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August 2017 Issue No. 457

Inside this months issue …

Our stories of the month:
Kraft-Heinz: 90-Day Payment Terms for Mik at Lowville, New York      and
90-Day Milk Payments = Naked Greed, There Ought Be A Law!

Click Above for Story of the Month.

Butter Leading Tighter Dairy Marketing Picture (p. 1):   
    Strong demand for butter – both domestically and internationally – is helping tighten the U.S. dairy commodity picture, except for dairy protein powders.  Milk production in some states is slowing (Californa, Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania).  But milk production in Texas and the Lower Plains is galloping.  Dairy marketing conditions in Wisconsin have eased, with less distressed milk coming into Wisconsin from Michigan.

Kraft-Heinz: 90-Day Payment Terms for Milk at Lowville, NY (p. 1):
   One of two related “Stories of the Month.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Dairy MPP “Improvements” (p. 2):
  Writer Jan Shepel reviews recent proposed changes to the dairy “safety net” that were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Don’t expect anything significant.

UST Releases NAFTA Re-Negotiating Goals (p. 2):
   Goals for the United States negotiators in upcoming talks about the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement have been released by the federal government.

In Mid-July, 2017 Dairy Culls Nose Past 2016’s Total (p. 2):
   As of July 15, 2017, USDA reported that numbers of dairy culls headed to slaughter in 2017 have finally exceeded year-ago totals.  It’s been a few years since that fact could be stated.

Butter Drives July Class IV Price ($16.60) Above Class III ($15.45) (p. 2):
  Stronger butter prices, in contrast to weakening Cheddar prices, drove July’s Class IV (butter-powder) price above the Class III (cheese) price in USDA’s federal milk order program.

New York State Funding Incentives for Dairy Farmers and Processors (p. 3):
Writer Nate Wilson takes a tongue-in-cheek look at recent years disastrous efforts by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to subsidize growth of the state’s yogurt processing businesses, as well as stimulating growth of farm milk production.

Northeast Milk Flow Rapidly Losing Steam (p. 3):
  USDA milk production data shows the three biggest dairy states in the Northeast – New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont – all showing significant slow-downs in milk volume during 2017’s second quarter.  At the current rate, either in July or August 2017, the Northeast will be making less milk than in the prior month, one year ago.  That’s a change!

Big Cheese Plant Deal in Michigan May Be Wobbly (p. 4):
  Forget the January 2017 press statement about three dairy co-ops in Michigan building a massive cheese plant in partnership with Glanbia (from Ireland).  Our sources say that project is on “life supports” and likely won’t fly, since Glanbia’s demands regarding responsibility for indebtedness and a guaranteed profit margin on cheese are proving too much.

June 2017 Milk Dumpage Totals for FMMOs #1 & #33 (p. 4):
    Volumes of “dumped” milk during June 2017 for the Northeast (Order #1) and Mid-East (Order #33) were significantly lower, both compared to May 2017 dumpage and June 2016 totals.  That’s good.

DFA Squeezing Northeast Tighter and Tighter (p. 4):
    DFA’s anti-competitive attacks against other milk co-ops continue.  The latest: DFA’s demands that the South New Berlin milk co-op dissolve and push its members into DFA … or else DFA will terminate the milk marketing agreement between that small co-op and DFA’s subsidiary, Dairy Marketing Services.  Dirty games are also ensuing in the North Country, where DFA is elbowing local dairy co-ops whose milk is marketed to Kraft-Heinz’ Lowville plant through DMS.

UW-Madison Center for Dairy Research Project Two-Plus Years Behind Schedule (p. 5):
   Embarrassing.  That’s the only way to describe Jan Shepel’s coverage of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s failure to progress on the new, $34.5 million Center for Dairy Research project.

DBA Lawsuit Alleges WI DNR Overreaching its Authority (p. 5):
   Writer Jan Shepel details how efforts by Wisconsin’s hapless Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to better manage rainwater run-off from livestock feeding facilities and barn roofs have been challenged by the Wisconsin Dairy Business Assn.

