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  June 2016 Issue No. 443

Inside this months issue …

Dairy’s Most Overpaid ‘Supernumerary’ – DMI CEO Tom Gallagher (p. 5): 
Click Here.

Historic Hardin Farm Listed “For Sale” (p  15):
Click Here.

Surplus Milk Chaos in Northeast, Mid-East and Upper Midwest (p. 1):
    Big increases in farm milk production have milk hauling and manufacturing plants overwhelmed in these regions.  Huge amounts of milk have been dumped in the Northeast and Mid-East.

What’s Behind Early June 2016 Cheddar Price Boosts at CME??? (P. 1):
   Surprisingly to most, cash Cheddar prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have climbed steadily, starting at the very end of May.  What’s going on?  Strong demand for current production of barrel Cheddar is driving demand.  That’s despite the fact that ample inventories of Cheddar barrels – aged six to 12 months – in in storage.  Problem is: Processors are limited to how much aged barrel Cheddar they may add when making processed cheese products.

Cheeseburger: Symbol of Dairy’s Farm-to-Consumer Price Inequities (p. 1): 
   Over the past four years, dairy produces have seen an up-and-down trends for both their milk and dairy culls/steers.  The Milkweed takes a close look at farm to consumer prices for ground beef and Cheddar cheese during 2013-2015.  Conclusion:  Somebody’s making a L-O-T of money between the farmer and consumer.

CDFA Revises 4b (Cheese Milk) Pricing (p. 2):
    California’s state milk pricing program has permanently revised its formula that values whey powder in the 4b (cheese milk) calculations.  Too late …

May Class III Price Drops to $12.76/Class IV at $13.09(p. 2):
   It’s all in the headline.

Northeast & Mideast April Dumpage:  Huge Increases over 2015’s Totals (p. 3):
   Dairy co-ops in the Northeast milk order dumped over 22 million lbs. of milk in April … after skimming off most of the cream.  Markets in Michigan also dumped record amounts of farm milk.

Grassland Dairy Products Warns Suppliers:  No rbGH/rbST Milk or Milk Products as of 1/1/17 (p. 3):
Wisconsin’s biggest dairy processor – Grassland Dairy Products –has advised all suppliers that no milk or dairy materials from herds treated with rbGH will be accepted, as of January 1, 2018.  Besides purchasing large volumes of farm milk, Grassland is also a big buyer of cream and whey products.

Dairy & Food Plants:  The Future is in T-E-S-T-I-N-G (p. 4):
   At a recent day-long seminar hosted by Marshfield Food Safety Labs, the consistent message was that dairy and food processing plants must be ahead of the game when it comes to food safety testing.  The imminent arrival of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act will entail watch-dogging of firm’s sanitary and testing records maintenance.

“Jack-in-the-Box” Hamburger Deaths & Illnesses: U.S. Originally Rejected Contaminated Australian Beef (p. 4):
  An ugly history lesson: “Jack-in-the-Box’s” deadly E. coli outbreak in the early 1990s came from beef originally imported from Australia and rejected by U.S. Customs inspectors.

3 Farm Credit Assns. Talk Merger—Portfolio Value Near $17 Billion (p. 4):
    Three Upper Midwest Farm Credit associations are huddling, talking merger.  Those three are: Badgerland Financial (serving 33 southern Wisconsin counties), AgStar Financial Services (serving Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin), and 1st Farm Credit (serving northern Illinois).  Writer Jan Shepel summarized available information on this news item.

Check-Off Groups Want Immunity from Federal Open Records Laws (p. 4):
    Fourteen agricultural commodity promotion groups overseen by USDA succeeded in convincing the House Appropriations Committee, in its budget bill, to remove commodity promotion groups from rules governing the federal Freedom of Information Act.  What do they have to hide???

Dairy’s Most Overpaid “Supernumerary” – DMI CEO Tom Gallagaher (p. 5):
   Our story of the month.  See link at the top of the page.

“Adopt-A-Dairy-Cow” Program – More Milk for the Hungry (p. 6):
    Writer/dairy woman Jan Shepel details a start-up program involving a Wisconsin-based food program, through Second Harvest Food Bank, that has people able to “adopt” a dairy cow and pledge funds to provide milk at costs to the needy.

Mooney & Brown Before House Ag Subcommittee: Considerable Heat But Little Light … (p. 7):
   Writer Nate Wilson describes recent testimony on dairy before the House Agriculture Subcommittee.  DFA’s board chairman Randy Mooney pontificated about the Dairy Margin Protection Program and blamed Congress for its short-comings.  Univ. of Missouri ag economist Scott Brown explained how turning around dairy’s surplus milk problems would be tough, because many larger operatations simply don’t know how to scale back output.

Russia’s Putin Wages a Non-Military War Against GMOs (p 7):
    Writer Paris Reidhead details recent farm/food policies in Russia, where Vladimir Putin is charging forward against genetically-modified foods.  Interesting …

Three Co-ops Studying Big Michigan Cheese Plant (p. 7):
    Three dairy cooperatives are studying plans for a jointly-owned cheese plant in eastern Michigan.  Those three are: Foremost Farms, Michigan Milk Producers, and Dairy Farmers of America.  Cooperation among those three is a long shot.

