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  August 2019 – Issue No. 481

Inside this months issue  …

OUR STORIES OF THE MONTH (Click the blue title below to read "the complete story"):

Global & U.S. Milk Production Will Feel Weather’s Impact (p. 1):  One of our “Stories of the Month.”

Trade War Escalates; China Halts Imports of U.S. Farm Products (p. 1): Another “Story of the Month.”



Global & U.S. Milk Production Will Feel Weather’s Impact (p. 1):  One of our “Stories of the Month.”

Trade War Escalates; China Halts Imports of U.S. Farm Products (p. 1): Another “Story of the Month.”

Aug. Dairy Marketing Doldrums Will Give Way to Sept. Craziness (p. 2): In August’s second week, dairy marketers are starting to see the draw of milk from the north and southwest to fill school milk needs in the Southeast.  By mid-September, we see tight milk supplies having some processors puzzling where their milk needs will come from.

Signup Begins for Trade Mitigation Payments (p. 3):  The highly-publicized second round of government payments to certain agricultural producers to cover financial losses due to the trade wars is off to a clumsy start.  Many USDA county offices were not prepared to handle farmer signups on July 29 – the first day that Washington indicated farmers could begin enrolling.

July Class III Price Jumps $1.28 – to $17.55/Cwt. (p. 3): The headline says it all.  Domestic cheese sales are good, and farm milk is tightening.  These factors are driving up prices for commodity Cheddar.

California Co-ops Funding Review of Quota Implementation Program (QIP):  Angry producers who’ve tried to force a referendum on continuing California’s fluid milk Quota program were turned down.  But the fury behind their petition has propelled the state’s three biggest dairy co-ops to sponsor state-wide meetings to seek solutions to the problem.  Meanwhile, after it was brought to the attention of California’s agriculture department officials that the state was deducting too much money from producers milk checks -- $.038/cwt. on all Grade A milk (3..5% bf test) – that deduct will scale back o $0.32/cwt.

Dean Foods: New CEO, Bad Q2 Results (p. 4): Dean Foods lost twice as much per share during Q2 as analysts had projected, and the value of its stock plunged.  Former CEO Ralph Scozzafazza mercifully wasn’t around to explain another quarter’s horrid performance … he’s history.

St. Albans Co-op Members OK DFA Merger (p. 5): On July 29, members of St. Albans co-pop voted, 99-9, to approve merger with Dairy Farmers of America.  The merger closed on August 1.  In The Milkweed’s analysis, DFA failed to comply with Vermont laws requiring that present and retired producers holding equity in a merging cooperative be informed of details of that merger and their rights as dissidents. 

Latest Foolishness – DFA’s 50/50 Dairy/Plant Beverage – Exposed in Farmshine (p. 5): Reporter Sherry Bnnting, writing in the Pennsylvania-based dairy weekly Farmshine, revealed DFA’s latest foolishness – marketing beverages that consist of half cows’ milk and half plant beverages.  Worse yet, these products were developed by Dairy Management, Inc., -- the national milk promotion bozos.

DFA’s “50/50” Almond Milk and Oat Milk are NOT Class I Products (p. 5): The dairy ingredients in blended dairy/plant beverages not marketed by Dairy Farmers of America are NOT regulated as Class I (fluid) by USDA. 

Conventional & Organic CAFOs Giving Dairy Producers a Black Eye (p. 7):  Mark Kastel details how recent videos of animal abuse on mega-dairies are harming he image of all dairy producers.  Thee videos have surfaced from workers at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana and the De Jong organic dairy in Texas.

Sassy Cow’s Organic Status in Jeopardy (p. 7): Sassy Cow Creamery and its related dairy farm – Baerwolf Dairies – are on the verge of having their organic permits suspended by USDA for multiple violations of organic dairy standards.  Sassy Cow Creamery is an organic producer-handler located nar Columbus, Wisconsin – northeast of Madison.  Ironically, USDA is coming down hard on a small, Wisconsin organic dairy … when massive, “organic” mega-dairies from Texas are flooding organic milk markets with huge quantities of milk.

USDA’s Ibach & Purdue Hurting Organic! (p. 7): John Bobbe reports how recent comments by a high-level USDA official, Greg Ibach, stated that the government was entertaining the notion of allowing biotech-derived products to qualify under the agency’s organic standards.

WI Towns Safeguarding Water Find Uniform Frustration Under State Law (p. 8):  Writer/farmer Tony Ends reports on how two Wisconsin towns – one in Green County and one in Kewaunee County – are enmeshed in legal battles trying to protect local water quality.

Emory University Probes Drug, Growth Hormone Residues in Milk (p. 8): Researchers at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) recently published a study that analyzed residues from nationwide samples of both conventional and organic fluid milk.  A high percentage of conventional milk samples contained drug residues.  Also, the conventional samples tested nearly 20X higher in bovine growth hormone residues, compared to organic samples.

Dairy Livestock Markets Flat at Best (p. 9): Tight cash-flows and uncertainty about quality/quantity of this winter’s feed supplies are keeping buyers’ hands in their pockets at the livestock auctions we survey each month. 

These Dairymen VERY Unhappy with Dairy Revenue Protection (p. 9): Here’s what Wisconsin dairy producer Bob Froelich says about USDA’s new Dairy Revenue Protection Program: “…. it’s another one of those worthless programs where they’ve got their hand in our pocket.”   Wrier/farmer Jan Shepel interviews two dairy producers who claim their agents selling Dairy Revenue Protection seriously misrepresented the benefits. 

Dairy Commodities: Cheddar Stronger, Butter Declines, NFDM Weaker (p. 10): Solid demand and tighter milk supplies are pushing up commodity Cheddar prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Butter prices at CME have slipped backwards during the past month.  The market tone for nonfat dry milk is weaker.

Strategies for our future soil and food sustainability (p. 11): Pete Hardin takes a “Big Picture” look at agriculture’s potential to help solve weather/climate events disruption or nation’s agriculture and commerce. Basically, Hardin proposes taking the extended Mississippi River watershed – from western Pennsylvania to Montana – and changing government programs to emphasis increasing soils’ organic matter and requiring cover crops to better protect against soil erosion.  Every 1% increase in soils’ organic matter content increases the moisture retention capacity by 16,000 gallons PER ACRE. 

DFA, DMI & ‘half-crap” milk/plant beverages (p. 11):  From the headline, you can guess what Hardin thinks of DFA’s latest – marketing milk/plant blended beverages.  Even worse, the “dairy promotion bozos” – Dairy Management, Inc. – are claiming to have developed that crap.

Long Range Forecast: Cornell Climatologist Comments (p. 12): Pris Reidhead reports that the 90-day outlook for temperatures across the U.S. is generally warmer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  However, much of the northern Plains states and Midwest may expect normal temperature patterns.  Heat units for the upcoming 90 days are critical, due to belated plantings of corn and soybeans this past spring.  Farmers with late-planted crops are praying for a late fall frost.

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