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April 2017 Issue No. 453

Inside this months issue …

Our story of the month:
“New York-it is” (Dairy Producers Losing Markets) Comes to Wisconsin (p. 1), and
China’s Biggeset Dairy’s Stock Plunges by 90! (p. 1):

     
Click Above for Stories of the Month.

Pete Hardin’s March 30 dairy speech available to view on the Internet (click on this headline to view)

DFA/DMS Will Terminate Remaining “Independent” Producers (p. 2):   
     DFA’s subsidiary, Dairy Marketing Services, LLC, has notified the remaining Northeast “independent” producers in the Northeast that their markets will cease sometime in mid-fall 2017.   That’s DFA’s “final solution” to the matter of marketing “independent” producers’ milk.

Sen. Gillibrand Aims for Milk Pricing Reform (p. 2):
   U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) asked USDA Secretary-Designate “Sonny” Purdue at his confirmation hearing if he would countenance public hearings in New York State regarding milk pricing reform.  Purdue answered affirmatively.

March Class III Price Drops $1.07 to $15,81/Cwt. (p. 2):
  USDA’s benchmark Class III (cheese) milk price for March dropped significantly, following down-trending Cheddar commodity prices.

Feb 2017 Class III Price Up to $16.88/cwt. (p. 2):
    February’s Class III (cheese) milk price rose modestly, to $16.88/cwt.  That price will be the peak for a while, as Cheddar prices at the CME have declined sharply.

JBS Caught in Massive Brazilian Beef Scandal (p. 4):
   Writer Nate Wilson has produced a fact-filled, highly informative sujmary of the meat scandal that’s hit Brazil.  JBS, which is a major U.S. beef and pork processor, was found bribing Brazilian inspectors to “look the other way” when untoward, illegal practices occurred.  JBS is a major buyer of dairy cull cows and steers in the U.S.  Brazilian beef imports have knocked down U.S. beef and dairy producers’ prices received for slaughter animals … as well as all other ages and stages of cattle.

Dairy Chorus Singing “blame Canada’ for Surplus Woes (p. 4):
  Pete Hardin scorns the chorus of dairy leaders and politicians blaming Canada for New York and Wisconsin dairy farmers losing their markets.  The real problem is undisciplined milk production in states such as Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin.

Did Vilsack’s Recent Trip to Mexico Violate Ethics in Government Act??? (p. 5):
  
The Ethics in Government Act clearly specifies restrictions on outgoing, former Cabinet officials (such as USDA secretary).  Did Tom Vilsack – recently departed USDA Secretary – violate the Ethics in Government Act by meeting with Mexico’s agriculture minister during Vilsack’s early March trip to Mexico?

Stonyfield Organic Yogut Sell-Off: Antitrust Anomaly! (p. 5):
  The U.S. Dep’t of Justice has okayed the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave by Dannon.  Publication of the approval in the Federal Register, as well a public comment, will follow.  DOJ is forcing Dannon to divest the Stonyfield Yogurt business.  Stonyfield has a 65% market share of retail organic yogurt sales, according to reporting last summer in The Milkweed.

NFDM Price-Fixing Lawsuit Update (p. 5):
  The Milkweed updates readers on the latest events in the long-running Class Action lawsuit against defendants DairyAmerica and California Dairies, Inc.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys are seeking to include additional defendants (DFA, LOL), add California producers as members of the plaintiff’s class, and upgrade the lawsuit to RICO (anti-mafia) status (triple damages).

Nelson-Jameson: Delivering Value & Serving Dairy & Food Industries (p. 6-7):
    Nelson-Jameson, based in Marshfield, Wisconsin, is the leading supplier of products to the U.S. cheese industry.  The Milkweed visits Nelson-Jameson and profiles this company’s operations and goals.

U.S. Senators Propose 120-day Ban on Brazilian Beef Imports (p. 7):
    Sparked by Montana’s Jon Testor (D) – a rancher – several U.S. Senators are proposing legislation to ban Brazilian beef from entering the U.S. for 120 days.  This move comes in response to a huge scandal over meat quality in Brazil.

