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September 2015  Issue No. 434

Inside this months issue …

Butter Better: McDonald’s to Quit Use of Margarine & Butter Oil (p. 1):
    McDonald’s franchises will eliminate margarine and veggie oils, in a shift to higher-quality butter.  Industry sources estimate that move will add at least 25 million lbs. of annual consumption for butter. 
    Click Here.

Butter Is, and Will Be, Dairy’s Price Driver (p. 1):
    Strong demand for butter and high-milk fast products is driving up butter prices.  And butter prices drive up farm milk prices … as well as retail dairy costs.

Sept. 30 Deadline for DMPP Sign-Ups (p. 2):
   Dairy farmers have until September 30 to sign up for the 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP).  Due to that program’s complete failed performance, Pete Hardin advises farmers to stay home and breed their “freemartins.”

“TPP Dead”; Canadians Seen as Prime Suspects (p. 2):
    While the funeral has not been set, consensus is that efforts to create the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the world’s biggest “Free Trade” deal – are kaput.  That’s good.

Butter Prices Strong, Cheddar Holding, Nonfat Powder in Septic Tank (p. 3):
    The dairy commodity scene is mixed.  Butter and cheese are fairly well positioned, but the dairy protein powder complex is a total mess.

China Looking More and More Like a Bubble (p. 3):
    China’s economy is heading downhill.  Several structural problems are present, including eroding stock market values, a real estate boom losing steam, and large quantities of non-performing debt held by banks.

Agri-Mark’s Bob Wellington Criticizes DMPP Feed-Cost Data (p. 3):
    At last, a dairy co-op official has complained aloud that USDA’s Dairy Margin Protection Program is failing.  Wellington cites mistaken feed cost data collected by USDA.  Funny thing:  Wellington’s stinging letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack failed to mention the errors in calculating dairy producers’ milk prices by the “All-Milk Price.”

Judge Trashes Revised Proposed Settlement in Northeast Antitrust Case (p. 4):
    Strike Two!  Federal judge Christina Reiss threw out a second Proposed Settlement from lawyers in the sticky Northeast dairy antitrust case against DFA and Dairy Marketing Services.  What’s next?  To trial???

Drought & Wildfires: Just the Start of Eco-Disasters in California?  (p. 5):
   Pete Hardin projects that the current Drought and widespread wildfires in California are setting up the state for additional eco-disasters this coming wet season.  Powdery dry soils and lack of vegetative cover raise the specter of severe erosion from burned-off acres.  And that erosion could head into the reservoirs – reducing reservoir capacity.

Faraway Milk Displacing Local Milk at Dean’s Chemung, IL Plant (p. 5):
    Milk trucks from Michigan, Indiana, and even Ohio are pulling into Dean Foods’ fluid milk plant at Chemung, Illinois.  Local milk supplies are being bumped out of Chemung, resulting in higher hauling costs.

Organic Milk — It’s Not Just for Drinking Anymore (p. 6):
    We welcome new contributor Ed Zimmerman’s first effort in The Milkweed.  Ed, a veteran dairy and food marketer, details success and growth of food products (other than fluid milk) using organic dairy products.

“Mr. Holstein” Turns to Jerseys and Wishes He Had Done It Sooner (P. 7):
    Writer Jan Shepel profiles dairyman Don Mielke of Menasha, Wisconsin.  Mielke, who’s been dairy farming since he was 14, enjoyed many accomplishments in the Holstein breed, but has switched his 55-cow herd to mostly Jerseys.

Butter and Cream: Dairy’s Opportunity for Growth (p. 8):
    One of our “Stories of the Month.”

Why is U.S. Importing Butter from Foot-and-Mouth Disease-Infected India? (P. 9):
    One of our :Stories of the Month.

New Zealand Desperate to Unload (p. 9):
    One of our “Stories of the Month.”

NEJM Spotlights Human Health Hazards Spawned by Herbicide-tolerance (p. 10):
    Writer Paris Reidhead reviews recently published information in the New England Journal of Medicine about human health issues relating to use of Herbicides.

Monsanto’s Discredit Bureau (p. 10):
    Paris Reidhead summarizes information revealed earlier this year about Monsanto’s activities to denigrate opponents of genetically-modified organisms.

Biotech Feeding Frenzy Follows NEJM Anti-GMO Paper (p. 11):
    Following publication of a damning article by two scientists in the New England Journal of Medicine, writer Paris Reidhead tracks the “blow-back” from Monsanto and biotech interests against those authors.

Latest DFA Crapshoot: Big, New KS Plant Atop Declining Aquifer (p. 12):
    Nate Wilson researches several questions about DFA’s new plant project in Garden City, Kansas.  One key question: what about future water availability, as the underlying aquifer drops fast?

Empire Specialty Cheese Getting Closer … Maybe … just maybe! (p. 12):
    Nate Wilson continues to bird-dog efforts to start a new cheese plant in the far western corner of New York State.  More than one year after its original intended deadline to start cheese production, Empire Specialty Cheese may be close …

CME Butter Prices Far Stronger; NFDM Prices Up a Bit (p. 13):
    Big gains in butter prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the past month are the buzz in dairy.  Pete Hardin reviews commodity production and demand trends.

Dairy Livestock Prices Holding or Lower in Past Month (p. 13):
    We survey recent dairy livestock price trends.  Top-quality animals are holding their own, but values for just about everything else are down-trending.

Why is DFA Building an Ingredients Plant in Kansas? (P. 14):
    Pete Hardin follow deeper into questions raised by Nate Wilson elsewhere in this month’s issue. Hardin explains that a lot of Chinese EB-5 money is probably involved.  The U.S. State Department operates a program – EB-5 – that allows into this country foreign nationals who invest $500,000 (or more) in the U.S.

Dairy Farmers Should Not Feel Helpless (p. 15):
    Yes, things are getting tough financially on many U.S. dairy farms. But Pete Hardin reviews some of these challenges and urges dairy farmers to not act helplessly, but rather fire up their organizations and elected officials to represent dairy farmers’ interests.

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