Milk Price Support Program Changes Announced

Chuck Zimmerman

Farm Service AgencyUSDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation announced today the issuance of a newly revised contract for purchasing bulk dairy commodities under the Milk Price Support Program. Bulk dairy products include salted butter, block cheddar cheese, American cheese packed in barrels and nonfat dry milk.

In its efforts to update program requirements, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) held meetings with dairy
industry associations, representatives, trade groups and government agencies to obtain input on this new contract and related procedures. As a result, CCC has been able to streamline purchasing specifications and develop requirements that more closely adhere to commercial practices. Some of the streamlining improvements include eliminating outdated packaging requirements; enhancing grading guidelines; allowing for use of electronic
transmission of data for upcoming purchase requests; updating references to FSA’s Web site and generally making the contract more user-friendly and reflective of current industry practices.


The Latest From CWT

Chuck Zimmerman

Cooperatives Working TogetherCooperatives Working Together has been really busy working. Here’s a list of recent announcements they’ve made in the last week or so:

  • America’s largest foreign dairy export market, Mexico, has been added to the list of countries eligible to receive cheese and butter exports facilitated by Cooperatives Working Together, administrators of CWT announced. Starting immediately, Mexico is now eligible for all CWT sales, on a trial basis. The trial program will run through June 30th, 2006, at which time CWT will examine the effectiveness of this effort.
  • Cooperatives Working Together announced that it has accepted a bid from WestFarm Foods of Seattle, WA, to export 96 metric tons (211,200 pounds) of butter to Egypt. Additionally, CWT accepted three bids from Humboldt Creamery of Fortuna, CA, to export Whole Milk Powder: 600 metric tons (1,320,000 lbs.) to Turkey; 20 metric tons (44,000 lbs.) to Mexico; and an additional 20 MT (44,000 lbs.) to Viet Nam. CWT will pay an export bonus to the bidders, once completion of the butter and milk powder shipments is verified.
  • Cooperatives Working Together announced that it has accepted two bids for the export of cheese: one from Land O’Lakes, Inc., of Arden Hills, MN, to export 20 metric tons (44,000 pounds) of Mozzarella cheese to Taiwan, and a second bid from Dairy Farmers of America of Kansas City, MO, to export 19.2 metric tons (42,400 pounds) of Mozzarella cheese to Saudi Arabia. CWT will pay an export bonus to the bidders, once completion of the cheese shipments is verified.
  • Cooperatives Working Together announced that it has accepted a bid from California Dairies Inc. of Artesia, CA, to export 100 metric tons (220,000 pounds) of butter to Saudi Arabia. CWT will pay an export bonus to the bidder, once completion of the butter shipment is verified.
  • Cooperatives Working Together announced Thursday that it has accepted a bid from Dairy Farmers of America of Kansas City, MO, to export 18 metric tons (39,600 pounds) of Cheddar cheese to Indonesia. CWT will pay an export bonus to the bidder, once completion of the cheese shipment is verified.
  • Dairy Group, Export

    Dairyman Tapped to Promote Tasker Footbath and Calf Spray

    Andy Vance

    He may not be your typical company spokesman, but Tasker Capital has tapped a New Mexico dairyman to lead the sales and marketing efforts of their new footbath and calf spray products. Klaas Sonsma, breeder and manager of the K&B Dairy in Hobbs, New Mexico will be the face of the company’s sales efforts on these two products. K&B is a 1400 cow facility that has been testing Tasker’s Unifresh Footbath, a concentrate that cleans and disinfects the hooves using Tasker’s proprietary pHarlo technology, a highly charged and acidified bacteriostatic solution. After using the footbath, Sonsma commented that the product had “virtually rid my fairy of digital dermatitis and interdigital papillomatosis.”

    The company also produces Unifresh Calf Pen Spray, is designed to neutralize ammonia in bedding areas.

    Agribusiness, Media

    Gehl is Out of the Ag Business

    Andy Vance

    For the most part, that is. In the next 60 days, Gehl will shutter its Wisconsin-based Agriculture Implement division, ending its long-standing production of hay, feed, forage, and manure handling tools. William Gehl, President and CEO of the company, cited the changing face of the dairy industry as the reason for the discontinuation of the product lines: “Over the last twenty years, there has been a continuous consolidation of the US dairy industry. Consequently, the customer base for our agricultural implement lines has declined dramatically.

    He did, however, indicate that Gehl would continue to support its dealer network and customer base through ongoing parts and service for the implement lines. Also, Gehl pointed out that 90% of the company’s business in 2005 came from the lines of Compact Equipment, including skid steer loaders, track loaders, compact excavators, wheel loaders, and telescopic handlers, all useful tools in the ag industry.

