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Reviewing U.S. Dairy Supply Management Efforts

Following five consecutive years of low milk prices and record U.S. milk production, some U.S. dairy farmers are again interested in coordinated intervention in dairy markets — specifically, a milk supply management program designed to increase the price farmers receive for their milk.

Farm Bureau grassroots leaders debated this issue in 2019 and ultimately decided to oppose a mandatory quota system with the willingness to consider a flexible supply management system that is administered through the marketplace and not through the federal government, i.e., milk processors and cooperatives alongside individual dairy farmers.

Milk supply management programs, which provide incentives or penalties to limit perceived over-production, have been used previously in the U.S. with mixed results. These programs included a USDA-administered milk diversion program, government-administered and industry-funded herd buyout programs, and base-excess plans, i.e., two-tiered pricing. In addition, a milk supply management program was heavily debated during the 2014 farm bill. Today’s Market Intel article reviews these previous attempts to manage the U.S. milk supply.

USDA-Administered Milk Diversion Program

According to the Government Accountability Office, USDA’s purchases of surplus dairy products through the dairy price support program increased from $247 million in 1979 to $2.7 billion in 1983. The milk diversion program was a temporary program enacted by Congress in 1983 to address excessive dairy product purchases and the costs associated with maintaining the dairy price support program.

Under the milk diversion program, which was funded through a farmer assessment of 50 cents per hundredweight, farmers were paid to reduce their milk marketings by 5 percent to as much as 30 percent. For every hundredweight of milk production not produced relative to their established base level of production, dairy farmers were paid $10.

The milk diversion program was in effect from January 1984 to March 1985. Approximately 38,000 commercial dairy operations in the U.S. participated in the milk diversion program. Total milk diversion payments were $955 million, and GAO estimated that milk production was reduced by 3.74 billion to 4.11 billion pounds in 1984. Figure 1 highlights U.S. milk production and the supply response to the 1984 Milk Diversion Program.

While the milk diversion program had the desired effect of reducing milk production, GAO survey results revealed that the program’s likely participants had already reduced milk production below their base levels. Nonparticipants were those dairy farmers who were actively expanding sales. These adverse selection and moral hazard issues plagued the program, and ultimately, the milk diversion program had no measurable impact on the national average milk price or the trend in milk production.

Following the milk diversion program, U.S. milk production quickly recovered in 1985, increasing by 7 billion pounds to a record 143 billion pounds. The lack of success in the milk diversion program and the quick recovery in the U.S. milk supply ultimately led to more government intervention efforts.

Milk Termination and Herd Buyout Programs

Milk termination and herd buyout programs were designed to reduce the milk supply by removing dairy cows from production. The first effort occurred in the 1985 farm bill with the Milk Production Termination Program. According to GAO, the goal of the program was to reduce milk production by 12 billion pounds, or nearly 9 percent from the base period of 1985.

The termination program was effective for an 18-month period beginning in April 1986 and provided payment to dairy farmers who entered into a contract with USDA to terminate milk production, e.g., cull or export dairy cows. Assessments on dairy farmers helped offset the costs of administering and funding the termination program. The program was limited in that no more than 7 percent of the dairy herd could be removed each calendar year.

Participating dairy farmers were prohibited from entering dairying for at least five years. As shown in Figure 1, while the growth in milk production remained flat through 1987, national milk production did not decline as non-participating operations expanded production during the 18 months of the termination program.

Similar to the milk diversion program, the milk termination program was also subject to a free-rider and adverse selection problem whereby any production declines attributable to a decline in the milking herd from the termination program was offset by non-participating operations expanding output. The inability to measurably reduce milk production was counter to the primary goal of the program to reduce the U.S. milk supply by 9 percent.

Following the USDA-administered termination program, dairy farmer cooperatives collectively formed an industry-funded and voluntary herd buyout program. This herd buyout program paid dairy farmers to reduce milk output or take whole dairy herds out of production.

Over a 12-month period, the goal of the herd buyout program was to collectively reduce the nation’s milk supply by slightly more than 1 billion pounds. During 2004, the herd buyout program contributed to a decrease in the dairy herd size by 150,000 head. In 2009, the program contributed to a 250,000-head reduction. Over the 7-year life of the program, the herd buyout program is estimated to have removed 510,000 milking cows from production. Figure 2 details the year-over-year change in the number of dairy cattle.

Dairy Market Stabilization Program

The next effort to control the milk supply occurred during the 2014 farm bill debate. The Senate version of the 2014 farm bill coupled the Margin Protection Program, a commodity support program for dairy producers, with the Dairy Market Stabilization Program. DMSP was a supply management program designed to enhance milk prices by levying a financial penalty on dairy farmers who did not reduce their milk supply when MPP margins fell below a specified threshold that triggered program payments. Although participation in the MPP was voluntary, under the Senate proposal, those enrolled in the MPP would have been required to participate in the DMSP.

DMSP would have been triggered when the MPP margin fell below $6.00 per cwt for two consecutive months, or below $4.00 per cwt for a single month. Farmers delivering a milk volume above the DMSP-assigned base would see their milk check reduced by as much as 8 percent. Farmers producing below their production base would not have been subject to a financial penalty.

In reviewing historical MPP margins, the DMSP program would have been triggered during 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Had DMSP been included in the final 2014 farm bill, it would have been triggered only once in 2016, when MPP margins dipped to below $6.00 per hundredweight for two consecutive months, Figure 3. Thus, despite the financial struggles in the dairy industry in the last five years, in only one two-month period would the DMSP have been activated in an attempt to stabilize milk prices and margins.

Base-Excess Plans

The milk diversion and herd buyout programs were USDA-administered or quasi-voluntary efforts. The programs in place today are cooperative-led base-excess programs. (At one point in time, from 1965 to 1981, base-excess style programs were authorized and federally-administered under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act.) These two- or multi-tiered milk pricing programs are designed to provide dairy farmers with an economic incentive to adjust milk production to match seasonal demand for milk and dairy products.

Under a base-excess plan, producers establish a base level, or quota level, of milk production needed to service the market. For any excess milk deliveries beyond the base level, i.e., over-produced milk, dairy farmers receive a discounted or penalized price that is lower than the prevailing market price.

These base-excess plans match a milk processor’s milk supply with the processing and marketing capacity and provide an opportunity for dairy plants and cooperatives to effectively market only the volume of milk and dairy products demanded by their customers.

Figure 4 highlights the economic impact of a base-excess program on the weighted average milk price ultimately received by a dairy farmer producing within the base (quota) level and more than the base level (assuming a base milk price of $20 per hundredweight and an over-base value of $15 per hundredweight).

As identified in Figure 4, under a base-excess plan there are economic penalties associated with producing milk in excess of the base allotment. However, under this simple example of a base-excess plan, if the over-base price of milk, i.e., the marginal revenue, exceeds the marginal cost of production, there will be no economic incentive to reduce milk production. As a result, the costs of balancing the milk supply in a base-excess program will be borne by the producers with the highest costs.

Summary

Historically, periods of low milk prices were temporary. Herd culling and the loss of farm operations resulted in milk supply adjustments that, when combined with the demand for dairy products, helped to return milk prices to higher levels. However, during this most recent downturn in the dairy economy and despite the U.S. losing 7 percent of licensed dairy operations in 2018, and 34 percent over the last decade, Figure 5, milk production continues to be record high, and only recently have cow numbers started to decline from prior-year levels.

The lack of a production response has contributed to lower milk prices and spiked interest in programs designed to reduce milk output during times of low milk prices or profitability. Today’s article provided an overview of supply management-type programs that have been used or proposed in the past.

The performance of these programs has had mixed results. The milk diversion program, the milk termination program and the herd-buyout program all contributed to fewer milking cows, but without industry-wide participation suffered from free-rider, adverse selection and moral hazard problems. Over-base programs are likely successful at balancing regional supply and demand constraints, but without region-wide or national participation, over-base programs are unlikely to have the desired effect of lifting average milk prices in the current end-product pricing scheme.

Farm Bureau members have debated milk supply management many times throughout the years. In 2019, our members voted to oppose a mandatory supply management program but were supportive of considering a flexible supply management program. Such a program should be administered by the marketplace and would include coordination among milk processors, cooperatives and dairy farmers to ultimately balance supply and demand. Importantly, such a program can operate within the confines of a free market economy without government intervention.

While this type of coordination could prove beneficial in the short-run, some reflection should be given on the long-run, such as considering reforms that would drive further investment and innovation in the U.S. dairy sector as well as expand our market access around the world. As a first step Farm Bureau dairy farmer leaders will convene in 2019 and consider these very issues as they relate to milk pricing reform and, ultimately, the profitability and viability of U.S. dairy farmers.

 

Source: AFBF

Dairy firms eye growing Chinese appetite for cheese

Sales expected to boom as Chinese eating habits evolve due to increasing popularity of Western food

Cheese is set to become a new growth point of the dairy sector in China, prompted by the increasing popularity of Western food and some innovative combinations such as cheese hotpot and milk tea with cheese on top.

In major first-tier cities, the dairy market is undergoing some structural changes as sales of high-end pure milk continue to expand, and sales of yogurt and cheese surge, industry experts said.

Currently, annual per capita consumption of cheese in China is only 0.1 kilogram, far below 2.4 kg in Japan, 2.8 kg in South Korea, 15 kg in the United States and 18.6 kg in Europe where France, Germany and the Netherlands take the top three spots, according to the China Dairy Industry Association.

“Dairy consumption in smaller cities and rural areas in China is far from the level it could be. Consumption of milk and other dairy products like cheese and butter will keep growing and help to boost total dairy consumption,” said Zhang Liebing, an associate professor at China Agricultural University.

The annual per capita consumption of dairy products in China has reached 36 kg now, much higher than the 6 kg recorded two decades ago, but the volume is still less than half that of Asia and less than a third of the world average, the dairy association said. Meanwhile, to produce 1 kg of cheese, it requires about 10 kg of milk. The cost of milk in China is about double that in Europe and the US, and the cost of producing cheese is even higher, making the cheese products available in supermarkets in China relatively expensive.

“The number of Chinese people who like eating cheese will rise, due to the growth in popularity of Western food like pizza, spaghetti, cheesecake and sandwiches in China. The volume of imported cheese has been growing significantly, showing an increasing demand and appetite from consumers,” said Song Kungang, honorary chairman of the dairy association.

Last year, China imported 108,300 metric tons of cheese, which is nearly three times higher than that in 2011. China imported 6,200 tons of cheese from New Zealand in 2018, a 25.9 percent increase year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Meanwhile, domestic dairy companies produced about 40,000 tons of cheese last year, figures from the dairy association show.

Currently, China only allows imports of large packages of cheese or smaller cheese already cut by foreign manufacturers, but does not allow domestic dealers to cut imported large packages of cheese for sale for food safety reasons.

“Domestic producers should pay more attention to the development of cheese products. Cheese wrapped in small packages and snack foods like cheese sticks are favored by consumers and seen as a future trend,” Song said.

“In fact, many Chinese foodstuff firms are starting to use cheese as an ingredient, such as vegetable buns with cheese, seafood cheese fried rice, and deep-fried purple potato balls in cheese. Besides, China has rich resources for special dairy products, and domestic producers can develop cheese based on goat, buffalo and yak milk,” he said.

“We would also like to call for a faster revision of the comprehensive cheese production standards in China and the issuance of licensing for cutting imported cheese. This would help to enable imports of more high-quality cheese, and build platforms for the innovation of more cheese products by domestic companies,” he said.

In addition, cheese has a high nutritional value and the protein from cheese can be fully digested, meaning that lactose-intolerant Chinese consumers don’t need to worry about such problems, Song added.

Major domestic dairy companies have witnessed a faster rate of growth in sales of cheese products than the overall dairy market and that of liquid milk.

Last year, Inner Mongolia-based Yili Group, China’s largest dairy producer, achieved sales revenue of 79.55 billion yuan ($11.85 billion), rising 16.89 percent year-on-year.

Its liquid milk sales reached 65.68 billion yuan, up 17.78 percent annually. Sales of dairy products such as cheese, butter and milk powder hit 8.05 billion yuan, an increase of 25.14 percent annually, according to Yili’s latest earnings report.

