September 2014 Issue No. 422
Inside this month’s
Cheese/Butter Remain Seasonally Strong, Milk Powder Sector Collapsing (p. 1):
Dairy commodity prices are going in two directions at once. Domestic shortages of cheese and butter are propelling those commodities to peak prices. But the bottom has collapsed out of the U.S. milk powder sector, as export demand has seriously eroded.
Beef Imports from FMD-Infected Nations??? Vilsack Endangers
U.S. Livestock & Food Supply (p. 1):
In a page 1 editorial, Pete Hardin labels USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack a “dangerous ignoramus” and calls for his removal from office. What did Vilsack do? He’s back with two proposals to import beef from Foot-and-Mouth-Infected Argentina. Hardin concludes that Vilsack is a poor steward of the nation’s livestock and food supply, for repeated proposals to import beef from FMD-infected nations.
Beef from FMD-Infested Argentina After 10/28/14? (p. 2):
Contributor Jim Eichstadt has discovered that an August 28 announcement by USDA means that beef from the Patagonia Region of Argentina may start entering the U.S. in late October. Argentina has a Foot-and-Mouth Disease problem.
August 2014 Class III Price Announced at $22.25, Class IV
at $23.89 (p. 2):
Class prices for USDA’s federal milk orders are up again for August.
Russian Embargo Disrupts Global Trade; U.S. Dairy to Feel
Shrapnel (p. 3):
Russia’s embargo of dairy and food products from the EU nations, the U.S. and Australia has disrupted normal commerce in the global dairy industry. Since the U.S. has not set any dairy products to Russia since some time in spring 2010, the impact on this nation will be indirect. But high butter and cheese prices here will draw distressed global products.
New Russian Banking Sanctions Threaten Swiss Dairy Export
Hopes (p. 3):
Banks in Switzerland handle about 80% of Russia’s oil industry banking. Swiss authorities have now announced sanctions against five Russian banks and their Swiss subsidiaries. Take that, Putin!
Chinese Dairy Imports Above 2013, But U.S. Market Share
Declining Sharply (p. 3):
Trade data show China’s diary commodity imports for the first half of 2014 are significantly ahead of 2013’s first-half numbers. But the U.S. is finding it hard to maintain exports. Our prices have increased during 2014, while global market prices have generally declined. The U.S. milk powder sector sees prices declining sharply.
Nice Holstein Herd Brings Nice $$$ at Wisconsin On-Farm
Auction (p. 4):
The Milkweed attended the August 25 herd dispersal of Richard and Paulette Keene near Barron, Wisconsin. Their well-tended herd averaged about $2,250 apiece for the 100+ milk cows.
DFA Dumping Milk, Reblending Losses from Northeast Members’
Checks (p. 5):
Hard to believe, but Dairy Farmers of America has been dumping large volumes of milk in the Northeast in June and July. DFA is blaming Chobani Yogurt for reducing milk intake at that company’s upstate NY yogurt plant. But the story goes far deeper than that. DFA smacked members’ milk checks with a 15-cent/cwt. marketing loss assessment for July deliveries. More to come, The Milkweed projects …
WMP & SMP Exports/Production Way Down (p. 6):
Due to decreased global demand, U.S. production of Skim Milk Powder and Whole Milk Powder has declined from early monthly totals. WMP is piling up in warehouses, according to USDA data.
Questions/Answers with AMPI Butter Guru Jim Walsh (p. 7):
With commodity butter prices at a few cents below $3.00/lb., one of the nation’s most respected butter marketing professionals answers some “buttery” questions from The Milkweed.
Empire Specialty Cheese: See You in September? (No Way) (p.
Writer Nate Wilson takes another look at the lack of construction at a cheese plant in western New York State that, early last June, was promised to be completed this month. What with all the grants promised by various government agencies, there’s a big embarrassment brewing here.
Good Dairy, Better Dairy … GREAT Dairy! (p. 8):
Pete Hardin reviews the many changes in descriptors on dairy product packages. Consumers want more information about what’s in their dairy products and how they’re processed. Where is the industry headed???
Feature Story #1 – USDA Proposes Beef
Imports from FMD-Infected Argentina as U.S. Cattle Numbers Plummet (p. 9):
Jim Eichstadt dishes out the dirty details of USDA’s latest proposals – as U.S. cattle numbers slide to the lowest level in 60+ years – to import beef from Foot-and-Mouth Disease-infected nations. Read all about it here.
Impending Drought? Let’s Fight Back! (p. 10-11):
Writer Paris Reidhead makes a wide-ranging review of science involving moisture and crop issues. Modern agronomy and seed practices make major U.S. crops more susceptible to drought damages.
Artisan WI Plant Quits Raw Milk Cheese
Output, Due to FDA’s Confusion (p. 12):
Uplands Cheese Company – an award-winning business – has quit making raw milk cheeses. Owner Andy Hatch cites confusing rules coming from FDA about a variety of issues, including wooden aging boards, for his decision to quit producing a popular raw milk variety.
Feature Story #2 – R-CALF USA’s Bill
Bullard Provides Insights on Critical Issues Facing Cattle Producers (p. 12-14):
Read our second story of the month here.
Strange: Butter Prices Soar, Cheese Strong, Powder Prices
Nose-Dive (p. 13):
Pete Hardin analyzes the ups and downs of the current dairy commodity scene. Export demand has hammered the milk powder trade.
Dairy at the convergence of nutrition, wellness and health
Intelligent dairy farmers and marketers can be at or near the head of the parade that links nutrition, wellness and health. The linkage of good dairy nutrition gains increased scientific backing. But dairy must do much more than just repeat the same-old, same-old mantras about milk and health.
Time to cull a failed USDA Secretary (p. 15):
Pete Hardin beats up on poor Tom Vilsack again.
CA’s H2O Supplies Dire, Entering 3rd Year of “Worst Ever”
Drought 11 Biggest Reservoirs 20.5% of Capacity, Restrictions on Well Drilling
Using recent reservoir capacity data from the California Department of Water Resources, Pete Hardin calculates that the state’s 11 biggest reservoirs are only at 20.5% of their full capacity. Meanwhile, state legislators have passed a bill implementing stricter oversight of drilling wells for water.
USDA Rolls Out Dairy Margin Protection Program Details (p.
USDA has released information for dairy farmers who wish to study the new federal milk program. The program is based upon levels of margins over production costs.
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