February 2014 Issue No. 415
Inside this month’s
Four Mega-Events Disrupting Dairy Supply-Demand (p. 1):
Four major events are unsettling dairy supply-demand. Those events are: California’s “worst-ever” drought, China’s serious declines in milk production, strong demand for dairy animals for beef, and poor-quality stored feeds and forages in the Upper Midwest.
Finally! Politicians Achieve 2014 U.S. Farm Law (p. 1):
Writer Nate Wilson provides basic details of the dairy portion of the just-passed federal farm and food legislation. The devil will be in the details, Wilson concludes.
Whopping $2.20/Cwt. Jump for January Class III Price (p.
USDA’s January 2014 Class III (cheese milk) price survey gained most of the month’s early cash market gains. The Jan. Class III price rose to $21.15/cwt. The Class IV (butter-powder) price was announced at $22.29/cwt.
UW Dairy Economists Sharing “Cracked Crystal Ball” for Milk-Price Forecasts (p. 3):
UW-Madison dairy economists Bob Cropp and Mark Stephenson started off 2014 predicting significant drops in this year’s farm milk prices vs. 2013 price levels. Time will tell …
Major Yogurt Makers Using “Kosher Gelatin” (from Beef
Hides) as an Ingredient (p. 4):
What is “Kosher Gelatin”? The Milkweed dug into that question following a tip from a supermarket customer. Some big yogurt makers use “Kosher Gelatin” as an ingredient. “Kosher Gelatin” is made from extracts from beef hides. Muller-Quaker fruit-laden yogurts use a different “Kosher Gelatin” – derived from tilapia (a fish). Do yogurt consumers really want beef hide extracts and “fishy” materials in their food?
UpState-Niagara Co-op Limiting Members’ Milk Production …
The major dairy co-op in western New York has imposed limits on members’ milk production gains for 2014. That seems strange, due to all the growth in dairy processing plant capacity in New York State in 2013 and more big plants coming on line in 2014.
John Kinsman, 87: Kinsman to Many (p. 5):
Energetic farm/food activist John Kinsman of LaValle, WI passed away in January. Kinsman – an organic dairy farmer for six decades – was the father of the “anti-rbGH” movement and a visionary.
Agronomist Learns from 2013 Growing Season (p. 6-7):
Writer Paris Reidhead put a series of questions to agronomist Tom Kilcer about what Kilcer observed, crop-wise, in the Northeast in 2013. Very interesting!
Feature Story: U.S. Allows Dairy Product Imports from Many
Countries with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (p. 8-10):
Read our story of the month here.
Quick Looks at Key 2013 U.S. Commodity Production Data (p.
We analyze 2013’s important trends in dairy commodities – Mozzarella, nonfat dry milk, Skim Milk Powder, and yogurt. Annualized monthly data from USDA shows a dynamic industry.
DMI Data Show Key Dairy Sales Numbers (p. 11):
DMI’s year-end dairy marketing summaries reveal some interesting trends, such as: California’s fluid milk sales collapsed by 4.2% in 2013, and Greek yogurt sales showed a 45.9% increase last year.
Scenic Central Co-op Annual Meeting Highlights (p. 11):
We attended the annual meeting of Scenic Central Dairy Co-op – a 285-member raw milk marketing co-op in Wisconsin that features ZERO debt and a member annuity savings program.
Horizon “Organic” Factory Farm Accused of Improprieties,
Again (p. 12):
Will Fantle of the Cornucopia Institute details alleged problems with WhiteWave’s industrial-sized organic dairy in Idaho.
Dairy Commodity Prices Easing After January Spikes (p. 13):
Cheddar prices have retreated about 20 cents per pound from their all-time price peaks achieves in January. The post-Super Bowl surge for cheese has subsided. Ahead, The Milkweed projects strong export demand in 2014, but domestic demand will be challenged by high retail prices.
Chobani Yogurt Hits Brick Walls in Europe: (p. 14):
In separate matters, Chobani Yogurt was kicked around in Europe. The Russians have denied Chobani ability to ship U.S. yogurt to this nation’s Olympic athletes. And a British court ruled that Chobani could not sell U.S.-made “Greek yogurt’ in that country. Dairylea Co-op Members OK DFA Merger (p. 14): On Feb. 4, Dairylea members approved merger of their co-op with Dairy Farmers of America – proving once again hast P. T. Barnum was right.
Weak U.S. dollar + classified pricing = “cheap” U.S. dairy
exports (p. 15):
Pete Hardin shares his opinion that a single class milk pricing system is needed. Returns for various domestic producers vary dramatically – with fluid milk processor margins rock-bottom. Meanwhile, prices and returns for specialized dairy proteins and ingredients for export (particularly as infant formula in Asia) are highly lucrative. Our four-class milk pricing systems are antiquated.
U.S. Farm Law Immoral (p. 15):
Pete Hardin takes exception to the fundamental of the newly signed federal farm and food law. That law guarantees the crop insurance industry a 14% return on gross sales volume, removed payments limits of $750,000 to individual farmers, and cuts funding for supplemental nutrition programs (food stamps).
After Worst-Ever Drought in 2013, California’s Moisture
Scarce in Early 2014 (p. 16):
As of Feb. 4, 2014, California’s reservoirs were at only 33% of normal capacity. And the snow pack contained only 12% of normal moisture. Last year was California’s worst-ever drought. Even some nice precipitation around Feb. 8-9 won’t make much of a difference ot reservoirs. Very serious situation …
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