By 2023, sales of cheese in China, including processed and unprocessed cheese, are expected to reach $1.44 billion, which will be 44.7 percent higher than this year’s expected sales level, market researcher Euromonitor International said.

In terms of retail value, the US is the biggest cheese market, followed by France and Germany. Last year, sales of cheese in the US reached $23.41 billion, much higher than the $10.37 billion recorded in France, Euromonitor International found.

Song Liang, a senior dairy industry analyst, said in the next five years, young people born after 2000 will become the backbone consumer group of cheese, and he suggests that domestic dairy firms develop more cheese products, snack foods and fast food cheese products catering to younger appetites.

According to the Chinese Milk Quotient report released last year, currently the dairy consumption of nearly 80 percent of Chinese consumers does not meet national dietary recommendations – Chinese adults are advised to consume 300 grams of milk or the same quantity of dairy products every day, according to the Chinese Dietary Guidelines, but most people are not aware of the guidelines and do not consume enough. Besides, more than 70 percent of Chinese consumers only drink milk and yogurt, proteins from which are fairly simple in structure.

On the other hand, industry experts said China lacks advanced technologies to develop and produce high-quality cheese as well as more varieties.

“The production of cheese is the most difficult and complicated dairy process, and it is hard to make products of consistent quality. Major domestic dairy producers need to increase their investments in R&D and cooperate with more scientific research institutes in the development of cheese,” said Liu Zhenmin, director of the Bright Dairy Research Institute.

Source: China Daily

BRADNICK and GOLD CHIP Pass Committee for New Scores

At nearly 10-years-old, 7HO10999 Regancrest-GV S BRADNICK-ET and 7HO10920 Mr Chassity GOLD CHIP-ET earned higher classification scores from a committee of Holstein Association USA classifiers last week. BRADNICK, now Excellent (96), and GOLD CHIP, now Excellent (95), have been long-time favorites in Select Sires’ Showcase Selections lineup.

Known for siring show-stopping daughters around the globe, BRADNICK (+2.47 PTAT, +2.68 UDC, +2.47 FLC) and GOLD CHIP (+2.31 PTAT, +2.22 UDC, +1.80 FLC) are extremely popular with high-Type enthusiasts.

“We have been blessed with many high-scoring bulls in Select Sires’ history but BRADNICK is an extraordinary individual and a true customer-satisfaction sire. He sires daughters with great balance and a will to milk,” says Kevin Jorgensen, senior sire analyst.

BRADNICK was bred by Regancrest Farm and Todd and Brad Groves of Waukon, Iowa. He is a 7HO8190 SANCHEZ son of Regancrest Breya-ET (EX-90-EX-MS-GMD-DOM). His second dam is none other than Regancrest-Pr Barbie-ET (EX-92-EX-MS-GMD-DOM) and the next six dams are all Excellent or Very Good.

“Like his daughters, GOLD CHIP continues to develop into an amazingly stylish individual and looks half his age—such a youthful bull at nearly 10-years-old. Few sires have brought home more champion banners than GOLD CHIP,” says Jorgensen.

GOLD CHIP was bred by Ernest W. Kueffner and David R. Dyment of Boonsboro, Md. He is a Goldwyn son of Regancrest S Chassity-ET (EX-92-EX-MS-GMD-DOM) and another descendent of the famed Regancrest-Pr Barbie-ET (EX-92-EX-MS-GMD-DOM).

“Both BRADNICK and GOLD CHIP embody Select Sires’ belief in great cow families and its value in genetic development. We’re honored to work with the breed’s greatest cow families and the exceptional breeders that have created them,” says Jeff Ziegler, vice president of dairy cattle breeding.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of seven farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

 

Caption: (Top Photo) Holstein Association classifiers Brad Heinzman and Dan Cnossen providing the committee’s stamp of approval on the new classification scores.
Source: 0419 CDCB/HA Genomic Evaluation: BRADNICK and GOLD CHIP Type Rel % 99. Showcase Selections is a trademark of Select Sires Inc.

Artificial Intelligence In The Dairy Barn

Ireland’s multi-generations of dairy farmers know a thing or two about raising dairy cows. Its more than 18,000 dairy farmers tend 1.4 million animals and are recognized globally for productivity and quality. So, it’s no surprise that an Irish agtech company called Cainthus would invent a way to use artificial intelligence—the same technology developed for terrorist detection of humans—to manage dairy cows.

At its simplest, Cainthus’ technology has been described as facial recognition for cows, but Cainthus CEO Aidan Connolly explains that it is actually much more.

To be precise, Cainthus has developed a smart camera system that collects video data inside the dairy barn and uses artificial intelligence to uniquely identify and track behavior of all the cows in the barn. That information is used to develop key animal and farm performance indicators, which are delivered in the form of daily notifications and real-time detailed analytics to a dairy farmer’s phone. Such analytics help identify and analyze inefficiencies and animal health issues that need to be addressed to improve productivity and animal welfare.

The core dairy husbandry issues are the same, even “if you go back for the last 8,000 years of dairy farming,” notes Connolly. “Digital agriculture, for the first time, allows us to really precisely manage our cows, 24 hours a day, give them better welfare and make them more productive.”

The goal of facial recognition technology for humans has been much broader than simply identification and recognition. “It was designed to look at the overall way a person stands, the shadows they make, some of the other physical characteristics of that person. We’re using that same technology for cows,” said Connolly.

While milk production per cow is a metric that is fairly well tracked and measured on the farm, there are bigger questions of how to maintain those production levels.  That is where farm management tools get less specific and are typically monitored by herd averages, rather than real-time data.

Source: Forbes

Global Markets: 10th straight rise as volumes fall more than 9 percent

The average price was up 0.5 percent to $US3447 a tonne, the 10th consecutive price gain which followed a nearly 1 percent rise in the previous auction.

Volumes fell nearly 9.5 percent on the last auction.

Dairy prices have been rising since late November when they hit a two-year low because of an oversupply on world markets.

The price for whole milk powder, which has a key influence on farmer payouts, fell by 0.7 percent to $US3269 a tonne.

Prices for butter, anhydrous milk fat and cheddar rose, while lactose fell.

Source: RNZ

Dairy Farm Numbers Decrease In Michigan but Cattle Numbers Increase

2018 survey data by NASS shows that Michigan’s dairy farmers have expanded their herds since the last census while farm numbers are down. Milk cows actually increased 17 percent to 442,000 although we did see a good decrease in the number of milk cow operations, 251 fewer operations than we had in 2012. Results from the 2017 Census show milk sales were up for the state making it the 7th largest dairy state in the nation. Survey data by NASS does show the herd size declined 6,000 over the past year and the number of dairy farms is continuing to decrease.

 

Class III Milk Futures Continue to Rise in Chicago Wednesday

On the Chicago Mercantile milk futures ended Wednesday mostly higher while European dairy prices were up on the week. Class 3 markets also showed positive results during the session trading anywhere from 9 to 16 cents higher. the front months traded at 15.95 in April, 15.77 in may and 15.95 in June. The second quarter average is now at 15.89. The second half average is now at. 16.49. The 2020 Class 3 markets also saw upward movement trading anywhere from 4 to 18 cents higher in months January through September. Class 4 market moved higher as well trading anywhere from 3 to 10 cents higher in months may to December.

Dry whey down $0.0050 at $0.3425.  Eight trades were made ranging from $0.3425 to $0.3475. Blocks up $0.0150 at $1.6725.  Five trades were made ranging from $1.66 to $1.6725. Barrels down $0.0075 at $1.59.  Three trades were made ranging from $1.59 to $1.5925. Butter up $0.01 at $2.28.  Three trades were made ranging from $2.27 to $2.2825. Nonfat dry milk up $0.0075 at $0.9950. 

Introducing DeLaval OptiDuo™ Robotic Feed Refresher

The fully automated system pushes and remixes feed making rations more appealing – helping increase consumption and improve milk production.

DeLaval announced today the launch of OptiDuo™ robotic feed refresher – an automated feed pusher and remixer working twice as hard to help improve farm productivity.

Not only does it push feed back to the feed bunk, but it remixes it, making it more appealing to cows by avoiding compression and helping to reduce waste. More visits to the feedbunk may also mean better cow traffic and less competition and stress while eating.

  • Optimized productivity. With OptiDuo, cows can consume more, resulting in higher milk yields of up to 4.4 lbs. per day.* OptiDuo is the only feed pusher on the market with an optional concentrate dispenser, further enticing cows to eat more.
  • Increased work efficiency. OptiDuo runs around the clock, giving cows consistent access to appetizing feed and saving producers up to $2,500 per year in labor.* It can make up to 10 trips a day, helping reduce weigh back to 1%* and save money.
  • Adapt to feed changes. The unit’s Adaptive Drive system gives producers the flexibility to feed their herds seasonally as OptiDuo can effectively handle varying amounts and types of feed, including total mixed ration, straw, hay and fresh grass.
  • Operates safely. OptiDuo’s smart navigation system helps ensure it is always where it is supposed to be, and safety bumpers on all sides automatically stop the unit if it senses a person, object or animal.

DeLaval OptiDuo works well with barns of all types, perfect for both conventional and robotic milking systems. “It’s a great addition to any DeLaval VMS operation because it complements the dairy producer’s feeding strategy between the milking robot and the feed bunk,” Muhieddine Labban, Robotics Solution Manager, said. “The DeLaval body condition scoring system, which helps monitor cow health, can maximize OptiDuo’s efficiency by delivering the right feed ration to cows.”

DeLaval OptiDuo was previewed at popular dairy industry tradeshows in the U.S. and Canada, and is now available for sales in North America. For more information about OptiDuo, contact a local DeLaval dealer.

About DeLaval

 

DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Our solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day.

DeLaval was founded more than 135 years ago in Sweden, when the visionary Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group. See more at www.delavalcorporate.com.

 

DCHA 2019 annual conference in review

2019 Annual conference in review

Dairy Calf and Heifer Association just wrapped up a successful annual conference. Many thanks to the 2019 DCHA Annual Conference Planning Committee: Co-chairs Sam Gardner and Tamilee Nennich, and committee members Brent Caffee, Emily De Benetti, Jane Griswold, Ann Hoskins, Bob James, Megan Kissel and T.J. McClure. More than 400 dairy calf and heifer growers, dairy farmers and allied industry professionals – representing 33 states and eight countries – attended the conference.

The conference kicked off with tours of ABS Global, which featured a state-of-the-art calf facility where guests learned about top-notch biosecurity and animal health practices. Also, guests visited the company’s IntelliGen facility, which processes sexed bovine genetics. Tour day wrapped up with a stop at Crave Brother Farm LLC, Waterloo, Wis., which built three all-in, all-out calf nursery barns last year.

The conference offered world-renowned speakers who shared ideas and technologies that are implementable on many dairy operations. Despite the dairy industry’s current economic challenges, attendees left with renewed energy and enthusiasm for raising calves and heifers. World-renowned presenters discussed colostrum management, fly control, disease outbreak prevention, treatment and control, sustainable environmental practices, labor, cost and risk management, animal and human well-being, custom heifer-raising contracts, beef quality assurance, calf scours, dry period heat stress, gut health, alternative milk sources and animal welfare.

On Thursday afternoon, DCHA offered two hands-on training seminars and a tour of STgenetics’ testing site in Middleton, Wis. Don Sockett and Theresa Ollivett from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine demonstrated deep nasopharyngeal swabs and lung ultrasounds, respectively, and seminar registrants learned how to perform these tests.

Many thanks to our 60 trade show exhibitors. To help ignite dialogue between exhibitors and attendees, we encouraged attendees to gather information from at least 15 exhibitors. Those completing the assignment were eligible to win a free conference registration for the 2020 DCHA Annual Conference or $250 VISA gift card. The winner is Jillian Green, Paw Paw, Michigan.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 DCHA Annual Conference, April 7-9, at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

Visit our website

 

CWT Assists with 1.1 Million Pounds of Dairy Product Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperatives accepted four offers of export assistance from CWT that helped them capture sales contracts for 253,532 pounds (115 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese, 661,387 pounds (300 metric tons) of butter, and 220,462 pounds (100 metric tons) of whole milk powder. These products are going to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered during the period from May through August 2019.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2019 export sales total 25.668 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 3.466 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) and 22.397 million pounds of whole milk powder to 22 countries in six regions. These sales are equal to 478.4 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers and all dairy cooperatives by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price. It does this by helping member cooperatives gain and maintain world market share for U.S dairy products. As a result, the program has significantly expanded the total demand for U.S. dairy products and the demand for U.S. farm milk that produces those products.