    Read the entire release here.

    Agribusiness, Dairy Business

    Pedigree Planner From Holstein Association

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Pedigree PlannerHolstein Association USA is offering a new service to diaryman. It’s the Pedigree Planner.

    The online program allows breeders to order pedigrees for embryos or planned matings. The Pedigree Planner gives dairymen the opportunity to see the pedigree of a planned mating. Users can enter up to five different sires for the planned mating, choosing from the top 100 TPI list, or by entering the sire’s registration or NAAB number. For $1 per mating, the Pedigree Planner will list the unborn animal’s projected TPI and parent averages. For an additional $4, users can print a three-generation pedigree immediately.

    Dairy Group, Genetics, Holstein Association

    Play Footy and Drink Chocolate Milk

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Dairy AustraliaIt looks like chocolate milk is getting a boost down under according to Dairy Australia:

    Chocolate milk could be this season’s new sporting hero as the junior footy season kicks off across the country. A humble glass of chocolate milk looks to have the winning edge in fuelling active bodies, according to research published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

    Scientists from the University of Indiana had a group of highly trained sports men exercise to exhaustion. They were then given either chocolate milk or a commercial carbohydrate replacement drink and then exercised again four hours later. With chocolate milk, the men kept going for around 50 per cent longer than with the carbohydrate replacement sports drink.

    A healthy mix of exercise and milk may also help the sports stars of tomorrow build bone and avoid fractures. Instead of sky-high marks, pinpoint punts or grueling tackles, a broken bone could be a disappointing reality for some Aussie kids, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report .

    The new report says fractures are the most common sports injuries needing hospitalisation and playing football is the most likely way to get one. Worse still, once a child has one fracture they are more likely to suffer further fractures during growth .

    Dairy Group, Education, International

    Dairy Caucus Time

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Collin PetersonIt’s time to caucus about dairy according to a release we received today from Congressman Collin Peterson (MN 7th Dist.).

    A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers representing dairy producing regions across the country today announced the formation of the first Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus. The new caucus will focus on developing and promoting policy issues that are in the best interest of a healthy national dairy industry.

    “Dairy farmers in the United States produce the milk and dairy products that ensure the health and nutritional well-being of Americans, but they face unique challenges in delivering these vital products,” Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Collin C. Peterson said. “The Caucus will help ensure that Congress keeps an appropriate focus on developing and encouraging policies that promote a successful dairy industry.”

    The caucus will help Members of Congress to work together to address emerging issues of importance to dairy producers and consumers, a goal that will be particularly important as Congress begins to write the next Farm Bill.

    The caucus will be co-chaired by Representatives Devin Nunes (R-CA), Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Randy Kuhl (R-NY) and Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).


    WI Sec of Ag Visits Accelerated Genetics

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Nilsestuen Visits Accelerated GeneticsAccelerated Genetics hosted Rod Nilsestuen, Secretary of Agriculture, and Mr. Gary Radloff, Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, on March 9th, as one of the Columbia and Sauk County agribusiness to provide input on new innovative projects to assist Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Discussions focused on recent grant money towards the development of ASAP®, a reproductive synchronization assistance program, and a new “El Toro” energy project in Cashton, WI. Ideas and programs gathered from local agribusinesses will be shared with Governor Doyle.

    (photo left to right: Humberto Rivera, Ole Meland, Secretary of Agriculture Rod Nilsestuen, Director of Policy and Strategic Communications Gary Radloff, Bob Holterman, and Janet Keller.)

    Accelerated Genetics, Agribusiness, Government

    Monsanto Dairy Names Agency of Record

    Chuck Zimmerman

    Osborn & BarrMonsanto Dairy just named a new advertising agency of record. It’s Osborn & Barr Communications, an agency that has had a long standing relationship with Monsanto in other business areas.

    Osborn & Barr is charged with developing and executing a strategy of integrated communications, including creative direction, media services, digital marketing, and public relations. Osborn & Barr will be involved with Monsanto’s POSILAC® and DecisiveTM brands, as well as all forage nutrition brands which the agency already supports through Monsanto’s crop division.

    With the recent addition of Monsanto Canada East’s business to the agency’s portfolio of clients, Osborn & Barr now supports nearly all of Monsanto North America’s marketing communications needs.

    Agribusiness, Promotion

    More on Sire Selection and Evaluation

    Andy Vance

    While at Spring Dairy Expo over the weekend, I learned quite a bit about the evaluation of potential AI sires. In fact, in tiny Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires has over 1400 bulls under evaluation for potential in the marketing string. The process, as I learned from Brian Garrison, is lengthy and thourough: Brian Garrison Explains Select Sires’ Selection Process (6:20 mp3)

    Agribusiness, Dairy Business, Genetics