“Munchkin Grass Fed” Infant Formulas to Debut in U.S. (p. 7):
   A line of infant formula products, made from grass-fed milk and produced in New Zealand, will soon start being marketed in the U.S. by Munchkin.  Looks like the Kiwis are several steps ahead of U.S. marketers … again!

Foods Made with Special Whey Protein help PKU Sufferers (p. 8-9):
   Writer Jan Shepel contributes a “soup-top-nuts” story outlining the history of a University of Wisconsin-Madison team of researchers that have isolated a whey protein and created a line of commercial food products for individuals suffering from PKU.  Individuals suffering from PKU have sometimes severe health and emotional issues, due to their inability to digest many proteins.  Dr. Denise Ney – a nutritional scientist at UW-Madison – headed up the team.

Whey Protein (GMP) May Helpwith Weight Loss, Osteoporosis (p. 8): 
     Writer Jan Shepel reports on an interesting side-result of whey research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:  Mice fed GMP whey proteins showed weight loss and increased bone mass density.  Further research is exploring the possible human applications of these findings.

Growing First-Half Sales & Profits for The a@ Milk Company (p. 9):
  
Writer Ken Rabas summarizes the first-half results for The a2 Milk Company, based in New Zealand.  Sales and profits are up, and the company is making plans to expand sales of a2-derived dairy products in the U.S. in 2018.

Midwestern Farm Credit Merger Gets Members’ Approval (p. 10):
    Jan Shepel updates the votes by members approving merger of three Midwestern Farm Credit associations.

Exports Bridge Gap Between Unfettered Milk Production and Mature U.S. Market (p. 10):
  Writer Jan Shepel reports on a recent presentation by UW-Madison dairy economist Dr. Mark Stephenson, where Stephenson took a wide-ranging overview of current U.S. dairy situation.  Strong farm milk production gains and retracting export opportunities are currently squeezing both dairy commodity and farm milk prices.

Biogas Digesters: Non-Solutions to Dairy’s Methane Misadventures (p. 11):

  Writer Paris Reidhead offers a technical perspective on the biochemistry and air quality issues surrounding use of manure digesters on dairy farms.  Overall, Reidhead concludes, using digesters to process dairy wastes is an environmental travesty, and a good way to lose money for investors.

Organic Industry Watchdog Wins Major Antitrust Victory (p. 12):
    Will Fantle, co-director of The Cornucopia Institute, reviews the many issues behind that organization’s successful effort in challenging the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave by Dannon.  Dannon will be forced to unload its Stonyfield Yogurt subsidiary.

Among Dairy Commodities, Only Butter Maintaining Price Stability (p. 13):
    The dairy commodity scene is not pretty.  Butter, among the major three commodities, maintains its price integrity.  Cheddar and nonfat dry milk prices are down-trending, compared to levels earlier in 2017.

Dairy Livestock: Springers, Fresh Cow Prices Down $200-$300 (p. 14):
   Prices for springing heifers and milk cows are down in auctions.  Farmers’ finances are limited and there is little incentive to buy more cows, when such prices and marketing condition exist in the U.S. dairy industry.

Dow-DuPont Merger Moves Forward After Conditional Approval by EU (p. 14):
   Writer Jan Shepel covers EU approval of the proposed merger between two agri-chemical giants, Dow and DuPont.  Consolidation is the name of the game for several sectors of U.S. and global agriculture.

Time for better ideas for the Farm Bill … (p. 16): 
     Pete Hardin offers a few improvements, starting with simplifying the federal milk order system into three milk orders and two classes of farm milk use.

Book Review: Hands Off My Food! Focuses on What’s on Our Plates (p. 16):
  
A newly-released book by Dr. Sina McCullough, Ph.D., takes a close look at what’s in our foods and what government policies have helped bring about our current food system.  McCullough urges individuals to take responsibility for their foods, starting by asking questions and changing habits, when deemed wise.  Her chapters on rbGH, Genetically Modified Organisms, and GRAS (FDA’s food safety qualifications) are must reading.

Immigrant Labor Worries Sobering Dairy Industry (p. 16):
   A major Achilles Heel for the U.S. dairy industry is the large number of undocumented immigrants working on the nation’s farms.  Estimates are that 60-70% of immigrant farm workers are in the country illegally.  And now the Trump administration is starting to crack down on illegal immigrants.




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