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT pays export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by required documentation.

All dairy farmers and all dairy cooperatives should invest in CWT. Membership information is available on the CWT website, www.cwt.coop.

 

Fourth-generation dairy farmer quits the milking business

This April 11, 2019 photo shows dairy Farmer Dwight Raber in Louisville, Ohio. Raber, of Raber Dairy Farms in northeast Ohio’s Stark County says he can no longer make a living by milking cows and has lost money the last two years. State statistics show the number of dairy farms in Ohio dropped to fewer than 2,000. ( Julie Vennitti/The Canton Repository via AP)

A dairy farm operated for four generations by one Ohio family is set to run dry.

Dwight Raber, of Raber Dairy Farms in northeast Ohio’s Stark County, said he’s losing money and can no longer make a living doing the work his father, grandfather and great-grandfather did before him. His farm, which has grown to 500 acres (200 hectares) over the years, was founded by his great-grandfather who came to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1891.

Raber is scheduled Wednesday to auction off his dairy cows and much of the dairy equipment he has accumulated, The Repository in Canton reported .

Raber said he needs to make at least $16 per 11.6 gallons (44 liters) of milk to break even, but he’s been stuck at $13.89 for the past two years.

“He has poured his heart into this farm,” said Raber’s wife, Julia Raber, an English teacher at East Canton High School. “He just goes and goes, 24/7. But it’s time to slow down; it really is. His mother also told him, ‘Please don’t ruin your health.’”

The 58-year-old farmer was hospitalized with blood clots last year.

The number of dairy farms in Ohio dropped by more than 600 between January 2017 and January 2019, according to statistics from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Another 51 dairy farms have been lost in 2019, bringing the total to slightly fewer than 2,000.

“The trend is alarming,” said Dianne Shoemaker, an Ohio State University extension field specialist in dairy product economics.

Shoemaker said the business has changed dramatically in the past 25 years, with smaller profit margins often driving farms to expand to survive.

Cheaper milk flowing into the state from Michigan mega-farms has contributed to the pressure Ohio dairy farmers have felt, Shoemaker said. While 2014 year was a boom year for Ohio dairy farmers, it’s been bad for four years in a row, she said.

Several years ago, Raber added beef cattle to his farm in Nimishillen Township to supplement the dairy portion. He plans to grow that herd and sell crops that in the past were used to feed his dairy cows.

Raber acknowledged he’s “a little scared” about making the change from dairy farming, but said beef cattle require less maintenance. That extra time will allow him to tidy up the property.

“This was a showplace,” he said. “I want to return it to that.”

Source: news5cleveland.com

Farrer to cease operations of dairy as drought continues to take a toll on region

A dairy that has been used to teach future generations for over 80 years is the latest victim of the nation’s worst drought on record.

Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School made the tough decision to temporarily cease operations of the school dairy as “it was no longer economically viable to continue operations”. 

Principal Clint Gallagher cited increasing fodder costs and scarcity, low milk prices and the very real chance of having a zero per cent river water allocation for irrigation next financial year as the main contributing factors, as well as a continued bleak forecast.

Fortunately the school has been well supported by both the local and educational community, which will enable the school “to maintain the heart of its dairy herd until conditions improve” according to principal Clint Gallagher.

“This will not mean the end of our dairy operations,” Mr Gallagher said.

“Fortunately, two producers will take 30 of our dairy cows, which will enable us to reinstate operations promptly as conditions improve.”

Hurlstone Agricultural High School are taking 20 cows, while Denman producer Brian Parker will take a further 10 cows. Tocal Agricultural College also offered assistance.

The dairy will officially cease operations at the end of May.

On Thursday Mr Gallagher informed students, parents and Old Boys of the decision.

“We look forward to better climatic times in the future when we can return to offering our students this unique educational opportunity,” he said.

“The support from Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Denman producer, Brian Parker, along with an offer of assistance from Tocal Agricultural College, have been enormously heartening.”

Since the dairy first opened its doors in 1939 year nine Farrer boys have enjoyed the educational benefits and hands on experience of operating a fully functional dairy, and “enjoyed the camaraderie of their daily tasks”. 

The school also forged a sound reputation for the calibre of its dairy stock over the generations.

“It gives us hope for the future,” Mr Gallagher said.

Source: The Land

Vegans target Australian Dairy

Vegan activists targeted a Queensland dairy farmer in a recent national campaign against livestock farmers.

Vegan protesters  launched a cross-border campaign targeting a busy Melbourne street, plus abattoirs and farms in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

It resulted in scores of arrests, criminal charges and a renewed call for farmers to take action, with the federal government committing to underwrite legal claims.

Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation Vice President Matt Trace said the actions followed threats of a widespread protest.

“The demonstrators’ signs said that these were peaceful protests,’’ Mr Trace said.

“That they may not have resorted to active violence is neither here nor there. Their very presence in such numbers was enough to cause concern.

“These groups swarm over properties, ignore requests of being asked to leave, terrify the livestock in the yards and harass farmers, their family and staff.,’’ Mr Trace said.

“The calmness and restraint shown by those who were attacked should be praised.’’

“The demonstrations were designed to gain public sympathy for the vegan movement and to supposedly show inhumane practices of intensive farming. From the footage shown yesterday, the demonstrations did anything but what they were intended.’’

Activists entered the property of a Darling Downs dairy farmer, who appealed to the protesters to leave his calves alone.

A popular cafe in West Gippsland announced on Sunday it has closed, blaming “threats from abusive vegan activists”.

 Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter wrote to Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk to consider investigating Under the Privacy Act the group allegedly behind the activism.

“There are strong grounds to conclude that Aussie Farms Inc is engaging in a systematic effort in collecting, using and disclosing personal information to the detriment of farmers and agricultural producers,” the letter states.

Mr Porter also wrote to the state and territory attorneys-general and police ministers to urge them to tighten up their criminal trespass laws.

Privacy laws were changed last Friday which exposed Aussie Farms’ website to significant penalties for publishing farmers’ addresses and contact details.

Source: Dairy New Australia

Introducing Lactanet: Integrating Herd Management and Genetic Services

The Lactanet Board of Directors (from left to right): Mr. Yvon Boucher (QC), Mr. Gert Schrijver (AB), Mr. Tom Pasco (ON), Mr. Pierre Lampron (QC), Ms. Barbara Paquet (QC), Mr. Matt Flaman (SK), Mr. Ed Friesen (MB), Mr. Korb Whale (ON), Mr. Gilles Côté (QC) and Mr. Harm Kelly (ON).

Today a progressive new partnership in the dairy industry was announced to come into effect on June 3rd, 2019.

CanWest DHI, Valacta and Canadian Dairy Network will work together at the management of the new organization known as Lactanet Canada.

This partnership brings together leading dairy herd improvement organizations responsible for milk recording, genetic evaluations and knowledge transfer in Canada.

“Today is a milestone for our industry”, announced newly appointed Lactanet Chair, Barbara Paquet, “Lactanet is an example of workingogether across the country, and in different areas of our industry, for the betterment of the Canadian dairy sector”.

Lactanet will leverage the strengths of the founding companies to more fully integrate herd management, genetics and extension into a distinct suite of services for Canadian dairy farmers. In addition, blending the partners’ research and development resources will ensure a strong future for Lactanet.

“By combining key elements of profitable dairy herd management services, Lactanet provides Canadian dairy farmers with tools to help them succeed, while ensuring our global leadership position for both efficient milk production and dairy cattle genetics”, announced newly appointed CEO, Neil Petreny.

The Lactanet name and logo represent innovation and collaboration – a reflection of what the partnership is today, but more importantly, what it will strive to be in the future.

Lactanet

The new organization has a producer-driven governance structure consisting of up to eleven board members. Six of these members are appointed by the organizations that provide dairy herd management services, while one director is appointed by each of Dairy Farmers of Canada, Holstein Canada and Semex Alliance, all of which are also governed by Canadian dairy producers. The Board may also have up to two external members, recommended for their particular expertise.

The team of the three founding partners of Lactanet is comprised of 500 staff members dedicated to providing services to more than 10,000 dairy farms across Canada. The new organization will operate from existing business locations in Guelph, Ontario and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, and will continue to manage four lab operations across the country.

A website portal has been developed to present Lactanet news and information while linking users back to each partner’s respective website. For more information visit www.lactanet.ca

The island of Sark is looking for a new dairy farmer

There’s one thing applicants need to qualify

The small, car-free island of Sark in the Channel Islands is looking for a new dairy farmer to help with its farming — but in order to qualify for the job, the successful applicant must bring their own cows along with them.

Sark is home to around 400 people who have been relying on imported milk for more than a year, but now want to swap back to locally-sourced produce, including milk, cream and cheese.

The successful applicant needs to have a wealth of farming experience and be able to manage their own business. “We need people with dairy farming experience. Ideally, a couple who are wanting to develop a new business,” explains Richard Axton, organiser of the Sark community dairy, in a BBC video report.

The production of milk, cream and cheese on Sark would benefit local businesses who came to rely on the products when they were being made on the island. A Sark chocolate-maker, for example, needs the unique flavour of Sark cream to satisfy her recipe.

Known as the ‘jewel of the Channel Islands’, Sark has unspoilt landscapes and beautiful unpaved roads. There are no cars here and also no airport, so the only mode of transport for locals is by horse and carriage, making it a true escape from modern life.

The old dairy was originally run by Chris Nightingale but was shut down after he retired.

Could you be fit for the role? The BBC report says: “If you think your cows can handle a ferry trip, maybe this is the job for.” For more information, visit Sark.co.uk.

 

Source: Country Living

Ohio has lost a quarter of its dairy farms

Before Lela Raber’s death in 2008, her son, Dwight, promised her he’d keep the family’s fourth-generation dairy farm outside of Alliance in northeast Ohio running for at least 10 more years.

He kept his word, but now times have changed.

“I’ve got to make $16 (per 100 pounds, or 11.6 gallons of milk) just to break even,” Dwight Raber said, as he turned the pages on a printed report that details daily production of the farm’s 235 cows. “Right now, I’m at $13.89, and it’s been that way for two years.”

In Raber’s younger days, a cow that produced 100 pounds of milk a day was a herd superstar. These days, that’s almost the average. Large-scale dairy farms and low milk prices have forced Raber to find new ways to keep the bills paid and the farm operating.

Raber added beef cattle to the farm to supplement the dairy portion. But even so, he has come to the conclusion that he just can’t make a living at it anymore.

So, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Raber will sell his herd of dairy cows and much of the equipment he has accumulated through the years.

The same story is being played out at an increasing pace across Ohio, which lost nearly a quarter of its dairy farms in just over two years. In January 2017, there were 2,647 dairy farms in Ohio, compared with 2,045 by January of this year, according to license statistics from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The state lost another 51 dairy farms already this year, slicing the statewide number to 1,994.

In addition to the Holstein cows, the Raber sale includes a Jaguar chopper, a six-row folding rotary corn head, a silage table, skid loader, trucks, a tractor, tandem twin manure spreader, disc, hay baler, cultivator, a computerized calf-feeder, milking units and a 3,000-gallon bulk tank, which held milk until it was trucked away daily.

“He has poured his heart into this farm,” said Raber’s wife, Julia, an English teacher at East Canton High School. “He just goes and goes, 24/7. But it’s time to slow down; it really is. His mother also told him, ‘Please don’t ruin your health.’”

A glut of global milk

The trend in dairy farming is alarming, said Dianne Shoemaker, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist in dairy product economics. “It’s … not the way I’d like to see the dairy industry going.”

