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March 2018 Issue No. 464

Inside this months issue …

OUR STORY OF THE MONTH (Click below on the blue title to read "the complete story"):

Mideast Milk Flooding Into Upper Midwest (p. 1)

NZ Milk Production Nose-Diving:  January 2018 Solids Drop 7% (p. 1)


7th Round of NAFTA Negotiations Concludes (p. 2):
  Nate Wilson updates continued failures at the North American Free Trade Agreement talks involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Dean Foods Reports Disappointing Q4 & 2017 (p. 2): Another quarter of poor performance by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest fluid milk processor.

Organic Dairy Markets Being Disrupted (p. 2):
     Organic dairy producers in several states have been notified that their current buyers will soon not be accepting their milk.  

Dairy “Safety Net” Emerges from Federal Gov’t’s Budget’s Backroom Del (p. 3): 
    Behind closed doors, Congress amended the Margin Protection Program-Dairy ss part of the budget process.  We’re skeptical …

Does Moody’s Investors Service Correctly Understand DFA??? (p. 4):
    Moody’s Investors Service’s October 2017 analysis of Dairy Farmers of America seems to miss a key point.  DFA’s payments to members are cleared monthly, not accumulated for a year.  That throws off Moody’s assertion that DFA is in a healthy balance of  total member payments relative to the co-op’s debt.

Beef Checkoff Lawsuit Heard in Court of Appeals (p. 4):
     Jan Shepel writes about challenge to the beef promotion checkoff program being heard in a Montana federal court.  R-CALF USA is the plaintiff.

Monsanto’s President Hopes to Double Dicamba “Resistant” Soybean Acreage (p. 5):  Paris Reidhead explores in depth the issue of “dicamba drift” as    Monsanto hopes that nearly half of all U.S. soybean acreage in 2018 will be planted to its dicamba-resistant GMO seeds.

a2 Milk: Sales, Profits & Joint Venture Propel Stock Price (p. 6):
     Ken Rabas conducts an in-depth review of the factors that have been behind the spectacular stock price gains of the a2 Milk company.  A sidebar story covers a2 Milk’s recently announced joint marketing venture with Fonterra, New Zealand’s predominant dairy cooperative.

Southeast Milk Markets in Total Chaos (p. 7):
     Dean Foods sent out termination notices to some of its producers in the Southeast.  DFA-owned Piedmont Milk Sales will quit buying milk from “independents” and DFA will “help” those producers form a new co-op.

’18 Grain Outlook Sobering: Trade Deals & Weather Are Factors (p. 8):
     Writer/dairy farmer Jan Shepel reports on the analyses of 2018 grain markets and prices offered at the UW-Madison Ag Outlook Forum in late January.
Butter & Cheddar Prices Strengthen, Milk Powder Prices Decline (p. 9):
     We see improving commodity prices for butter and Cheddar, but not for nonfat dry milk.  Pay close attention to the NZ drought!

Dairy Livestock Prices Mostly Down (p. 10):
     The markets we talk to show prices mostly down for dairy livestock.  Short-bred heifers and breeding age heifers have buyers’ interests in Michigan.  In Ohio, high-end Holstein cull cows were bringing $.646-$.71/lb. live weight)

All’s Not Well in Garden City, KS (p. 10):
    Nate Wilson informs us of recent comments by Congressman Roger Marshall (R-KS).  Marshall is complaining that DFA’s new powder plant in Garden City, KS can’t sell milk powder to the Chinese because the Canadians have flooded the market.

Butter & A2 milk … winners! (p. 11):
     Pete Hardin urges the dairy industry to focus on “winners” – such as butter (and other high-fat products) as well as marketing opportunities offered by dairy products that exclusively contain the A2 beta-casein proteins.

The 5% Solution … (p. 11):
    Pete Hardin suggests that all U.S. dairy farmers simply curtail their milk output by 5% for April-June 2018.  \\

Agri-Mark’s Cabot Cheese Lie: “Owned by our FAMILY FARMERS …” (p. 12):
    Agri-Mark’s Cabot Cheese products claim that the company is owned by its family farmers.  Not so.  A 1995 court case (Shaw v. Agri-Mark, Inc.) that in fact the “owners” of Agri-Mark are the co-op’s directors.

VA Sales Tax Higher than Farmer’s Shrae of Price of 8-oz. (1%) Milk at Subway (p. 12): 
     Dairyman E. Cline Brubaker of Virginia was shocked when he saw a $1.29 price tag on an 8-oz. container of 1% milk at a local subway.  Brubaker calculated that the dairy farmer’s portion of that milk ws 4.2-cents.

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