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June 2015  Issue No. 431

Inside this months issue...

Story of the month: USDA Approval of Brazilian Beef Imports Coming Soon?? (p. 1):
    Contributor Jim Eichstadt sorts through media reports that the U.S. is about to allow imports of fresh beef from Brazil – a nation with Foot and Mouth Disease. Not pretty! Read our story of the month here.

Too Much Milk: Lose-Lose-Lose for Dairy (p. 1):
    The Northeast quarter of the U.S. is overburdened with farm milk. At virtually every level, margins and profits are being ruined, in Pete Hardin’s analysis.

May 2015 Class III Price $126.19/Cwt. – Class IV $13.91 (p. 2):
    Both classes of manufacturing milk move up in May. Class III (cheese) milk will go higher in June, but Class IV (butter-powder) probably will not.

Despite Low Milk Prices, Dairy Livestock Prices Strengthening (p. 3):
    Key livestock marketers report that prices for dairy livestock are stronger. Open heifers and good Jerseys of any age are particularly strong.

Is Today’s Holstein Bull Calf an Idol??? (p. 3):
    Pete Hardin examines what’s behind the big premiums paid for dairy bull calves (vs. heifer calves) and concludes that such events are anti-husbandry. Bull calf prices are being driven by shortages of animals for beef feedlots. That short-term need is skewing values of young dairy animals. The pricey Holstein bull calf is posed as an idol, a symbol of dairy’s wider failed guidance.

January-April 2015 U.S. Butter Imports up 196% vs. 2014 (p. 4):
    High U.S. commodity prices and a strong U.S. dollar are combining to attract larger volume of butter from abroad.

Avian Flu: Problems Creating Expanding Opportunities for Beef, Dairy (p. 5):
    At two recent Wisconsin county dairy farm breakfasts, yogurt is being substituted for eggs on the menu. Why? Egg prices are through the roof and supplies are uncertain. No Response from USDA on Dairy Program Questions (p. 5): USDA personnel failed to respond, despite promises to do so, to a series of questions submitted by contributor Jim Eichstadt concerning the Dairy Margin Protection Program and impact of the 7.2% “sequestration” upon other farm payments programs. The DMPP is a fiasco.

More Free Trade Chickens Coming Home to Roost (p. 6):
    Contributor Jim Eichstadt takes a wide-ranging look at various “Free Trade” deals and their impact upon U.S. agriculture.

What Meteorological Forces Caused Texas Flooding in May? (p. 7):
    Paris Reidhead puts on his old U.S. Air Force weatherman’s hat and explains in detail exactly what forces of Nature were responsible for the incredible deluge of rainfall that hit Texas and the Southern Plains during May. Interesting …

Uebersetzig’s New Location, Shift to Organics Ensure Next Generation’s Farming Future (p. 8-9):
Writer/dairy woman Jan Shepel profiles a Wisconsin dairy farm family that’s made the transition to a new farm and to organic milk production. She explains how the higher, more stable tier of organic milk prices also helps a solid, planned transition to the Uebersetzig’s next generation of farmers.

40+ Year Perspective on the New York State Dairy Industry (p. 10-11):
    Not a pretty story. Pete Hardin goes all the way back to his early 20s and details how repeated efforts by major dairy cooperatives to control producers in New York State have resulted in an irrational milk marketing situation. Hardin details the conspiracy hatched in the late 1990s between the predecessor organizations of Dairy Farmers of America and Dean Foods led to thousands of independent Northeast dairy producers having their milk markets taken over by DFA and Dairy Marketing Services.

Northeast Antitrust Case Squabbling Continues, Intervention Sought (p. 12):
    Disagreements continue between several class representatives and their attorneys in the Northeast dairy antitrust case. In late May, the presiding federal judge received a submission from two former state agricultural commissioners (and ex-dairy farmers) to enter the case as class representatives, along with their lawyers becoming co-counsels.

Canadian Milk & Poultry Quotas a Political Football (p. 12):
    Nate Wilson does a good job digging into Canada’s political battle involving that nation’s farm production quotas for dairy and poultry. On one hand, Canadians are told that they have to give up those quotas, to be embraced by the Trans Pacific Partnership. On the other hand, Canadians are tired of being dictated to by the United States on domestic matters.

Prices: Butte lips, Block Cheddar Stronger & Powder Still Stinks (p. 13):
    The past month’s events at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have seen cash butter prices decline, while Cheddar blocks and barrels are stronger. Nonfat dry milk is stuck in the basement.

DMPP: Farmers on the “givin’ list” … not on the “gittin’ list” (p. 15):
    USDA’s new Dairy Margin Protection Program is a complete fiasco and waste. Pete Hardin apologizes for advising subscribers to sign up for the dairy “safety net’ that’s full of holes. Many dairy producers are concluding that the DMPP is taking money, not paying it out. USDA is unable to explain how the “All-Milk Price” is determined.

Four more years … (p. 15):
    Pete Hardin announces his retirement plans. Goal: four more years. That’ll make 40 years of publishing The Milkweed. Much to write about in the next four years.

“Rex Block” Split Jet Stream: Global Weather Factor (p. 16):
    Paris Reidhead explains the complicated weather events of the past month. Good stuff.

Big Difference in U.S. Drought Map: Six Wet Weeks (April 21 to June 2) (p. 16):
    We contrast two spring 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor maps – “before” and “after” the May 2015 deluges hit Texas and the Southern Plains.

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