 

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

3 Ways to Improve Income Through Heifer Management

Two months isn’t a lot of time, but it can make a big difference for profitability. In fact, getting heifers pregnant two months earlier resulted in an additional $200 to $250 in lifetime net farm income per cow.1

Age at first calving is an important metric in terms of managing heifer inventories and is, therefore, important to help minimize net herd turnover cost. Young stock health is paramount in allowing animals to grow properly so that they reach appropriate breeding age in a timely fashion. As such, it is no surprise that a recent study Zoetis conducted with Compeer Financial found that heifer survival rate is one of the top six factors affecting dairy net farm income.2

The analysis of 11 years of herd data from 489 year-end financial and production-record summaries quantified the value of decreased heifer survival rates on lifetime net farm income. The top one-third of herds in this study achieved an earlier age at first calving, by approximately two months, compared with the bottom one-third of herds. This had a significant compounding effect on the number of animals in a herd over time, which contributed to an average of $200 to $250 in additional lifetime net farm income per cow.1,2

Let’s look at three ways you can help heifers survive and thrive to improve your net farm income:  

  1. Raise only the right heifers. — Between feed, labor, production, capital and overhead costs, herd owners have reported spending approximately $1,860 to $2,263 for each heifer raised.3 This could easily be one of the top expenses, which means raising the right heifers is crucial. Genomic testing that can determine susceptibility to calfhood and mature cow diseases can help you invest in heifers that have a better chance of adding short-term and long-term value to your herd.  
  2. Guard against scours and bovine respiratory disease (BRD). — Scours and BRD are responsible for decreasing calf and heifer survival rates and increasing age at first calving. Scours is responsible for up to 56.5% of mortality among pre-weaned dairy calves. Calves that survive scours can face lifelong setbacks, including delayed growth, and are slower to reach the milking string as heifers.4,5If a calf has pneumonia during the first 90 days of life, it is more likely to have increased mortality before first calving as well as a higher age at first calving, among other challenges.6 Proactive management and vaccination of healthy pregnant cows and heifers with an injectable vaccine, such as SCOURGUARD®, or an oral vaccine given to calves before colostrum uptake can help prevent scours. And early detection of respiratory disease symptoms and treatment with an antibiotic approved for use in calves, if needed, can help prevent chronic infections for better lifetime productivity.
  3. Optimize your reproduction program. — Getting heifers inseminated as early as possible can have an enormous impact on age at first calving. And, it will get them to the milking herd sooner. Simple steps can be taken to help improve management of your heifer reproduction program: Move heifers to the artificial insemination (AI) pen based on age. Then, on the date of the move and again 10 to 12 days later for heifers not yet inseminated, use LUTALYSE® HighConInjection (dinoprost tromethamine injection) with your veterinarian’s recommendation. Finally, as heifers are moved to the breeding pen, conduct routine pregnancy checks so you can identify pregnant females to move out and any open heifers to re-enroll into your breeding program immediately.

Successful heifer management that lowers age at first calving and improves heifer survival is a demonstrated way to ensure your dairy continues to gain net farm income. For more about heifer survival rate as one of the top drivers of profitability for your dairy, watch this video about solutions for helping heifers to not only survive but thrive on your dairy. 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Women of childbearing age and persons with respiratory problems should exercise extreme caution when handling LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon. LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon is readily absorbed through the skin and may cause abortion and/or bronchiospasms, therefore spillage on the skin should be washed off immediately with soap and water. Aseptic technique should be used to reduce the possibility of post-injection clostridial infections. Do not administer LUTALYSE/LUTALYSE HighCon in pregnant cattle unless cessation of pregnancy is desired. See full Prescribing Information here.

About Zoetis
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2018, the company generated annual revenue of $5.8 billion with approximately 10,000 employees. For more information, visit https://www.zoetisus.com/.

Strong Young Sire Offering to Maximize Genetic Goals

Select Sires’ offering of young sires is well-balanced with index, wellness and fertility leaders to increase genetic potential and enhance herd profitability. Select Sires’ newly launched NxGEN program is now accepting membership applications and features two leading GTPI® sires, 507HO14364 EISAKU (+2878 GTPI) and 550HO14134 RENEGADE (+2878 GTPI). Also offering elite GTPI coupled with extreme production are 507HO14588 DIESEL (+2869 GTPI, +1,539 M), 507HO14229 TAHITI (+2837 GTPI, +2,033 M) and 507HO14451 BIG AL (+2835 GTPI, +1,338 M).

7HO14454 LIONEL ranks as Select’s top bull for pounds of milk (+2,575 M) and Combined Fat and Protein (+203 CFP). Also offering more than 2,000 pounds of milk are 7HO14264 SPEEDY (+2,339 M) and 7HO14420 RIVER (+2,272 M). Leading CFP sires include 7HO14545 JAMARCO (+193 CFP) and 7HO13504 JAGUAR (+181 CFP).

Ranking among the breed’s best for the Net Merit (NM$) index are BIG AL (+1,015 NM$) and TAHITI (+1,003 NM$), as well as NxGEN sires EISAKU (+979 NM$) and RENEGADE (+963 NM$). In total, Select Sires offers thirteen young sires with NM values over +$950.

Conception with Confidence
Select Sires’ designations are helpful tools to simplify genetic selection. The Superior Settler designation combines evaluations of Composite Fertility Index (CFI), Sire Conception Rate (SCR) and intense semen quality standards to add confidence in breeding decisions. There is no need to sacrifice production for fertility with Select Sires’ elite lineup of Superior Settler sires. Offering both high milk production and fertility are 7HO12943 CURRY (+1,863 M, +1.8 SCR), 7HO13832 MAXWELL-P (+1,814 M, +3.5 SCR) and 7HO13647 BIGHIT P (+1,810 M, +3.4 SCR).

Increasing Wellness, Decreasing Costs
Health and wellness data offer opportunities to more directly select for healthy cattle and improve on-farm profitability. Select Sires’ WellnessPRO® sires are identified using the Wellness Trait Index® (WT$®) and Calf Wellness Index (CW$) through CLARIFIDE Plus genomic testing. 7HO14455 FREEDOM leads as Select Sires’ top WT$ sire at +261, followed closely by 7HO14307 NEWSTAR (+224 WT$).

WellnessPRO designated sires 7HO12788 FRAZZLED (+2,113 M, +0.7 SCR), 7HO14333 FUTURE (+1,886 M +0.4 SCR), 7HO13922 KITE (+1,765 M, +2.0 SCR) and 250HO13736 HARDROCK (+1,567 M, +1.0 SCR) combine high milk values with positive SCR to maximize profit potential.

On the Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®), 507HO14436 BIG DOLLARS is living up to his name offering +1,283 DWP$ combined with +220 WT$. Also ranking among the best for DWP$ is NEWSTAR (+1,227 DWP$) and 7HO14330 EFFECT (+1,186 DWP$).

Hub for High Type
Following the April 2019 sire summary release, Select Sires is excited to offer customer-owners three, Showcase Selections sires over +4.00 PTAT. Leading the PTAT listing is 7HO13730 UNDENIED (+4.30 PTAT), the Solomon son from Our-Favorite Unlimited (EX-94-2E-EX-MS). Following closely are 250HO14579 HANCOCK (+4.10 PTAT), a 250HO12961 DOC grandson of Cookiecutter Mog Hanker-ET (EX-94-2E-EX-MS-GMD-DOM), and 7HO14477 WARRIOR-RED (+4.05 PTAT), an Avalanche son with eight generations of Very Good (VG) or Excellent (EX) dams. Additional high Type leaders include DOC (+3.94 PTAT), 7HO14734 HANDSOME (+3.82 PTAT) and 7HO13839 TATOO (+3.72 PTAT).

For more details about the young sire lineups from Select Sires and GenerVations, visit www.selectsires.com.

Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America’s largest A.I. organization and is comprised of seven farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

 

Source: 0419 CDCB/HA Genomic Evaluation Rel %: DIESEL YIELD 77; TAHITI YIELD 78, NM$ 76; BIG AL YIELD 78, NM$ 74; LIONEL YIELD 78; SPEEDY YIELD 78; RIVER YIELD 76; JAMARCO YIELD 76; JAGUAR YIELD 81; EISAKU NM$ 74; RENEGADE NM$ 74; CURRY YIELD 81, SCR 98; MAXWELL-P YIELD 80, SCR 67; BIGHIT P YIELD 80, SCR 96; FRAZZLED YIELD 87, SCR 99; FUTURE YIELD 79, SCR 95; KITE YIELD 80, SCR 97; HARDROCK YIELD 80, SCR 98; UNDENIED PTAT 80; HANCOCK PTAT 76; WARRIOR-RED PTAT 77; DOC PTAT 79; HANDSOME PTAT 76; TATOO PTAT 80. ®Wellness Trait Index, WT$, Dairy Wellness Profit Index and DWP$ are registered trademarks of Zoetis Inc., its affiliates and/or its licensors. TPI is a registered trademark of Holstein Association USA. TMSuperior Settler, NxGEN, Composite Fertility Index, CFI and Showcase Selections are trademarks of Select Sires. Calf Wellness Index, CW$, is a trademark of Zoetis Inc., its affiliates and/or its licensors.

Managing manure storage structures

Assess and monitor outdoor liquid manure storage during the rainy season.

Last December’s early onset of winter weather combined with heavy snow cover may mean some manure storages are nearing capacity and soon, the spring rain will begin to fall.

Rain has a way of making spring field work difficult, slowing the progress of all fieldwork including emptying in-ground manure storages. The more rain, the more freeboard disappears in the storage and the less opportunity to spread manure without getting stuck. What to do?   

Daily Monitoring

There are no simple solutions, but thinking through your specific situation, and monitoring it daily can help prevent, or at least minimize, environmental risks and potential regulatory issues. 

Outside manure storages should be designed with freeboard to deal with extreme spring weather. The Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) for manure state that all manure storage structures shall maintain a minimum freeboard of twelve inches (six inches for fabricated structures) plus the additional storage volume necessary to contain the precipitation and runoff from a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. Freeboard means the distance from the level of manure to the top of the storage structure. This “storm event” amount is an average of an additional 4 inches in Michigan. You can check your county’s precipitation. That means concrete structures need to have at least 10 inches of freeboard and earthen storages need 16 inches of freeboard at all times to be in compliance with GAAMPs and Right-To-Farm. 

For all storage structures, especially earthen, cautiously walk the perimeter of the storage daily (if necessary) based on your rainfall amounts, weather forecasts and storage situation. Recognize that berms for earthen storages, just like fields, may be water saturated and weakened.   Assess how solid the sides are, looking for low points or areas with lower structural integrity.

Keep Clean Water Clean

The late spring and excessive rains in some parts of Michigan may cause the freeboard to be consumed by rain and runoff. As rain fills up this freeboard, it may put stress on the integrity of the structure. If the stress results in a break or overflow of the storage, thousands of gallons could quickly exit the manure storage. A manure storage that captures excess clean water runoff from around the farmstead, in addition to direct rainfall, obviously fills up even faster. Diverting clean water from reaching the manure storage would help now and in future rainy weather.  Roof runoff is a cost sharable practice through EQIP.  Contact your local NRCS office for more information.

Plan for Emergencies

Each farm location has unique risks of manure reaching surface waters.  Asses your risk, consider what the worst case scenario might be and think through a plan to address that situation. Knowing the down slope direction from the storage will help you think through what sensitive areas are along that path and help you know how critical the risks could be. Know how to get earth moving equipment on site immediately and plan where potential berms would need to be built to divert the flow from reaching surface water, neighboring property or road ways. Even when there are not imminent risks to surface waters, have plans in place to contain, control and stop manure from moving overland.  If your farm doesn’t have a written plan, you can learn how to do one with MSU Extension bulletin E-2575s, Emergency Planning for the Farm: Livestock Operations. 

Already at Freeboard?

Do everything you can to reduce liquid manure storage before they are dangerously close to overflowing. Even relieving a few inches off the top will buy some time and reduce stress on the storage system. Options may include transferring manure to another system, hauling to the driest field you have or assessing if you can get on any alfalfa field without getting stuck. 

Don’t make a bad situation worse. When land applied, be sure that the manure is not at risk of running off to surface waters.  Tile drained fields provide another risk during wet times. Be cautious by taking appropriate steps to insure applied manure does not reach surface inlets or tile drains. 

