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August 2015  Issue No. 433

Inside this months issue …

California's Heat, Drought & Low Milk Prices Slowing U.S. Milk Flow (p. 1):
    Our "Story of the Month.".

Usual Experts’ Dire Milk Price Outlooks Not Fundamentally Based (p. 2):
    Yes, farm milk prices are significantly below 2014’s record levels. But Pete Hardin doesn’t buy the bottom-end gloom and doom.  The “experts” are missing the impact of California’s Drought on their forecasts.

July 2015 Class III Price $16.33/Cwt. – Class IV $13.15/Cwt. (p. 2):
    July’s manufacturing class milk prices in the federal milk orders declined, tracking commodity prices.

USDA Announces Sept. 22 Hearing on Proposed CA Federal Milk Order (p. 3):
    On September 22, USDA will convene what’s expected to be a multi-week hearing on proposals to create a federal milk marketing order for California.  This move culminates years of frustration on the part of California dairy producers with their state-operated milk pricing system.

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.

James Paul Eichstadt: 1953 – 2015 (p. 3):
    We regret to print the obituary of colleague and friend Jim Eichstadt.

PA Ag Commissioner Warns of $8/Cwt. Milk Prices, Urges DMPP Sign-Ups (p. 4):
    Scare tactics??? Pennsylvania agricultural commissioner Russell Redding warns that dairy farmers could face $8/cwt. milk prices, and that they’d better seek the protection of USDA’s Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP).  We find Redding’s comments irresponsible non-solutions.  If things are that bad, what else is Redding doing to protect his state’s dairy industry???

Hawaii TPP Trade Talks Come to Naught (p. 4):
    The dozen nations working on the Trans Pacific Partnership concluded a late July meeting in Hawaii with no results.  Nations’ sacred cows (so to speak) are probably blocking resolution of this matter for at least a couple years.

Genske’s August 4, 2015 Letter Scorches DFA Directors (p. 5):
   California-based dairy farmer and Certified Public Accountant Gary Genske unloaded a multi-page letter on Dairy Farmers of America’s board of directors in early August.  Genske scorned DFA’s financial audit that shows intangible assets and accumulated losses exceeding reported members’ equity.

Tough Times Down Under: Producers Unrest Targets Fonterra (p. 5):
    With about 90% of the island nation’s milk under its control, Fonterra is the target of dairy producer frustrations and New Zealand milk price projections sink lower and lower.

Empire Specialty Cheese: Unpaid Property/School Taxes … (p. 5):
    Writer Nate Wilson unveils the latest saga of Empire Specialty Cheese – the NJ-based Italian cheese firm that’s been delayed for one year in attempts to open its new cheese plant in western New York.  Empire Specialty Cheese is a property and school tax delinquent.

High Components, Sturdiness & Longevity Among Traits Making Jersey Cattle a Hot Commodity (p. 6-7):
    What’s driving the booming prices for Jersey dairy livestock?  Jan Shepel interviews a wide range of livestock personnel to obtain a wide range of insights about why buyers want Jersey cows and heifers.

Jersey Gains Continue into Semen Sales (p. 7):
    Sales of Jersey semen are far exceeding what would be needed to service female Jersey animals, both in the U.S. and abroad.  That’s a clue as to just how popular Jersey genetics are for cross-breeding other dairy livestock.

New “Stacked” GMO Crop Protection Promises Greater Agri-Chemical Use (p. 8):
    Paris Reidhead delves into what concerned scientists are saying about the potential for adverse results from increased use of herbicides and pesticides.  New GMO crops are designed to resist multiple herbicides – which will result in far greater applications of agri-chemicals per acre.

Lawyers Delay August 7 Pre-Trial Hearing in Northeast Antitrust Case (p. 9):
    Attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants have submitted a new proposed settlement to the court in the long-running Northeast dairy antitrust case.  This settlement is nearly identical to the one rejected earlier this year by presiding judge Christina Reiss.  Expect more fireworks.

Beef Prices in Northeast Starting to Collapse … (p. 10):
    In late July, prices for finished steers and culls started dropping about 20% in the Northeast.  Consensus in the region’s industry was that the pending imports of beef from Brazil and Argentina are torpedoing those prices.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Threats to U.S. Livestock Economy (p. 10):
    Pete Hardin lists reason why USDA’s intention to allow imports of beef from Foot-and-Mouth Disease infected countries such as Brazil and Argentina constitute a very, very, very bad idea for this nation’s livestock producers, rural economies, and consumers.

Brazilian firms control majorU.S. food companies (p.11):
    Expect some dirty dealing as Brazilian firms take control of major U.S. food companies.  3G Capital now controls Anheuser-Busch and Heinz-Kraft.  At Heinz and Anheuser-Busch, 3G Capital has instituted 120-day payments schedules to suppliers.  And JBS, SA – this nation’s largest processor of beef – is also Brazilian-owned.  JBS will benefit from the imports of beef from South America to knock down U.S. cattle and dairy producers’ prices, Pete Hardin analyzes.

My book project … (p. 11):
    Editor-publisher Pete Hardin is in the final stages of completing a book about the evils of recombinant bovine growth hormone.  Batten the hatches …

Lost a best friend & right-hand man … (p. 11):
    Pete Hardin remembers Jim Eichstadt’s unique talents.  Jim, an important contributor to The Milkweed, passed away in early July.

Drought, Wildfires Devastating California (p. 12):
    The many wildfires devastating California this summer are a logical extension of that state’s being deep into the fourth year of prolonged drought – the worst drought since some time in the 1500s.  Agriculture must scrap to keep its limited access to water.

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