Unique Pacific Coast Ecology: Basis for Alexandre Family’s Grass-Based, Organic Milk and Egg Farms (pages 6-7): 
      Ah, one of the benefits of writing about the dairy industry is visiting farms such as those operated by Blake and Stephanie Alexandre and their family, near Crescent City, California.  Their farms are located on the narrow coastal plain in the northwestern corner of California.  They operate four grass-based organic dairies and an organic egg business.  What a unique, beautiful vision for agriculture!

Weed from H--- (Palmer Amaranth) Meets Herbicide from Same Place (p. 8):
Use of Dicamba-type herbicides in Southern States is causing serious problems, as writer Paris Reidhead relates.  Emergency of RoundupReady-tolerant giant pigweed (Palmer Amaranth) meant that seed developer Monsanto developed soybean and cotton seeds resistant to dicamba herbicides.  Problem is: Dicamba appears to migrate from fields in which its been applied – particularly during hot, humid conditions.  Damage to crops in adjoining fields is totaling in the thousands of acres.

Dairy Commodity Prices: Butter & Cheddar Strengthen (p. 9):
   Butter prices continue moving mostly up, driven by solid domestic and export demand.  Cheddar prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are also increasing.  Milk powder prices remain stuck in the mid-80s (i.e., $.85/lb. or so).

Wrong Time to Be Selling Dairy Livestock (p. 10):
  Prices for dairy livestock – except good cull cows – are generally dropping, according to Pete Hardin’s analysis.  Why?  Dairy farmers are out of money, after two and three-quarter years of low milk prices, big marketing deductions, eroded livestock values, and trying to pay for spring planting expenses.

USDA Rejects Banning Conventional Whey from Organics (p. 10):
  Curious.  Will Fantle of the Cornucopia Institute explains how the USDA Secretary’s office recently overrode a 14-0 vote by the National Organic Standards Board to ban non-organic whey use in organic dairy and food products.  Blame for this travesty goes to the Organic Trade Assn. – nothing more than a shill or big food producers.

90-day milk payments = naked greed.  There ought to be a law! (p. 11):
    One of our “Stories of the Month.” -- see link at the top of the page!

MPP-Dairy “improvements” are a farce (p. 11):
   Pete Hardin scorns the recent changes for the Margin Protection Program-Dairy that were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee as meaningless.  These changes ignore the two big problems:  Failure of the “All-Milk Price” to accurately measure dairy farmers’ monthly income, and inaccurate measures of costs for feed (corn, soy and forages).

Managing the rest of the corn-growing season (p. 11):
Paris Reidhead underscores the importance of his article in the July 2017 issue that detailed how corn at tassel time, when harvested as silage, packs 85% of the milk-making wallop as does corn silage at maturity.  Important information in this weather-challenged year for dairy producers whose corn stands’ maturity is way, way behind.

“Traffic-Light System” for Buyers to Signal Farm Milk Needs to Producers (p. 12):
   Pete Hardin proposes a “Traffic Light System” for handlers to signal producers about estimated future months’ raw milk needs.  This system would base off prior-years milk output history for each farm and allow flexible, buyer-seller communications.

Drought Map Reflects Very Dry Conditions Over Much of Prairie States (p. 12):
  Serious dry conditions are overtaking crops in much of the Cental United States, as reflected by the early August 2017 Drought Monitor map published by the National Drought Mitigation Center.  In tandem with cold, wet conditions in eastern states, Mother Nature is dishing out a large number of headaches to challenge agricultural production in 2017.

PA Family Can’t Find Milk Market in SW Wisconsin (p. 12):
  A Pennsylvania dairy farm family is all set to move to Wisconsin.  They’ve built a new dairy barn and a new house near Wiota, Wisconsin.  Only one problem: They can’t find a milk buyer!

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