For permitted farms, allowing manure to exceed the freeboard limit is a permit violation, even if a release does not occur. Contact your regional Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Staff and file a report. They will work with you to seek an emergency solution.  

In the event that a manure storage breaches and manure reaches surface waters, contact the Pollution Emergency Alerting System hotline immediately at the Department of Environmental Quality: (800) 292.4706 or Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: (800) 405.0101

 

SourceMSU Extension

CWT Assists Member with Sales of 1.3 Million Pounds of Cream Cheese

A Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperative captured 10 contracts to sell 1.254 million pounds (569 metric tons) of cream cheese with CWT assistance. Cream cheese was added to the list of dairy products eligible for export assistance April 1.

In addition, other members accepted 6 offers of export assistance from CWT that helped them capture sales contracts for 335,103 pounds (152 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese, and 209,439 pounds (95 metric tons) of whole milk powder. These products, including the cream cheese, are going to customers in Asia, the Middle East and South America. The product will be delivered during the period from April through September 2019.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2019 export sales now total 26.004 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 3.466 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat), 1.254 million pounds of cream cheese and 22.606 million pounds of whole milk powder to 22 countries in six regions. These sales are equal to 483 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers and all dairy cooperatives by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price. It does this by helping member cooperatives gain and maintain world market share for U.S dairy products. As a result, the program has significantly expanded the total demand for U.S. dairy products and the demand for U.S. farm milk that produces those products.

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT pays export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by required documentation.

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. The money raised by their investment is being used to strengthen and stabilize the dairy farmers’ milk prices and margins. For more information about CWT, visit www.cwt.coop.

 

Wisconsin lost 212 dairy farms in 1st 90 days of 2019

I wish I had good news to share about milk prices, trade wars, tariffs, dairy surpluses and the future, but I don’t. President Donald Trump says a “very monumental agreement” may be announced in early May about the trade war with China. I hope that’s true and that he’s not just leading us on. In February and March, he said he was close to resolving the trade war.

In the meantime, I checked with Greg Bussler at the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Madison, Wis., to find out how many dairy farms we still have in Wisconsin. I learned last week about three more dairy farm families who are selling their herds in April, and I figured the numbers would not be good. Sadly, I was right.

Dairy farm numbers plummet

According to Bussler, 212 Wisconsin dairy farms went out of business between Jan. 1 and April 1. That means on average, more than two dairy farms sold out each day of the first 90 days of 2019. That’s on top of the 691 dairy farms we lost during 2018. In just 15 months, the Dairy State lost 903 dairy farms, or slightly fewer than two farms per day. That’s more than 10% of Wisconsin’s dairy farms going out of business in just 15 months. The numbers don’t lie — that is painful for the farm families who sold their dairy herds, the communities they live in and the businesses they supported.

That is the most dairy farms Wisconsin has lost in one year since 2011, when 645 farms left the dairy business. In 2009, 588 dairy farms sold out.

According to NASS, 10 years ago Wisconsin was home to 13,294 dairy farms. In 1999, we had 21,624 dairy farms. Forty years ago, there were 45,783 dairy farms in America’s Dairyland.

I asked Bussler how many dairy cows are in Wisconsin. He said as of April 1, there were 1,270,000 cows, or about the same number as on Jan. 1, 2018. That means while we have 903 fewer dairy farms than we did 15 months ago, we didn’t lose any cows — some of them just changed their address.

In fact, even with less than 20% of the dairy farms Wisconsin had in 1979, Wisconsin set a record in 2018 for the most pounds of milk produced in the Dairy State in one year, thanks to better cows, better farmers, better feed, better facilities and better genetics.

I hope all of you who are still dairy farming will be able to continue to do so a year from now. During that time, President Trump needs to end the trade war with China, and he needs to remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada so they will sign the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

I also hope President Trump stops threatening to close the Southern border. U.S. dairy farmers’ top three export customers are Mexico, China and Canada. In 2018, mostly before the trade war started in July, the U.S. exported 16% of its dairy products. It will no doubt be a challenge to rebuild our trade with foreign countries to levels they were before the trade war began, but that will be necessary to improve milk prices and stop the demise of so many Wisconsin dairy farms.

Source: farmprogress.com

Fourth-generation Ohio dairy farm reaches end of the milking line

Before Lela Raber’s death in 2008, her son, Dwight, promised her he’d keep the family’s fourth-generation dairy farm running for at least 10 more years.

He kept his word.

But times have changed.

“I’ve got to make $16 (per 100 pounds, or 11.6 gallons of milk) just to break even,” Dwight Raber said in a folksy drawl, as he turned the pages on a printed report that details daily production of the farm’s 235 cows. “Right now, I’m at $13.89 and it’s been that way for two years.”

Raber’s laid-back tone belies what he’s felt inside the past few years.

The stress was catching up to him and he was hospitalized with blood clots last summer. He’s accustomed to long hours of waking up to work at 4:15 a.m. and quitting at sunset, but that lifestyle has become ever more grueling now that he’s 58 years old.

“He has poured his heart into this farm,” said Raber’s wife, Julia, an English teacher at East Canton High School. “He just goes and goes, 24/7. But it’s time to slow down; it really is. His mother also told him, ‘Please don’t ruin your health.’”

***

The dairy business has changed.

It’s tougher than ever.

Several years ago, Raber added beef cattle to the farm to supplement the dairy portion. After agonizing for more than a year, Raber has come to the conclusion that it’s time to quit milking cows — he just can’t make a living at it anymore.

He could have held out longer, though he decided it wasn’t worth the risk of a larger financial hole.

So, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Raber will sell his herd of dairy cows and much of the equipment he’s accumulated through the years. Kiko Auctions will handle the auction.

The same story is playing out at an ever-increasing pace across the state. In January 2017, there were 2,647 dairy farms in Ohio, compared to 2,045 by January of this year, according to license statistics from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Besides the Holstein cows, the Raber sale includes a Jaguar chopper, a six-row folding rotary corn head, a silage table, skid loader, trucks, a tractor, tandem twin manure spreader, disc, hay baler, cultivator, a computerized calf-feeder, milking units and a 3,000-gallon bulk tank, which held milk until it was trucked away daily.

***

“I’m a little scared,” Raber admitted.

All he’s known is being a dairy farmer. He and his brother, Bruce, who died in 2007, grew up working the farm. So did his father, Russell. Same for his grandfather, Ernest. And his great-grandfather, Albert, who founded the farm after he came to the U.S. from Schangnau, Switzerland, in 1891, and changed the family’s surname from ‘Reber’ to ‘Raber’ because he grew tired of hearing it mispronounced.

Over the years, the farm grew to its present 500 acres, some on each side of State Street NE.

Dwight and Julia Raber live in a house on the north side of the street. One of their sons, Alan, lives in the old farmhouse, on the south side, near the barns and milking parlor. And Bruce Raber’s widow lives in another house on the property.

Dwight and Julia Raber’s two natural-born sons, Alan and Scott, helped for years on the farm. But ultimately, they chose other careers: Alan is a Stark County Sheriff’s deputy and Scott manages Titan Machinery stores in Nebraska.

“We never tried to push them into farming,” Dwight Raber said. “We let them find their way … I remember when I was a kid, I played sports in high school. And after the games, my friends would say they were going home to sleep or do whatever. But I’d just go home and work for four hours. It’s just what we did.”

Dwight and Julia Raber have three more sons — all adopted as young boys from Russian orphanages. They are Aaron, 20, Isaac, 18, and 15-year-old Austin.

***

A faded “Raber Dairy Farms” sign along State Street NE will soon be replaced with one that drops ‘Dairy’ from the title. Dwight Raber plans to grow his beef herd and to plant and sell crops — in the past, all the crops had to be used for feed.

“It’s going to be a lifestyle change for the better for him,” said Debbie Hajba, one of Dwight’s two sisters, who grew up on the farm before marrying and moving out.

Dairy cows get milked twice a day. They’re also particular about their feed. Their mix has be consistent and exact, in order for them to produce milk at a high level.

Beef cattle are less high-maintenance. Raber said he’ll take advantage of his extra time to tidy up the property and pay more attention to aesthetics, as his mom and grandmother did.

“This was a showplace; I want to return it to that,” he said.

Raber smiled and shook his head, as he walked by a series of cow hoof indentations in the wet grass near the farmhouse — evidence of a recent “jail break” by some in the herd.

Pardon the pun, but his mom would have had a cow if her manicured lawn wasn’t repaired within five minutes of the occurrence of such an unacceptable event.

***

Ohio has lost another 51 dairy farms already this year, slicing the statewide number to 1,994.

“The trend is alarming,” said Dianne Shoemaker, an Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist in dairy product economics. “It’s … not the way I’d like to see the dairy industry going.”

She said the business has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. Profit margins are smaller and smaller, which often requires farms to get even larger to survive. Shoemaker said about 17 percent of the milk produced in the U.S. is exported.

“There’s a lot of milk out there,” she said. “Back in grandfather’s day, the milk prices were local. Now they are global … or they are at least influenced on a global level.”

Dairy farmers enjoyed a boom year in 2014, but it’s been bad four years in a row, Shoemaker said. She added the plight of Ohio farmers is partly due to a glut of milk coming into the state from mega-farms in Michigan — often at less than market rate.

***

Dwight Raber said he’s felt the pressure. In his younger days, a cow that produced 100 pounds of milk a day was a herd superstar. These days, that’s almost the average.

“We’ve been so blessed for so long, and with our wonderful sons … but it’s time,” Julia Raber said of the upcoming auction. “There’s such a beauty about the land. It’s spiritual.”

After Dwight’s mom, Lela, died a decade ago, her ashes were scattered in a small garden she tended behind the farmhouse. A plaque marks the location. Julia Raber is sure Lela, the matriarch who’d kept the farm going for so long, would understand and approve of the auction.

After all, the Rabers still have the farm, even if it will change.

Source: Ohio

30% Decline in Herds Milking Over 500 Cows in the US in the Past 5 Years

According to the latest US census, more than 20 per cent of the nation’s dairy farms has closed between 2012 and 2017.  USDA survey data in 2018 says that number dropped an additional five per cent last year with more than 1,800 farms closing.

Herds milking more than 500 cows declined by more than 30 per cent and made up nearly nine per cent of dairy farms in 2017.  The number of farms selling milk with less than 100 milk cows declined by 28 per cent and made up 64 per cent of the dairy farm total. Farms ranging from 100 to less than 500 milk cows declined by four per cent and made up 27 per cent of the total. Less than one per cent of farms milked more than 5,000 cows which were a new category in the census. The largest percentage of dairy farms, milking less than 100 cows, produced slightly more than 10 per cent of the milk supply while those with 500 or more produced nearly 70 per cent. 

 

Fire destroys family dairy farm south of Othello (WA)

Franklin County firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that destroyed a family’s dairy farm.

Around 10:00 p.m. Sunday, fire crews responded to the Degroot family dairy farm at 755 Radar Hill Road, south of Othello. When they arrived, the inside of the building was actively burning.

A second alarm was issued by Fire Chief Steve Cooper due to the remote location of the fire. Fire trucks from Adams County Fire District #5 and Franklin County Fire District #1 responded.

Firefighters were able to save the building, but the contents inside are a total loss such as milking equipment and other machinery. Propane tanks were near the building, and the fire was put out before it could reach the tanks. No cows were inside the building or injured.

Cooper said at least 18 fire trucks were at the scene. The clean up lasted until about 1:30 a.m.

Today, the family started moving cows to another location. Cooper said the farming community came together and used their cattle trailers to help the family relocate. 

The cause is under investigation.


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BASF Innovations In The Field Podcast Series

This month we highlight Brent Lassiter, who has operated ProAg Services in Newport, Arkansas, since 1996.

Source: yaktrinews.com

Milk Markets Lower Monday in Chicago

On the Chicago Mercantile milk futures ended Monday mostly lower while cash markets became more active.   Class III milk futures begun Monday’s trade on a higher note before reversing course lower. April milk fell 3 cents to $15.89, May lost 13 cents to $15.65 per cwt. and June declined 9 cents to $15.74. The second half of 2019 ranged from 7 cents lower in July to 5 cents higher in December. Class IV milk added 3-7 cents per cwt. May through September. Tomorrow, Global Dairy Trade event 234 will be released. We shall see how products fare with that if milk prices can find support to further this $1.60 rally in the April contract that began mid-February. April Class III milk down three cents at $15.89. May down 13 cents at $15.65. June down nine cents at $15.74. July down seven cents at $16.05. August through December contracts were two cents lower to a nickel higher.