Snowville Creamery Marketing Milk and Yogurt from “100% A2/A2 Tested” Cows (p. 8):
    The nation’s most progressive dairy processing firm – Snowville Creamery (Pomeroy, OH) is now selling fluid milk products that are “stacked,”  The attributes of Snowville’s milk include: no-GMOs in cows’ feeds, all “A2/A2 tested cows,” no artificial growth hormones (rbGH/rbST), grass-fed cows, and non-homogenized.  That’s retro!

Analyzing the Northeast Dairy Antitrust Settlement (p. 9):   Writer Joshua Haar (a second-year law student whose parents are Class Representaties in this giant legal skirmish), details his analysis of the Northeast dairy antitrust case.  Haar details many complex aspects and concerns about the conduct of this case.

Explaining the Role of the Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Trustee (p. 9):
Writer Mary-Louise Zanoni details the role of the Chapter 12 bankruptcy trustee.  Her article is an excellent lead-in to the next article referenced here.

Kirk Herse’s Battle with “The NY Dairy Farm Bankruptcy Octopus” – Part II (p. 11):
   We continue our reporting on former New York State dairy farmer Kirk Herse against creditors seeking to grab his 176 acres of farmland near Lowville.  The first installment of this series was in the May 2016 issue.  This month’s investigation details how the Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Trustee has apparently sided with the creditors’ questionable actions in this battle.  The bigger question: Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Trustees siphon off up to 10% of all annual payments by debtors.  (13% in instances where annual payments by farmer-debtors exceed $450,000.)  When the farmer/debtor is paying 15-20% of annual payments as combined interest to creditors and trustees’ rake-off, how in Sam Hill is the bankrupt farmer ever supposed to crawl out of the financial hole?

Veterinary Feed Directive Will Change Certain Feed Usage (p. 11):
  Writer Jan Shepel discusses upcoming regulations and reporting requirements involving use of certain medicated feeds for livestock.  These changes will take place on January 1, 2017.  She reports that the biggest impacts will be on swine and poultry producers.  All feed labels designated for “feed efficiency” and “growth promotion” will be discontinued.  The aim is to dramatically reduce use of antibiotics in food creatures’ foods.

R-CALF Group Pushes Cattle Price Drop Inquiry, Opposes TPP (p. 12):
    The “trouble-making” beef producers’ group – R-CALF USA – persists in bringing beef pricing issues to the attention of federal elected officials and regulators.

Judge OKs Motion for Final Approval of Northeast Antitrust Case (p. 12):
    On June 7, federal judge Christina Reiss approved details of the most recent proposed settlement for the long-running Northeast dairy antitrust case.  Defendants Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. and Dairy Marketing Services, LLC (a DFA subsidiary) will pay out $50 million to settle the case, without admitting any wrong-doings.

Cheese & Butter Prices Surge Despite Plenty of Milk & Inventories (p. 13):
   Recent CME cash trading has vested some significant gains for prices of Cheddar.  Butter is rising nicely, also.  And even nonfat dry milk continues its climb out of the sub-basement.  What’s behind Cheddar price increases, what with all the inventories in storage?  Seems that processors can only use a modest amount of aged (over  6 months’) barrel Cheddar in the mix for processed cheese products.  Strong current demand for barrel Cheddar means that prices for fresh product are being driven up … and block Cheddar is following.

Dairy Livestock Situation: Sellers Outnumbering Buyers (p. 14):
    Sellers are long and buyers are short (and tight-fisted) at livestock sales barns lately.  Prices are down.  Absolute top-quality Holstein springers and milk cows are bringing no more than $1,600-$1,800 apiece, depending on the region of the country.

Amid Chaos, Australian Dairy Producers’ Prices Dramatically Reduced (p. 14):
   Chaos, Aussie-style.  The collapse of a major dairy marketer, Murray Golburn, has led to a collapse of farm milk prices in certain parts of Australia.  Murray Golburn is seeking a “claw-back” (i.e., retroactive recapture of milk payments to producers).  Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Fonterra is doing the same dirty trick to its 1,100 producers in Australia.  All kinds of government and private bank bail-outs are coming forth for hard-bitten Aussie dairy producers.

Several Nations Taking Emergency Steps to Aid Dairy Farmers (p. 14):
    In the midst of a global dairy price crisis, several nations are taking special steps to help their dairy farmers.

Historic Hardin Farm Listed “For Sale” (p. 15):
    One of our two “Stories of the Month.”

Kraft Selling Waterlogged “Americano” Singles in Mexico (p. 16):
    Has Kraft no morals.  The so-called “Americano” sliced Singles sold in Mexico list “agua” (water) as their lead ingredient.  What crap!

NY Farmer’s Roadside Barn Signs (p. 16):   Dairyman Donald Dana is not bashful – he puts his opinions on big barn signs alongside busy U.S. Route 11, near Moira … way up in the North Country.

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