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  September 2016 Issue No. 446

Inside this months issue …

Our story of the month:

NMPF & 4 Dairy Co-ops Agree to $52 Million Settlement With Animal Welfare Activists in CWT “Cow Killing” Case (p. 1): 
Click Here.

CME Cheddar & Butter Prices Decline Sharply (p. 1):   
     Starting in late August and continuing into early September, prices for Grade AA butter and Cheddar cash-traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange declined sharply.  These market signals seem to contradict current strong demand for U.S. butter and cheese.

USDA to Buy $20 Mil. Of “Surplus” Cheese (p. 2):
   It’s an election year.  USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to requests from the National Milk Producers Federation by agreeing to an emergency purchase of a small amount ($20 million – about 10 million lbs. of cheese) for distribution through hunger and nutrition programs.

Bayer AG Moving to Buy Monsanto (p. 2): 
   Germany’s pharmaceutical giant, Bayer AG, is renewing its efforts to purchase Monsanto.  This proposed take-over continues a number of recent consolidations in the agricultural chemical/seed businesses.

Aug. Class III price $16.91; Class IV Price Drops to $14.65 (p. 2):
    The headline tells the story.

Senators: Investigate New Canadian Dairy Ingredients Trade (p. 3):
   Two U.S. Senators – Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) have asked USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative for an investigation into Ontario Province (Canada)’s special pricing for milk processed into dairy proteins.  Canada has dealt with a big influx of Milk Protein Concentrates that have widely displaced Canadian milk and ingredients.

Organic Dairy Farmers’ Market Opportunities Tighten, Despite Fluid Sales Growth (p. 3):
   Markets for organic producers are tightening – despite the fact that organic fluid milk sales are growing so far in 2006 at the rate of 5%!   Prices paid to organic dairy farmers are slipping backwards.  Other organic producers are losing their markets, or unable to find buyers for their milk.

Full-Fat Dairy Products gain Sales, DMI Pushes Low/No-Fat Losers (p. 5):
Sales of whole milk and full fat cheese are growing nicely.  But sales of low-fat cheeses and low-fat beverage milk products are slipping badly.  So what products does the nation’s dairy promotion bozos push?  Low-fat and no-fat dairy products?

Modern Sire Selection Process is Worlds Away from Grand-dad’s Methods (p. 6):
  Writer/dairy farmer Jan Shepel details how data derived from bovine genome profiles has dramatically shifted the way that young sires are selected and analyzed

UW’s Center for Dairy Research Over Budget  & Under a Cloud (p. 7):
  Jan Shepel takes a look at the much-delayed project to build a new Center for Dairy Researach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.  The project was supposed to break ground in summer 2015.  But delays have caused budget over-runs and dairy industry funders are squabbling with university and state officials over revised designs and costs.

New Life for an Old Cheese Plant ((p. 8-10):
    A small dairy co-op has purchased a closed cheese plant in Hancock, Maryland and is investing $25 million in a revival of that facility.  Securing markets for members’ milk – and gaining potential profits from ownership of processing/marketing operations – are strong incentives behind this project by the Lanco-Pennland cooperative.  For outsiders, it’s hard to imagine how difficult the milk marketing climate in the Northeast has been in the past two years for raw milk sellers.

Depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer is a Looming National Crisis (p. 10):
    Writer Nate Wilson reviews recent articles in national magazines about the declining water tables for the Ogallala Aquifer – which stretches from North Texas up to the Dakotas.  This vast, underground reservoir is depleting without recharge.  Nate also puzzles why Dairy Farmers of America would build a new, $275 million cheese plant in southwestern Kansas – where agriculture is already water-stressed.

“NO rbGH/rbST” Directives Gaining Teeth, But No Test (p. 11):
    Pete Hardin details the continuing rbGH/rbST controversy.  In Wisconsin, two dairy farmers were caught cheating by using the cow growth hormone (“Posilac”) after signing affidavits for their cheese plant that they would not inject their cows with that controversial, but legal, drug.  Those farmers were dropped from their milk markets.

The root of the whole Posilac controversy is that FDA failed its own rules by not requiring rbGH developers to create a residues assay, prior to commercialization.

Thinking about Producing GMO-Free Milk? (p. 12):
    Writer Paris Reidhead reviews the farm practices behind producing “GMO-Free” milk.  The market for GMO-Free milk is growing, as more consumers want GMO-free dairy products.

Empire Special Cheese Waving the White Flag (p. 14):  
     Nate Wilson reports how the much-troubled Empire Specialty Cheese plant in the western tip of New York State is admitting financial troubles.  A local daily newspaper reported that the firm is threatening Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unless a new owner can be found.

Dirty Water” politics heating up in Wisconsin (p. 15):
Pete Hardin covers the big problem in Wisconsin: contamination of surface and ground water by some mega-dairies.  Hardin argues that clean water is a finite resource and must be protected.  The state government is failing its mandate to protect the state waters.

New York State dairy marketing situation continues unruly (p. 15):
   The chaos in New York State’s milk industry just gets worse and worse.  More producers have received “drop notices” from Elmhurst Dairies.  DFA and DMS are cutting premiums paid to producers.

Organic Grain Imports Theaten Domestic Markets and Standards (p. 16):
We welcome writer and organic grain marketer John Bobbe’s contribution about the threats posed to U.S. organic grain producers by large imports of “organic” grain from the Black Sea region (Turkey, Ukraine).  Bobbe offers devastating facts about organic grain imports that are ruining prices and demand for domestically-produced organic grain.

OFARM and Food & Water Watch Request USDA/OIG Audit of “Organic” Grain Imports (p. 16):
    Two groups – OFARM and Food & Water Watch – have formally requested that USDA’s Office of the Inspector General investigate whether organic grain imports from the Black Sea regino are actually in compliance with U.S. standards.  The integrity of the entire organic foods’ industry is at stake.  Lower costs for imported ‘organic” grain are causing U.S.-produced supplies of organic grains to pile up in storage, as domestic prices decline and the 2016 crops are ready for harvest.

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