Dry whey down $0.01 at $0.3475. Two trades were made at $0.3475 and $0.35. Blocks up $0.0050 at $1.65. Four trades were made ranging from $1.6350 to $1.65. Barrels down $0.02 at $1.5975. Four trades were made at that price. Butter remained unchanged at $2.2575. Nonfat dry milk remained unchanged at $0.9875.

Grain markets on Monday saw corn add 2 cents, soybeans traded 3 and a half cents higher and wheat lost 5-7 cents per bu.

 

Very successful European Masters Sale 2019

It has been great days in Libramont, on the 12th and 13th of April one of the most beautiful events in Europe has taken place. Many visitors from all around the World shared their enthusiasm for the Holstein breed during the European Holstein Show.

The 1st European Masters Sale took place on the Friday-night and has been a huge success! Almost 2000 people were present at the sale, which resulted in an incredible atmosphere and a great trade. 63 from the 65 lots were sold, the live lots & 1st choices averaged € 9.297 / lot to buyers from no less than 15 different countries! Even buyers from North-America and Australia invested in the best European Genetics in the European Masters Sale.

Topseller this edition was a 1st Choice female from 3 pregnancies from the World Dairy Expo Supreme Champion ’17: Rosiers Blexy Goldwyn, she sold for an amount of € 51.000 to Mr. Azzapardi from Malta.

The 2nd highest seller this sale purchased by Sunview Holsteins from Canada for a real European Star: Lot 12 in the sale, Mattenhof High Octane Graziana for € 50.000! This beautiful heifer is a direct daughter of the former European Champion Galys-Vray EX-94-CH.

Rijnhof Holsteins & Diamond Genetics purchased together one of the most interesting genomic heifers from Europe: Peaßens Jezebel for € 44.000. Jezebel is in the top of the breed in multiple different systems with GTPI +2818, RZG 163 and >400 NVI! Jezebel is a daughter of Redrock going back on Meier-Meadows El Jezebel, the dam of the legendary bull Oman!

Great show cows were traded in the European Masters Sale as well. Additional lot in the sale was M.E. Dal Long P Dandy P which sold for € 19.000 to Joe Schweigen from Luxemburg which won the class with her the next day in the European Show and on top of that she won the Intermediate Championship B&W!!! Lot 5 in the sale sold for € 15.000 to Ferme Morel, AGH Lola became 2nd at the European Show in her class.

STATISTICS EUROPEAN MASTERS SALE
Number of live lots:
53
Number of live lots sold: 51
Average prive live lots & choice: € 9.297
Number of embryo lots: 12
Average price / embryo: € 910

Sale organization: Eurogenes, European Livestock Service & Roccafarm Livestock


Top 20  European Masters Sale 2019

Source: eurogenes.com

Beef, Dairy Collaboration Launches HOLSim™ Program

First-of-its-kind branded program promises to reshape beef-on-dairy opportunities.

The American Simmental Association (ASA) and Holstein Association USA (HAUSA) have announced the formation of the HOLSim™ branded program.

The program identifies elite SimAngus™ bulls with specific production attributes as mating solutions for dairy producers who breed some of their herd to beef.

The program’s objective is threefold: to provide additional revenue to dairy producers through the production of value-added terminal calves; to offer new marketing avenues for progressive beef seedstock operations; and to offer a consistent supply of high-quality calves better situated to capture market premiums.

“Holstein producers now have the opportunity to easily participate by simply selecting from the list of HOLSim bulls carried by their semen provider,” says Chip Kemp, ASA Director of Commercial and Industry Operations. “Through the International Genetic Solutions platform, we took a breed agnostic look at what type of beef bulls make the most sense to complement a Holstein female to add the most profitability to the terminal calf.”

Qualifying for the sire list is not easy, and bulls that do so represent an elite group of beef genetics. All bulls in the program will be required to include the HOLSim logo in all marketing and promotional material.

“The bulls must be homozygous black, homozygous polled, have a minimum birth weight accuracy of .4, and meet a minimum threshold in the HOLSim Index,” Kemp explains.

The HOLSim Index uses the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator™ (FPC), the industry leader in feeder cattle evaluation, as the foundation for this effort.

The results from the FPC are then adjusted for the unique economic situations relevant to Holstein cattle, namely, the need for added calving ease, muscle conformation, grading ability and sensitivity to carcass length.

John Meyer, CEO of Holstein Association USA, says the HOLSim program has the potential to change the beef-on-dairy dynamic.

“Instead of just breeding Holsteins to a black beef bull, now dairy farmers can breed to a SimAngus bull that ranks high on the HOLSim index. By doing that, they can raise more profitable offspring coveted by both the feedlot and the consumer,” Meyer says.

The program is underpinned by HAUSA’s industry-leading animal identification program, something that will add increasing value in the marketplace as consumers require more information about where their food comes from. Because dairy operations calve year-round, a continuous and steady supply of high-quality beef will be available to distributors, retailers and restaurateurs that have struggled historically with seasonal fluctuations of supplies.

To qualify for the program, all animals must have a Registered Holstein® dam, and be bred to SimAngus bulls identified through the IGS Feeder Profit Calculator.

The HOLSim program is the first of its kind and offers dairy farmers a unique opportunity to build new profit centers.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time that a beef and a dairy breed association have collaborated to have a specific program to benefit both organizations and their respective members and industries,” Meyer says.

Access a list of bulls eligible for the program online. Those wanting to learn more can visit simmental.org or holsteinusa.com, or contact Darin Johnson at 802.451.4048, djohnson@holstein.com.

Saputo enters U.K. dairy market by closing $1.7-billion deal for Dairy Crest

Saputo Inc. has expanded its global presence as it entered the British dairy market with the closing of a $1.7-billion deal to acquire Dairy Crest Group plc.

The transaction announced Feb. 22 was payable in cash from a new bank loan.

Dairy Crest manufactures and sells cheese, butters, spreads and oils under British brands such as Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight.

The company has about 1,100 employees in seven locations across the United Kingdom.

For the 12 months ended March 31, it had about $796 million in revenue and $260 million in after-tax profits, including $172 million in exceptional items.

Saputo says it has invested in a “well-established and successful industry player with a solid asset base and an experienced management team.”

Source: business.financialpost.com

Rabobank’s Dairy Quarterly report good news for farmers

Rabobank’s latest Dairy Quarterly Report will give farmers something to smile about says Emma Higgins.

Rabobank’s dairy analyst told The Country’s Jamie Mackay that stalling world production combined with increased demand is a good news double.

“We called it at the end of last year, we said things are going to improve”.

With global supply being tight, there is less product available to export and now New Zealand’s season has joined this trend said Higgins.

Listen below:

“That’s going to really help underpin the commodity price improvement that we’ve seen already, since basically the end of 2018.”

Another factor aiding commodity prices is an “exceptionally robust” demand from China said Higgins, although she did have a couple of warnings about this development.

“We think that stock levels in China are now replenished and we think we’re going to see a lull in terms of Chinese buying over the next couple of months.”

Higgins’ second warning was – winter is coming.

“The IMF today just reforecast their numbers around economic growth. So we’ve seen that come back from 3.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent for 2019.

“The impact of that economic slow down and what effect that might have on consumption for the products that we export needs to be monitored.” 

Despite the risks, Higgins said she remained hopeful for a possible $7.15 forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2019/20 season.

 

Source: NZ Herald

Semex Renews Sponsorship of Holstein Young Breeders

Semex, the innovative genetic solutions company, invests for a sixth year in the future of young dairy farmers by renewing its principal sponsorship of Holstein Young Breeders (HYB).

The support from Semex makes a significant contribution to the advancement and success of HYB by supporting aspiring young breeders who are the future cornerstone of the dairy industry.  Semex has an active presence at all major HYB events, including the Weekend Rally and the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show, as well as supporting a plethora of prestigious HYB Awards such as the Littlestar and President’s Medal Award. In addition to the sponsorship, Semex pay for the three HYB President’s Medal finalists to attend the Semex International Dairy Conference and also fund a trip for the winner to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Semex have the opportunity to sit on the judging panels for national awards and competitions, host workshops and seminars and be at the forefront of the organisation’s ethos to engage, innovate, educate and equip the future generation of dairy farmers – many of who have the potential to progress onto international cattle breeding platforms – for a prosperous future.

Michael Dennison, UK National Sales Manager for Semex said, “We are delighted to sponsor HYB for a sixth year. It is important for Semex to invest and support our young breeders who are the future of our industry. Supporting HYB enables us to engage, educate and encourage the next generation”.

Cerys Petrie, National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, said, “The support from Semex is a vital asset to HYB at a national and local level. Their sponsorship enables us to carry out numerous events, awards, activities and learning experiences for our members. Working in partnership helps us to support, educate and shape the future for young dairy farmers and breeders.”

HYB, part of the wider Holstein UK organisation, has over 1500 members up to 26 years of age and 24 regional clubs throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.   HYB aims are to educate, inspire and support the next generation of individuals choosing the dairy industry as their future career. The events programme shares knowledge and understanding about cattle breeding, stock judging and linear assessment, as well as helping members learn vital husbandry and showmanship skills, to compete and, importantly, to make friends and have fun.

Dairy program a ‘game changer’ for US Milk Producers

Milk producers are caught in a difficult market right now, and individual dairy farmer numbers are dropping.

In the federal milk marketing order that covers part of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the number of dairy farms in January was 4,311, down 411 farms in one year.

But Dr. Marin Bozic, a dairy economist with the University of Minnesota, says there’s something all milk producers can, and should, do to help their bottom lines: sign up for the new dairy revenue protection program.

“This is a program that will improve your bottom line.”

Bozic spoke via a web presentation to Ohio Dairy Producers Association members April 4 at their annual meeting in Wooster.

“Everybody has been battered the past few years,” Bozic said. “This is a program that will improve your bottom line.”

New Dairy Margin Coverage program
Dairymen, however, are gun shy, because payouts in the previous program, the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP-Dairy) created in the 2014 farm bill, didn’t happen as they had hoped.

Bozic calls the new program, renamed Dairy Margin Coverage, a “game changer,” and says it could help some dairies stay in business that otherwise would be selling the cows.

Basically, it’s “crop insurance for milk,” he explained. The program doesn’t offer a higher price for your milk, but allows you to smooth out that price over time.

If the voluntary program had been in place the past four years, he calculates the net benefit in 2018 would’ve been more than $1 per hundredweight.

Dairy Margin Coverage makes payments when the national average income-over-feed-cost margin falls below a farmer-selected coverage level. Coverage is available from $4 per hundredweight to as high as $9.50 per hundredweight.

Dairy producers pay low premiums for coverage and may annually re-select their coverage options. There are discounts for consistent use.

Program payments are based on the amount of milk covered in the program and may range from 5 percent to 95 percent of a farm’s milk production history in 5 percent increments.

The program also includes a partial rebate of net MPP premiums paid for 2015 to 2017, and there are no longer restrictions on combining the new program and crop insurance programs on the same milk.

Think long term
The risk management strategy works best, Bozic added, if you hedge your milk prices long term, and not just the next quarter. The new program allows farmers to price up to five quarters out.

If you buy protection only the next three months? The economist said you’ll be “very disappointed.”

His calculations, had the program been in place the past 10 years, or 40 quarters, show that 1 in 3 quarters would pay out. Taking the long-term approach, though, lets milk producers protect large volumes of milk.

The program also benefits herds of all sizes, and Bozic encouraged the dairymen to consider the coverage “especially if you have less than 250 cows.”

Research by Ohio State University’s Carl Zulauf and Michigan State University’s Christopher Wolf found, when measured by $/cwt., the 2018 dairy policy changes most benefit small dairy farms.

