Farm Financial Forecast Brighter

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest farm financial forecast is brighter and even the dairy sector is expected to be a little higher this year, despite increased feed costs. According to the USDA report, net farm income is forecast to be $94.7 billion in 2011, up $15.7 billion (19.8 percent) from the 2010 forecast. The 2011 forecast is the second highest inflation-adjusted value for …

USDA Deregulates Biotech Alfalfa

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced its decision to grant non-regulated status for alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide commercially known as Roundup. “After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready …

House Ag Hearing on Biotech Focuses on Alfalfa

Cindy Zimmerman

The future of biotech alfalfa was in the spotlight as the U.S. House Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday to review the biotechnology product regulatory approval process. Prior to the hearing, committee chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) joined Senate Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that the department “return to a science based regulatory system …

USDA Awards Bioenergy Producer Payments to Dairies

Cindy Zimmerman

More than a dozen dairy operations are getting bioenergy producer payments from USDA as incentives to produce advanced biofuels. Under the Farm Bill, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels authorizes payments to eligible producers to expand production and use of advanced biofuels. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the payments Thursday for over 120 operations in 33 states to support the …

Cooperative Message Delivered to Ag Secretary

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently got a pile of postcards from Dairy Farmers of America members stressing the importance of cooperatives. Delivery of the cooperative message was made by DFA members Lee Ramsburg of Gettysburg, Pa., (left) and David Crowl of Street, Md., (center) following the last in the series of workshops conducted this year by the USDA and the …

USDA Observes Dairy Greenhouse Gas Agreement Anniversary

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today commemorated the one year anniversary of the agreement to help U.S. dairy producers cut greenhouse gas emissions that was signed on this date during climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark last year. “The partnership between USDA and U.S. dairy producers to increase sustainability has achieved remarkable results over the past year,” said Vilsack. “USDA has …

Vilsack Names NDB Board Members

News Editor

Congratulations to the dairy farmers named to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. All appointees will serve three-year terms. “These appointees represent a diverse cross section of the dairy industry and I am confident that they will serve dairy producers throughout the United States well,” said Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. Newly appointed members are: Renae A. De Jager, …

October Milk Production Up

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest report from USDA finds milk production was up last month. Milk production in the 23 major States during October totaled 14.8 billion pounds, up 3.3 percent from October 2009 and higher than the previous month as well. The September production numbers were revised by six million pounds to 14.5 billion pounds. Production per cow in the 23 major …

Recommendations Expected from Dairy Advisory Committee

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee is expected to make recommendations soon on how to address the issues of milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability. “They are on track to make some preliminary recommendations in December or January,” said Vilsack during a press conference with farm broadcasters last week. “Obviously dairy prices have improved a …

USDA Issues Final Dairy Income Loss Payments

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that final Phase III payments under the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program began the week of Oct. 12, 2010. The program is funded by $290 million from the 2010 Agricultural Appropriations Bill to provide loss assistance payments to eligible dairy producers. “We know that dairy producers have been experiencing difficult economic circumstances, …