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May 2017 Issue No. 454

Inside this months issue …

Our story of the month:
“Secret” Canadian Class 7 Milk Price Formula Revealed!!! (p. 3):
Click Above for Story of the Month.

Adverse Weather Events Pounding Grain & Beef Producers (p. 1):   
     A variety of difficult weather events are making life difficult for the nation’s grain and beef producers – particularly in the heartlands.  Severe flooding has much of the country’s mid-section.  And import grain farming areas haven’t been flooded are facing cold, wet soils in mid-Spring.  Meanwhile, a devastating, late April blizzard killed thousands of beef animals in eastern Colorado and western Kansas.  That blizzard followed earlier wildfires that hurt cattle producers in Oklahoma and Kansas.  Bottom line: weather events that are hammering grain and beef producers have the potential to push up grain and beef prices – factors that will benefit dairy.

Several Signals Indicate Stronger Butter Prices Ahead (p. 2):
   U.S. butter prices are below world market levels.  That fact boosts export opportunities and slows imports.

Focus on Kraft-Heinz Milk Supply Contract at Lowville, NY (p. 2):
  On May 31, the farm milk supply contract between Dairy Marketing Services, LLC and Kraft-Heinz for the latter’s mammoth Lowville, NY plant expires.  Questions are rampant in the Lowville area about the terms of a new contract.  Farm milk supplies are overabundant in the Northeast.

April Class III Price Drops to $15.22/cwt. – Down $.59 (p. 2):
    The April 2017 Class III (Cheese) milk price fell $.50 per cwt., reflecting lower butter and Cheddar prices in USDA’s weekly survey of manufacturers’ sales.

"Secret” Canadian Class 7 Milk Price Formula Revealed!!! (p. 3):
   Our “Story of the Month.”  See the above link in blue to read this complete story.

Geonomics: Tool for Improving Herds Improvement Requires a Plan (p. 4):
  Writer/dairy farmer Jan Shepel reports on comments about genomics by three noted dairy breeders at a March 2017 meeting in Wisconsin.

MMPA Claims “Net Savings” Despite HUGE Deducts from Members’ Milk Checks (p. 5):
For its fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, Michigan Milk Producers Assn. claimed profits of just over $5 million.  But those profits were conjured up follow deducts against members’ milk checks that totaled around $745 million in the form of lower PPDs.  MMPA is awash in milk, and incurring big losses getting rid of the stuff.

Dairy Leaders Preparing Pro-GMO, Anti-Activist Onslaught (p. 5):
  As if they didn’t have better things to do (llike sell more dairy products), leaders of top dairy organizations appear to be part of a big push, coming out soon, to promote biotech foods.

Food Safety Starts with an Ethic, But Requires Tools (p. 6):
  We continue with part 2 of our profile of Nelson-Jameson, Inc., with a focus on specific tools available to dairy and food plants in the continuing push for food safety.

Waunakee, WI Dairy Farm Invests in Manure Composting (p. 7):
    Writer/dairy farmer Jan Shepel describes the Endres brothers’ Beryride Farms’ manure composting barn.  Very interesting story!!!  The Endres compost dairy manure year-round.  They find savings in reduced transporting manure to the fields, greater dry matter yields for alfalfa, and no problems with polluting nearby streams.  Yes, composting seems to be working well for the Endres family.

PowerPoint Panels from the ADPI/ABI Meeting (p. 8-9):
    We reprint selected, informative PowerPoint Panels provided by speakers are the recent, combined milk powder and butter industry meeting in Chicago.  Plenty of wisdom at the podium at this event, which was attended by over 1,000 industry representatives

DFA’s 2016 Financial Report: More & More Questions (p. 10):
   Pete Hardin conducts his annual proctology on the latest financial audit of Dairy Farmers of America.  DFA’s 2016 financial report continues to be plagued with the same-old, same-old problems – questionable “assets”  In particular, Hardin questions DFA’s $375 million worth of “Preferred Equity Securities.”  In the past, Moody’s Investors Service has labeled such assets as “debt-line.”  Currently, Moody’s puts a 50% value on those assets.

Bitter Butter Battles Buffeting Badgerland Barristers (p. 10):
   A flurry of lawsuits and administrative actions has taken place in Wisconsin during the past two months.  Wisconsin officials have blocked sales of KerryGold butter.  KerryGold has sued a competitor.  A “grassroots” group has sued Wisconsin state officials.  And Minerva Dairy (Ohio) is claiming that Wisconsin’s butter grading laws inhibit commerce.

Organic Milk: Playground Bullies Still stealing Milk Money (p. 11): 
      Writer Paris Reidhead provides both historic and up-to-date perspectives on the issue of organic dairy integrity and the undue influence of mega-dairies.  Unless the trend of USDA’s ignoring CAFO organic dairies’ violating pasture access rules, organics will go the way of conventional dairynig – with the “big boys” squeezing out the small and medium producers.

How Much Butter Does Wisconsin Make??? (p. 11):
Nobody knows.  Why?  Because federal and state agricultural reports cannot reveal totals because that would be a clue ass to how much volume the state’s biggest butter manufacturer (Grassland Dairy Products) has.

Meaningful Reform for Checkoff Programs Pushed (p. 12):
    Jan Shepel covers companion legislation in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would reform agricultural commodity promotion check-off programs.  About time!!!

Butter has Best Potential Upside in Unsettled Dairy Commodity Scene (p. 13):
  In Pete Hardin’s commodity analysis, he sees butter as the top commodity with room for upwards price movement.  U.S. butter prices are lower than those in Oceania or the European Union -- boosting exports and slowing down imports

Dairy Livestock Prices Flat at Best, But Beef Buyers May Help (p. 14):

  In this spring of discontent, dairy livestock prices remain flat … at best.  But beef buyers are not back in the game – buying dairy livestock for slaughter and placement in beef pens.

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.

European Chemical Agency Decides Glyphosate is Not a Carcinogen (p. 14):
   Jan Shepel reports on a recent decision by the European Chemical Agency that determines glyphosate – a widely-used herbicide – is not a carcinogen.

Wisconsin should focus on marketing, sales (p. 15): 
      Pete Hardin lays out a wide range of positive, pro-active solutions by which Wisconsin dairy interests can strive to tailor milk production to demand and to upgrade the image of cheeses produced in Wisconsin.

June 10: Ameri-Milk Jerseys to Find New Homes (p. 16):
Don Mielke’s Jersey herd and young stock will be sold by Jersey Marketing Services on June 10 at Mielke’s family farm near Menasha, Wisconsin.  Mielke is an accomplished breeder in both Holstein and Jersey circles.  Writer Jan Shepel interviews Don and profiles his herd of Jerseys.

Wave of “NO Posilac” Edicts Sweeps Across Cheese Industry (p. 16):
   Suddenly, a large number of cheese manufacturers have put out the word: No milk from Posilac-injected herds, starting January 1, 2017.  The expanded list of processors includes new arrivals Land O’Lakes, Associated Milk Producers, Inc; Agropur, Bongard’s Creameries, First District Association, and Saputo Cheese.  This rapid infusion of dairy manufacturers jumping on the “No Posilac” trend is amazing.  Next month, The Milkweed will try to find out what’s propelling this rush to the exits.

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