The program is not, however, going to automatically push a farm into the black. Zulauf and Wolf calculations show no farm size has 2014-2017 losses turned into profits had the program been in place the past four years, but it would’ve reduced the losses. In fact, for herds of 200-499 cows, the loss declined by almost 41%.

Bozic anticipates 30 to 50% of the U.S. milk will be covered under the new program.

Other market factors
Bozic also reviewed other economic factors impacting the current and future dairy market, including the China trade deal and the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement that is replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Ohio milk producers shouldn’t ignore the impact the global market and trade has on their farms, the economist said. Exports have been absorbing most of the growth in U.S. milk production over the past decade. The rule of thumb is that the milk production from one day out of each week goes to export, but on a milk-fat basis and skim-solids basis, it’s even higher.

Even though cow numbers are falling, overall production has increased, which makes the export markets more valuable in light of declining domestic milk use.

“We need to capture world markets,” Bozic said. “Free trade, market access is very important to us.”

But Trump administration trade strategies hint to him that “the system of free trade that we’ve come to rely on is going away.”

Bozic said the shift is from multi-national trade agreements to single country trade agreements. In the long run, the U.S. will secure more market access for dairy and other agricultural products, but it will take some time.

“It’s going to be a rocky road.”

Source: Farm and Dairy

A blind cow, camping and tours — award-winning family dairy shares its story of survival

An award-winning dairy farm is promoting education over activism, welcoming campers to their lush property to diversify their business and raise awareness of their industry.

“We’re not as bad as what some of these animal liberationists all think, ‘You know we’re mean and evil,’ well that’s not the case,” Shane Paulger said, as visitors watched his wife Karen bring the cows into the milking bails.

“For too long we [farmers] have taken for granted that the consumer understands us, and they do feel for us a lot of time with drought and floods and fires and so on,” he said.

 

Source: ABC News

Sydney supermarket experiences a MILK shortage

A major supermarket has confirmed they are experiencing milk shortages due to extreme weather, droughts and increased electricity costs. 

The Summer Hill IGA in Sydney posted a sign in their dairy department this week, claiming these issues have caused their supplier to reduce product distribution. 

Dairy farmers have warned the milk shortage could get worse if prices for products aren’t increased and the drought continues. 

Lion Dairy and Drinks, the supplier who posted the statement, are one of the largest food and beverage companies in the Oceania region. 

The Summer Hill IGA in Sydney posted a sign in their dairy department stating environmental issues and rising costs have caused their supplier to reduce product distribution

The Summer Hill IGA in Sydney posted a sign in their dairy department stating environmental issues and rising costs have caused their supplier to reduce product distribution

‘We apologise for non-supply of some of our milk lines by our supplier. This is due to the current conditions impacting dairy farmers,’ the notice stated.  

‘Extreme weather conditions including drought, together with significant cost increases across water, feed and energy.

‘These have all contributed to the challenges facing dairy production in Australia, which has resulted in lower milk supply.’

Member of the NSW Farmers dairy committee, Rob Miller, said areas in regional NSW had been experiencing a shortage of products over the past month and the milk shortage could get worse. 

‘[The shelves are] quite empty of dairy – there might be a bit in the morning but as the day goes on the product runs out. They’re not being re-stocked,’ Mr Miller told The Sydney Morning Herald

‘Milk prices haven’t been lifted by the processor or the retailer to compensate for the high cost of production, so farmers have just cut production.

‘The next month is going to get a lot worse. The serious thing is that there’s a shortage of milk… What we need is a major retail price rise in the dairy cabinet.’   

A spokeswoman for Lion Dairy and Drinks stated that the drought was the largest contributor to the shortage, but dairy supply should be back to normal in the coming week (Summer Hill IGA pictured)

A spokeswoman for Lion Dairy and Drinks stated that the drought was the largest contributor to the shortage, but dairy supply should be back to normal in the coming week (Summer Hill IGA pictured)

A spokeswoman for Lion Dairy and Drinks said the drought was the largest contributor to the shortage, but dairy supply should be back to normal in the coming week. 

‘Lion Dairy & Drinks is a demand-driven business and this is reflected in the way we procure the right amount of milk to meet our customers needs’, the spokeswoman said. 

‘At this time we are also experiencing an increase in demand for our dairy products and we are unable to source the additional milk to fulfill this volume. 

‘Unfortunately, as a result, this week we are experiencing some intermittent supply shortfalls across our customer base.’ 

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to the National Farmers’ Federation for comment. 

Member of the NSW Farmers dairy committee, Rob Miller, said that areas in regional NSW had been experiencing a shortage of products over the past month and the milk shortage could get worse (stock image)

Member of the NSW Farmers dairy committee, Rob Miller, said that areas in regional NSW had been experiencing a shortage of products over the past month and the milk shortage could get worse (stock image)

Source: DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Restraints on Fonterra’s growth

Growth has been debated at the Fonterra board table and the directors’ view now is that the co-op will not see the huge growth of the past, says director Brent Goldsack.

Environmental constraints could be the limiting factor.

“Things around water and nutrients: we will get a very good handle on that,” he told the Northland Dairy Development Trust’s annual meeting in Whangarei last week. 

“But as we look at gases – whether methane or nitrous oxide — that’s much harder.” 

Methane may be a little easier but generally it gets harder, Goldsack said.

Over 35 years production has increased threefold but the co-op won’t be getting that growth in the future, he says. With genetics and science he is confident farming will consistently improve. 

“As a board I think we are saying [growth] is probably going to be relatively flat — certainly for the foreseeable future.”

Goldsack says he is worried at the prospect of a payout of $7/kgMS or better next year because at that price people start getting ahead of themselves and do things they later regret.

“The Europeans, the Americans… they would much rather be where we are today and this is our third year in the mid $6/kgMS. It’s been a nice spot for the co-op over the last three years.”

Source: ruralnewsgroup.co.nz

US Dairy farmer safety net program now expected in June

The federal Farm Service Agency says a program to help hard-pressed dairy farmers is expected to be ready for enrollment in June.

Dairy farmers are in their fifth year of low milk prices that have driven thousands out of business.

Thirty-eight U.S. senators recently signed a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the insurance program quickly, saying dairy farmers’ situation “is urgent.”

Farmers would pay for coverage and receive payments when the gap between milk prices and feed prices reach a certain level. The program was delayed by the partial government shutdown.

Payments will be retroactive to January.

Michigan dairy farmer Ken Nobis says after going through a four-year drought in revenue, each month the program gets put off “the more disheartened producers become.”

 

Source: WBAY

National movement to rebuild a viable dairy industry

Hundreds of farmers have been gathering for Dairy Together Road Show events across Wisconsin this month. Organized by the National Farmers Organization (NFO) and Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU), the events are engaging farmers on proposals to rebuild a viable dairy economy. Meetings have been held in Oshkosh and Eau Claire and another is planned tomorrow, April 4, in Platteville before the Road Show treks onward to Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and California. Farmers also gathered for Road Show stops in New York and Vermont.

“The plans we’re presenting today move the industry away from consolidation and help level the playing field so independent farmers have a fighting chance,” Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden said to the crowd of 100 farmers gathered at an April 2 Dairy Together Road Show meeting in Eau Claire.

WFU and NFO are presenting several potential pathways forward for a national movement on dairy reform. Though the family farm organizations’ plans differ in some details, they are united in aiming to give the dairy industry more control over production. Addressing direly needed structural changes and reducing volatility are key goals, while the groups note that other oft-covered topics like exports, school lunches, dairy labeling and milk mustaches have been purposefully set to the side.

“Although export markets are important, we are certain that we cannot export our way out of this problem,” Von Ruden said. “We’ve heard over and over from dairy farmers that they don’t want to put their fate in the hands of global dairy markets that they cannot control.”

A need for structural change – and short-term relief

“We have what policy people call a structure problem,” said NFO’s Dick Levins, professor emeritus of ag economics at the University of Minnesota. “By that we don’t mean barns falling down, we mean the mix of farmers out there is changing so dramatically that pretty soon there won’t be room for the family farmer.”

Levins noted that between 2000 and 2017, the U.S. lost 63,702 dairy farms with herds of 200 cows or less, a decrease of 65.6 percent. Meanwhile, operations with over 1,000 cows increased by 109 percent and those with over 2,000 cows by 268 percent.

“As those family-sized dairies leave, the particular benefits they provide to rural economies, the environment, and food security go with them,” Levins said.

Recognizing the staggering rate at which the nation is losing family-sized farms, NFO is proposing The Family Dairy Farm Relief Act, a voluntary program that would base emergency relief payments on different tiers that recognize variations in operating costs for different size farms. Monthly payments would be set according to a farm’s level of production, with smaller farms receiving relatively higher payments per hundredweight. The plan is modeled off of the Maine Dairy Relief Program, which was implemented in 2004 and has effectively slowed the loss of dairy farms in the state.

Levins stressed that the program would not impact milk prices and is intended to be a short-term bridge until a more market-oriented, long term program – one not dependent on government payments – could be implemented. He added that the already existing model is one that could be easily and rapidly enacted by Congress.

Proposals for long-term solutions

Bobbi Wilson

While The Family Dairy Farm Relief Act could provide short-term relief, WFU Government Relations Associate Bobbi Wilson echoed the point that it would be only a lifeline until long-term solutions can be implemented.

“What we’re hearing from farmers is that they’d rather have a fair price from the market than a handout,” Wilson said.

A long-term plan proposed to curb overproduction, improve milk prices and provide long-term stability is the Dairy Price Stabilization Plan, which was originally proposed in the lead-up to the 2014 Farm Bill. Dairy economists Chuck Nicholson from Cornell University and Mark Stephenson from the University of Wisconsin recently unveiled research on the impact this program might have had in current market conditions.

“The bottom line on what we found was generally pretty positive in terms of thinking of what these programs could do,” Nicholson said. “We saw reduced variation in prices and also some price enhancement, increased net farm operating incomes, reduction in the rate of farm exits across farms of all sizes, and a reduction in government expenditures on dairy programs.”

Through the DPSP, farmers who choose to expand beyond an allowable growth rate (based on market demand) must pay a market access fee. That fee would then be distributed among all the farmers who chose not to expand. Two versions of the plan are currently on the table – one that would operate continuously and another that would be triggered when the milk:feed ratio drops below a certain level.

Under the plan, farms could choose to expand production and pay the market access fee (ranging from $0.015/cwt to $3/cwt) or limit their expansion and receive a market access fee disbursement (ranging from $1.50/cwt to $1.88/cwt).

Wilson noted this plan looks to better balance milk supply and demand and cause farms to reconsider expansions, an important effort considering milk production continues to climb despite continued farm loss and a glut of dairy on the market. The USDA recently forecasted 219.7 billion pounds of milk production for 2019, up more than 2 billion pounds over 2018.

Dick Bylsma

The Road Show also offers up the Structured Dairy Pricing Program as a potential long-term solution to the dairy crisis. Research on the plan has been spearheaded by NFO Director of Dairy Sales Dick Bylsma, who also brings to the table a dairy farming upbringing and a strong background in milk bottling and cheese processing.

The Structured Dairy Pricing Program looks to curb production by establishing a national Federal Milk Marketing Order with a $4/cwt price adjuster for up to one million pounds of monthly production for every dairy farm in the country. The proposal would help reduce the cost of production difference between small and large farms in a way similar to FMMO procedures that account for different class prices.

“We have created a scenario where every dairy farmer has a positive margin,” Bylsma said. He also stressed that the Structured Dairy Pricing Program would not increase costs to consumers or impact the price a cheese processor or milk bottling company pays for their milk.

He reiterated the importance of addressing the continued loss and growing consolidation in the American dairy industry, citing an April 25, 2017 Hoard’s Dairyman article by Jack Britt that projects the U.S. could have as few as 1,300 to 1,900 dairy farms by the year 2066. That scenario is a direct contradiction to consumer preferences which trend toward a desire for family farms on the American landscape, Bylsma noted.

“We recognize that if we let these family farmers go out of business, we won’t get them back,” Bylsma added. “Our proposal makes rural communities stronger and helps keep this treasure we call the family farm in business.”

It’s going to take a movement

In closing, the groups recognized that any meaningful change in the dairy industry is going to require strong coalition building.

