USDA Pledges Aid for Dairies Damaged by Irene

Cindy Zimmerman

With three of the nation’s top ten dairy states being impacted by major flooding resulting from the Hurricane Irene last week, the USDA is pledging support for affected producers. “We continue to closely coordinate with many partners to meet the immediate and plan for the long-term needs of those affected by Hurricane Irene,” said Agriculture Secretary Tim Vilsack. “Our thoughts …

General, Government, usda

Popular Dairy Insurance Program Exhausts Funds

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is concerned about adequate funding for the popular Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) Dairy plan of insurance. “Congress makes $20 million a year available for all livestock programs,” says RMA administrator Bill Murphy. “The popularity of the newly-designed dairy program exhausted these funds in March, halfway through the fiscal year.” Murphy says the agency has historically …

Government, usda

Grant to Support Dairy Farm Stewardship Toolkit

News Editor

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a $1.1 million Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to the Dairy Research Institute™ (formerly known as Dairy Science Institute, Inc.), an affiliate of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®. The funding will support the development of a Dairy Farm Stewardship Toolkit for dairy producers to evaluate their production techniques and identify potential improvements in management …

Research, usda

USDA Studies Dairy Cows Inside and Out

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA researchers using computers to simulate dairy cow living situations think keeping the animals outdoors more may be better for the environment. An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) team evaluated how different management systems on a typical 250-acre Pennsylvania dairy farm would affect the environment. The study used the Integrated Farm System Model, a computer program that simulates the major biological …

environment, usda

Forgotten Forage Grass Rediscovered

Cindy Zimmerman

Thanks to a farmer’s report, a USDA grass breeder has rediscovered a long-forgotten forage grass called meadow fescue that seems perfect for intensive rotational grazing. Charles Opitz found the grass growing in the deep shade of a remnant oak savannah on his dairy farm near Mineral Point, Wis. He discovered that his cows loved it and produced more milk when …

Forage, usda

Milking Parlor: Profits Tighter But Dairy Herd Expanding

John Davis

Prospects for dairy farmers are mixed for this year, with milk prices going up but profits being a bit lower… that’s the word out of the recent USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum. In this edition of the Milking Parlor, we hear from Ag Department dairy analyst Roger Hoskins, who told the group gathered for the forum that feed prices have gone …

Audio, Milking Parlor, Podcast, The Milking Parlor, usda

Dairy Industry Committee Approves Report to Vilsack

John Davis

The Dairy Industry Advisory Committee today has made some key recommendations for changes in USDA policy to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In approving the final version of the “Recommendations for Public Policy to Improve Dairy Farm Profitability and Reduce Milk Price Volatility” report, the 17-member committee of dairy industry producers and leaders made recommendations to Vilsack on how USDA can …

Government, Milk, usda

Dairy Committe Report Due Out in March

Cindy Zimmerman

The dairy economy was a topic of discussion during a full House Agriculture Committee hearing Thursday where Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified about the outlook for the farm economy. “The livestock and dairy industries could face some financial pressures in 2011 and bear watching,” Vilsack told the committee. Getting more specific in his written testimony, Vilsack noted that dairy …

Government, Price, usda

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 …

General, usda