65 in 2016.
Courtesy: Mielke Market Weekly
read more…

US, Canada Reach New Trade Deal

Canada has agreed to provide U.S. dairy farmers access to about 3.59% of its approximately $16 billion annual domestic dairy market. Dairy farmers across Canada were disappointed over the news that was included in the new USMCA agreement.

“We have been informed of the conclusion of an agreement between Canada and the United States for a renewed free-trade accord. Granting an additional market access of 3.59% to our domestic dairy market, eliminating competitive dairy classes and extraordinary measures to limit our ability to export dairy products will have a dramatic impact not only for dairy farmers but for the whole sector. This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians. We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood.”

Congress Fails To Pass Farm Bill

Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway’s expressed his frustration on Friday that he and his colleagues will be unable to get a bill done on time. Chairman Conaway said:

“I told a writer the other day that I probably played football too long but as long as there was time on the clock, the score didn’t matter, you just go at it as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Once the clock goes to all zeros, which will be midnight on Sept. 30, then it’s a new game.

Folks are beginning to talk about extensions or whatever they want to. To me, that means they’ve given up and I hate giving up. I just—I don’t like people who give up. That’s just not what we do. Where we sit right now it is across almost all of the titles, there are legitimate policy differences of opinion across them. It’s not just SNAP, it’s not just the farm bill, it’s not just conservation, it’s not title—it’s a variety of things that we have yet to come to grips with. It’s really frustrating because no one of them, who are actually all of them in combination, are worthy of us not getting this done. It’s just a matter of having the political will to make those hard choices.

Producers don’t need the additional anxiety or uncertainty of not knowing what the next 5 years looks like with respect to a farm bill. They’re living this five year drop in net farm income, 50 percent drop, the worst since the depression, no real prospects of the commodity prices getting any better, so getting the farm bill done is really important, but it’s got to be important to everybody negotiating. Right now, I don’t get the sense that getting something done has quite the sense of urgency with my Senate colleagues as it does with me.

I need to make hay while the sun shines right now. It’s shining on us and getting this farm bill done ought to be about the policy, it ought to be about the people, it ought to be about who we can help, who we can assist in these really really hard times. And just know that, the House of Representative guys that are fighting this fight are in it to get this thing done because their recognition of just how tough times are right now in production agriculture.”

FDA Addresses Plant-Based Labeling

The National Milk Producers Federation commented on the recent announcement by the USDA. “We welcome the public comment request announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that we hope will finally curtail the misleading labeling practices of plant-based foods imitating real dairy products,” according to an NMPF news release. NMPF will provide additional perspective explaining why the agency must enforce its own labeling regulations and limit the use of standardized dairy terms to products that come from an animal.

“We are pleased that after years of engagement with FDA, the agency is finally addressing our concerns about how these plant-based products are inappropriately marketed to consumers. In fact, the docket recognizes many of the same issues we’ve brought to light over the last four decades: that plant-based products are packaged, merchandized and sold in the same way as real dairy foods, yet provide fewer nutrients and therefore cannot be considered suitable substitutes.

“However, our comments will further emphasize that at its heart, our concern over accurate labeling is a concern not just about nutritional equivalence and the implications for public health. A food identified by a standard of identity is so much more than just a collection of nutrients. A standardized dairy food, like milk, yogurt or butter, is defined by its inherent characteristics including how and where it is sourced, and its sensory attributes and performance properties. Quite simply, just adding plant protein, calcium and a few other ingredients to water does not make it milk.

“We appreciate Commissioner Gottlieb’s efforts to evaluate current food labeling practices and how they can impact public health. But, as important as that is, we also believe FDA’s efforts must go a step further. We will remain engaged throughout this and future processes to keep a spotlight on this critical issue.”

Dairy Revenue Protection Is Here

Recognizing the need to enhance the federal risk management tools available to dairy producers, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services and other collaborators developed a new federal crop insurance product called Dairy Revenue Protection. Dairy Revenue Protection provides insurance for the difference between the revenue guarantee and actual milk revenue if prices or revenues decline. It also provides a greater choice of price risk management features, providing the ability to protect the value of milk based on the value of cheese to fresh milk, protein or butterfat.

Dr. John Newton, Chief Economist with AFBF joins us on today’s Dairy Radio Now with an update:

 

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:

 

 

USDA Launches Trade Mitigation Programs

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today launched the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  Producers of certain commodities can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), while USDA will also begin to purchase identified commodities under a food purchase and distribution program.  Additionally, USDA has begun accepting proposals for the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), which will help American farmers find and access new markets for their products.  In total, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with World Trade Organization obligations.

Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation.  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.  These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet some of the costs of disrupted markets. read more…

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:

 

Got Mielke?

It was Labor Day, 1988 when Lee Mielke launched DairyLine, a radio network devoted entirely to the dairy industry. Since then, DairyLine has transformed to Dairy Radio Now with MIelke providing weekly reports on the latest market conditions. On this anniversary we had a chance to look back at 30 years of providing info to the dairy industry.

 

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.

 

Sacramento Water Grab “Unacceptable”

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s visit to Don Pedro and New Melones Reservoirs at the request of U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) continues to yield results for the Valley, with Secretary Zinke issuing an internal memo Friday declaring the state’s proposed water grab an “unacceptable restriction” that reduces the Department of the Interior’s ability to deliver water and directing his agencies to propose a plan within 25 days to maximize water supply, construct new water storage, and resolve issues with the state, among other directives.

“After our tour of local reservoirs, Secretary Zinke recognizes that Sacramento’s water grab would cripple our communities, farms, and water storage infrastructure,” said Rep. Denham. “Our water, our water rights, and our future depend on stopping this wasteful plan.”
read more…

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

Injunction Sought of Beef Checkoff Collections in Several States

Beef Checkoff programs in Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin would be barred from unconstitutionally collecting funds that subsidize corporate speech if independent ranchers get their way.

National independent rancher group Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) today moved to expand their legal campaign to end the unconstitutional administration of the Beef Checkoff program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The current injunction against collection of checkoff funds, upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in April, only applies to collection of checkoff funds in Montana. R-CALF USA is now asking for a halt to checkoff funds in Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin as well.

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,

 

ICE executes federal search warrants in Nebraska, Minnesota and Nevada

During a multi-state operation led by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a series of criminal arrest warrants were executed Wednesday for 17 individuals connected to an alleged criminal conspiracy to exploit illegal alien laborers for profit, fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in Nebraska and Minnesota. Read More

 

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

 

“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 prices and some tips on how producers can take advantage of feed price opportunities.