“We know that to get anything changed at the federal level, we’re going to need people power,” said WFU Special Projects Director Sarah Lloyd. “It’s very encouraging that we’re packing the rooms for these meetings – now we need to spread the word to our elected decision makers, implement our people power through our co-ops, and get everybody on board – processors, veterinarians, seed sales representatives. These proposals are strong enough to make a difference and move the industry away from consolidation.”

Find handouts, videos and more resources about the proposals, details on upcoming events, and a sign-up to keep informed at www.dairytogether.com.

Don’t Skip the Weight on Silage Covers

Recent regulations may change how some U.S. producers weigh down their silage covers. Yet, the benefits to properly covering silage bunkers or piles continue to provide returns.“The additional time and expense to comply with new waste tire regulations may cause producers to question the need for covering piles at all,” notes Renato Schmidt, Ph.D., Technical Services – Silage, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “There is absolutely no question that effectively covering piles saves money by preserving important nutrients in the silage, reducing dry matter (DM) losses and maintaining the hygienic quality of the feed. The effort to cover and seal silage piles is a vital part of the silage management program.”

Covering piles helps create the anaerobic environment required for the ensiling fermentation on the most critical portion in terms of porosity — the surface. As a result, the quality of the fermentation process is improved compared to uncovered piles. During storage, well-maintained plastic covers help prevent oxygen ingress, which can cause spoilage.

For example, sealing and covering a 40-foot by 100-foot bunker returns approximately $2,000 in improved silage DM recovery when filled with corn silage. Plus, feeding spoiled silage from an uncovered silo can reduce feed intake and digestibility and potentially lead to metabolic and reproductive issues in the herd.

A combination of high-quality plastic and adequate weighting helps prevent losses. Use plastic that is at least five millimeters thick and dual layer — black inner and white outer — to resist deterioration. Also consider using plastic film with an increased oxygen barrier, Dr. Schmidt advises.

Weighting the plastic down prevents air from seeping underneath the covering. Full-casing waste tires have been the standard for anchoring bunk silo covers for years, but they are heavy to move and bulky to store. Standing water in a full-casing tire can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. With the increasing concern around West Nile virus (WNV) — and the new state regulations prohibiting full tires — producers may be searching for new options, such as:

  • Modifying tires by leaving tires on the rims, removing tire sidewalls, drilling holes in the tire sidewalls or cutting tires in half
  • Covering tires with plastic to reduce standing water
  • Treating tires with a mosquito larvicide, which requires a certified pesticide applicator
  • Replacing tires with sidewall disks
  • Using heavy equipment tire beads
  • Finding alternatives to tires, such as gravel or sand bags

Dr. Schmidt advises producers to choose an option that maintain the integrity of the plastic. Tears or holes reduce the effectiveness of the covering and allow oxygen into the pile.

“Covering and sealing silage bunkers makes economic sense,” Dr. Schmidt says. “There are options for producers looking for alternative ways to weigh down covers. Don’t drop a best practice that pencils out in the long run.”

Lallemand Animal Nutrition is committed to optimizing animal performance and well-being with specific natural microbial product and service solutions. Using sound science, proven results and knowledge, Lallemand Animal Nutrition develops, produces and markets high value yeast and bacteria products ─ including probiotics, silage inoculants and yeast derivatives. Lallemand offers a higher level of expertise, leadership and industry commitment with long-term and profitable solutions to move our partners Forward. Lallemand Animal Nutrition is Specific for your success. For more information, please visit www.lallemandanimalnutrition.com.

 

DeLaval publishes 2018 Sustainability Report

DeLaval publishes its 2018 Sustainability Report, following the company’s annual progress in the areas of animal welfare, environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability.

“This Report summarises how we all at DeLaval have a role to play and how every one of us contributes to DeLaval sustainability efforts”, says Lars Johansson, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Sustainability.

The 2018 Sustainability Report provides an updated overview of how the company is driving its sustainability agenda across all areas of business, and follows on the progress towards its continuous improvements in the way the company operates.

“This aligns with DeLaval business objectives to provide products and solutions that let farmers do more with less which is as important for us in our own operations. This demonstrates our commitment to our Vision in making sustainable food production possible”, Lars concludes.

To read the full Sustainability Report 2018, please click here.

For a more comprehensive information on our take on Sustainability and our achievements, please visit www.delavalcorporate.com/sustainability.

About DeLaval

DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Our solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day.

DeLaval was founded more than 135 years ago in Sweden, when the visionary Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group. See more at www.delavalcorporate.com.

 

Genetic breakthrough on tropical grass could help develop climate-friendly cattle farms

Cattle are a mainstay for many smallholders but their farms are often on degraded lands, which increases cattle’s impact on the environment and lowers their production of milk and meat. Researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have shown that Brachiaria grass species can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle and increase productivity — and breeding improved varieties can potentially augment the environmental and economic benefits.

But the breeding process is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. A breakthrough on Brachiaria‘s complex genome may make breeding much more efficient, and potentially increase the speed with which new grasses begin benefiting cattle farmers and the environment.

Margaret Worthington, a geneticist at CIAT and the University of Arkansas, and colleagues created the first dense molecular map of B. humidicola, a robust and environmentally friendly forage grass. They also pinpointed the candidate genes for the plant’s asexual reproductive mechanism, which is a huge asset for plant breeders. The findings were published in January in BMC Genomics.

“The idea is to create a better crop with less time and less money and to get it out faster to farmers,” said Worthington. “By using this molecular marker, you increase the odds of finding that rare winner.”

Traditional plant-breeding methods for Brachiaria grasses involve one of two complex techniques. One is to grow the plant to seed, and to study the seeds under a microscope to determine if the plant reproduced asexually. The other involves excising the plant’s embryos and conducting a similar analysis. Both techniques require many weeks, significant funds and highly trained specialists.

Asexual reproduction through seed, called apomixis, is key for developing new crop varieties for widespread use. Crops that reproduce through apomixis conserve the same traits from one generation to the next, essentially locking in sought-after characteristics such as drought tolerance or high nutritional value. Plants that reproduce sexually do not reliably pass on desired traits to subsequent generations.

Seeds, perpetually

With this molecular marker, plant breeders can run a quick and inexpensive test when Brachiaria grasses are seedlings to identify whether they reproduce through apomixis. The results are available in a couple of weeks. This allows plant breeders to select only asexually reproductive plants for trials, allowing them to allocate more time and resources to plants that have the potential to produce new cultivars.

Brachiaria grasses have often been considered an “orphan crop,” due to a lack of investment in research, but their potential for making tropical farms more productive and better for the environment is well known among tropical forage specialists. One recent study found that B. humidicola was especially adept at reducing the nitrous oxide, a strong greenhouse gas, emitted from soil as result of cattle urine deposition. In addition, CIAT researchers have identified mechanisms that this tropical grass uses to efficiently acquire nutrients from soil.

Brachiaria breeders also value apomixis for smallholders in developing nations who have limited resources for investing in improving their farms. Improved grass varieties that produce sufficient quantities of trait-retaining seeds can eliminate the need to purchase new seeds for every planting, which is a potentially expensive barrier to adoption.

“This breakthrough allows for the acceleration of our breeding program for multiple traits, including the development of tropical forages that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make farming more eco-efficient,” said Joe Tohme, a senior scientist at CIAT and study co-author.

“This discovery represents a milestone in the path toward developing mitigation technologies in the livestock production sector,” said Jacobo Arango, a study co-author who is an environmental biologist from CIAT and a Lead Author for the next Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

 

Source: Science Daily

Select Sires MidAmerica Recognizes Scholarship Winners

Select Sires MidAmerica is pleased to award $1,000 scholarships to 10 high school seniors. The annual scholarship program recognizes outstanding youth of Select Sires MidAmerica customer-owners with preference given to incoming freshmen at a university or college majoring in an agriculture-related field. Selection is based on high school and community involvement, beef and dairy activities and leadership characteristics.

Osanna Koester, daughter of Raymond and Teresa Koester, resides in Wadesville, Ind. Her extracurricular activities include swimming, lacrosse, chamber orchestra and church youth group. As an active member of 4-H, Osanna has completed both dairy and livestock projects and competes in dairy judging. She plans to pursue an education in agricultural business with a minor in German.

Kirby Latimer, son of Kenny and Imogene Latimer, attends North Shelby High School in Hunnewell, Mo. He currently serves as president of the National Honor Society and student council and as treasurer for the senior class. He plays football, basketball and baseball and is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Kirby has served as both president and secretary of his FFA chapter and has earned accolades in agronomy, parliamentary procedure and farm management contests.

Madison Leak, daughter of Matt and Lena Leak, resides in Cornish, Utah. She attends Sky View High School and currently serves as the senior class secretary. Since 2014, she has been a member of the National Honor Society. She is active in FFA, serving as reporter in 2017 and 2018, has earned awards for dairy judging and attends state and national conventions.

Kinle Lewis, daughter of Mat and Wendy Lewis, attends Caliche High School in Illiff, Colo. Kinle is extremely active in FFA, holding both district and chapter offices, contributing to committees and fundraisers, competing in a variety of Career Development Events and earning accolades for public speaking. She also holds offices in the Proctor Peppers 4-H Club and is a member of the National and Colorado Junior Limousin Associations and the National Junior Angus Association. She attends numerous jackpot shows and has exhibited market steers, market lambs, junior heifers and bulls at the Colorado State Fair.

Tyler London, son of Johnny and Lesley London, attends Metcalfe County High School in Center, Ky. As a student athlete, Tyler plays varsity basketball and tennis and is on the golf team. He is a member of the National Honor Society and president of Metcalfe FFA. He exhibits cattle at local, district, state and national levels, showing Ayrshires, Holsteins and Brown Swiss. Tyler also volunteers for the local fair board and assists in coordinating events for 4-H and FFA.

Jaron Meeks is the son of Deane and Kristi Meeks and attends Loup County High School in Taylor, Neb. He serves as president for his class, sits on the student council and participates in quiz bowl. His athletic activities include football and wrestling. Jaron is also a member of 4-H and FFA and plans to attend Chadron State College to pursue an education in Rangeland Livestock Management.

Jace Stagemeyer, son of Brent and Carla Stagemeyer, attends O’Neill Public High School in Page, Neb. Jace is a member of the National Honor Society, an honor roll student and Gold Academic Award winner. He is a trumpet player, performing in concert, marching, pep, Jazz and the Pierce Honor bands. Jace has held offices in 4-H and FFA and is active in the Nebraska Junior Angus Association. He has had success as a champion beef showman at the Aksarben Livestock Show, Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic and the South Dakota State Hereford Show. 

Boone Svoboda, son of Arnold and Teresa Svoboda, attends Lawrence/Nelson High School in Deweese, Neb. As a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, he is involved with youth group activities and church fundraisers. In his community, he participates in American Red Cross Blood Drives, volunteers as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels and is an elected deputy for Cornhusker Boys State. At his high school, he plays in the band, serves as a class officer and is involved in sports activities. Boone is a 4-H member and competes in livestock judging. He has held offices in FFA and participates in a variety of Career Development Events.

Trevor Thue, son of Dale and Crystal Thue, attends Hamlin High School in Lake Norden, S.D. He enjoys exhibiting cattle at the Watertown Winter Farm Show and the South Dakota State Fair. His extracurricular activities include youth group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, American Legion baseball and football. Trevor is also a member of the National Honor Society and plans to pursue an education in precision agriculture and agronomy.

Faith Wilson, daughter of Dallas and Andi Wilson, attends Hillsboro High School in Dittmer, Mo. She is a member of the National Honor Society, sits on the student council, serves in student government and plays soccer. Her agricultural activities include 4-H, exhibiting cattle and she has completed A.I. certification training. She plans to attend University of Missouri – Columbia and major in biology with an emphasis in animal science.

These individuals exemplify the future of the agriculture industry and Select Sires MidAmerica, Inc. is proud to recognize these young adults for their dedication, passion and success.

Based in Logan, Utah, Select Sires MidAmerica, Inc. is a farmer-owned and -controlled cooperative that operates in 11 states throughout mid-America as a member of Select Sires Inc., North America’s largest A.I. organization. As the industry leader, Select Sires provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying beef and dairy producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

 

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