February 2015 Issue No. 427
Inside this month’s
Butter & Nonfat Dry Milk Prices Rebound Slightly (p. 1):
In late January, a surprising up-tick in prices for Grade AA butter and Grade A nonfat dry milk occurred at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s cash-trading. Butter inventors are seasonally light, and domestic demand good.. But milk powder inventories are bulging. Cheese prices at CME are relatively stable, and demand is good.
Early Feb. California’s Snowpack Water Content Extremely
Low (p. 1):
We reproduce a chart that measures current and historic volumes of water content in California’s mountain snowpack. As of Feb. 4, current levels are tracking near all-time lows, as California enters its fourth consecutive of epic drought.
Unexpected, Late January Surge Propels CME Butter & Grade A
Nonfat Prices (p.2):
Behind the scenes, what’s happening? Sources point to an giant, Asian conglomerate – Olam – as driving up recent butter and nonfat dry milk prices at the CME. Why? That remains to be determined.
January Class III Price: $16.18/cwt; Class IV at
$13.23/cwt. (p. 2):
Manufacturing class milk prices in USDA’s federal milk order program continue following declines in key dairy commodities for January 2015.
Several Plaintiffs Disavow Proposed Northeast Antitrust
Settlement at Jan. 29 Hearing (p. 3):
On January 29, at the Fairness Hearing for the Proposed Settlement of the Northeast dairy antitrust case, several main plaintiffs disavowed their attorneys’ proposed settlement and gave presiding judge Christina Reiss an earful of woes. One particular item that caught Reiss’ attention: failure to address defendants DFA and DMS continued testing of non-members’ milk samples. In turn, Reiss gave attorneys an earful.
2005 Events Showed DFA/DMS’ Dirty Milk-Testing Games (p.
In summer 2005, when DFA/DMS took over marketing milk for 300+ independent producers shipping to Farmland Dairies, four angry ex-Farmland shippers appeared on Lou Dobbs’ nationally televised news broadcast, complaining about lack of competition. What did DFA/DMS do? For August 2005, those producers all received low, 3.43% butterfat tests. A subsequent investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture determined that the computerized lab tests hand been manually overridden at the DairyOne lab. So much for free speech!
Three Dairy Cooperatives Petition for California Federal
Milk Order (p. 3):
Californians have given up on their state milk pricing system. Three major dairy cooperatives operating in the Golden State have petitioned USDA to start the legal process to create a federal milk order for California.
DMI & MilkPEP Blowing Smoke on “Get Real” Initiative (p.
Dairy’s two biggest milk promotion groups – Dairy Management, Inc. and MilkPEP – announced a counterattack to defend milk’s demised image. Can’t these clowns do better than ring little cow bells?
DMI CEO’s 2013 Compensation Jumped 37.7% (p. 4):
Just released salary information from IRS Form 990 shows that Dairy Management, Inc.’s CEO Tom Gallagher enjoyed total compensation of $1,263,507 for 2013. That figure represented a 37.7% jump from his 2012 compensation package.
Fonterra Misses Deadline for Renewing U.S. Cheese Import
Licenses (p. 5):
Contributor Jim Eichstadt reports that NZ’s Fonterra geniuses failed to file paperwork to renew their 2015 U.S. dairy import licenses. The report details just one mistake in our long-running series of reports on mistakes by Fonterra.
Too Much Manure Is a Pollutant: Federal Judge Rules Against
WA Dairy (p. 5):
A federal judge has ruled that a Washing State dairy’s storage and spreading of manure constituted a pollution of surface and groundwater supplies. Now it’s on to trial for the Cow Palace Dairy. Three neighboring dairies face similar charges in a citizens’ class action lawsuit.
Un-Clear Horizons: Manure Digester Mess Lingers as
Officials Weigh Options (p. 6):
Contributor Jim Eichstadt follows up his story last month about the mismanaged, disaster-prone manure digester in northern Dane County, Wisconsin Problems and potential liabilities mount. Company officials told The Town of Vienna that they are bankrupt (without any such filing) and elsewhere express their possible interest in exiting the taxpayer-subsided project. But the Dane County Executive says not to worry.
Is Walmart Kicking Dean Foods’ Tires??? (p. 7):
Vendors doing business with 81 Dean Foods’ subsidiaries have been asked to submit detailed financial information about accounts … to BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS. That city is the home of Walmart. What’s cooking???
Tim Joseph (Maple Hill Creamery CEO) Explains Company
Mission (p. 8):
Paris Reidhead interviews the CEO of Maple Hill Creamery – an organic, all-grass dairy processor.
Almonds Symbolize California’s Demand on Scarce Water
Resources (p. 8):
California has nearly 1 million acres of almond tree groves. Doing the math shows that each almond requires about one gallon of water. At the start of the state’s fourth year of epic drought, agriculture faces some tough decisions over water allocations.
Questions & Answers: Tim Joseph – Maple Hill Creamery (p.
Questions/Answers with the CEO of Maple Hill Creamery.
Feature story – A2
Milk: Golden Opportunity for Dairy (p. 10):
Read our story of the month here.
U.S. Imported Butter in 2014 from 9 Nations with
Foot-and-Mouth Disease Problems (p. 11):
Why would the United States government allow imports of butter from nine different nations that have festering Foot-and-Mouth Disease problems?
Wisconsin Farmers’ Union Rejects “Organic Check-off” (p.
Will Fantle of the Cornucopia Institute details how the Wisconsin Farmers’ Union delegates voted down support of the proposed “Organic Check-off.”
Weekly Dairy Cow laughter Totals Edging above Last Year’s
Pace (p. 13):
By a nose, weekly USDA data through the week of January 24, 2015 shows dairy culls are just 3,300 ahead of 2014’s first four weeks.
On the farm, don’t let low prices spook you (p. 15):
Pete Hardin urges patience ss several very important events play out in 2015’s first quarter. Weather in Oceania and California, plus beef prices, are among the key factors to be watching.
Why not address farm milk over-production??? (p. 15):
Instead of dumping tanks of milk and assessing farmers’ milk checks, why don’t dairy buyers start signaling how much milk is needed … and let producers act accordingly?
2/4/15: CA Reservoirs at 67% of Normal Seasonal Capacity,
Water Content of Mountains’ Snowpack near All-Time, Historic Low (p. 16):
Goodness, California’s water metrics are horrid as the nation’s largest food-producing state enters its fourth straight year of epic drought.
China – Milk Powder Imports & U.S. vs. International Prices
(both p. 16):
We reproduce and analyze two key dairy charts provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist Dr. Mark Stephenson at the January 21, 2015 agricultural outlook conference.
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