Archive for February, 2011

DairyProfit Monday, Feb. 28, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: Feb. 28, 2011

DPAC unveils ‘Cornerstones for Change’ dairy policy proposals

The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC), concerned the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future (FFTF) plan was “on a fast-track” while dairy organizations across the United States were waiting on more details, voted instead to move forward with an alternative plan. Called the “Cornerstone for Change,” it identifies what DPAC sees as problems in current federal dairy policy, and outlines suggested solutions.

Milk-feed price ratio steady

Higher feed prices offset milk price increases, resulting in a February 2011 milk-feed price ratio of 1.96, unchanged from the January 2011 revised estimate.

While many dairy producers grow their own feed, the monthly milk-feed price index – estimated by USDA – is an indicator of milk income relative to feed costs. It represents the pounds of 16% mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 lb. of whole milk. A ratio of 3.0 or higher is considered positive for milk production. February’s ratio is the 39th straight month below that threshold.

The February preliminary U.S. all milk price was estimated at $18.40/cwt., up $1.70 from January’s 2011’s revised estimate of $16.70/cwt., and $2.50 more than February 2010. Corn averaged $5.66/bushel, up 72¢ from January and $2.11/bushel more than a year ago. The soybean price, at $12.10/bushel, was up 50¢ from January and $2.69 more than February 2010. Alfalfa baled hay was $127/ton, up $6 from January, and $17/ton more than February 2010.

Cull cow prices jump

Monthly cull cow (beef and dairy combined) prices rose in February 2011, averaging $71.20/cwt., up from January 2011’s revised estimate of $65.00/cwt., and $19.50/cwt. more than February 2010. The February 2011 average puts the value of a 1,400-lb. cull cow at just under $1,000.

MARKETS:

Cheese ends February higher; Class III futures mixed

Closing on Monday, Feb. 28:

Cheddar barrels: up 0.25¢, to $1.9525/lb.

Cheddar blocks: up 0.5¢, to $1.9925/lb.

Butter: unchanged, at $2.02/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: down 1.0¢, to $1.8225/lb.

Class III milk futures: steady to mixed in narrow range, -5¢ to +13¢/cwt. through January 2013.

Corn futures: +1.0¢ to +10.4¢/bushel through December 2012.

Soybean futures: -10.2¢ to -1.0¢/bushel higher through November 2012.

Soybean meal futures: mixed, -$3.30 to +2.20/ton through December 2012.

DAIRYLINE RADIO

Tuesday: LGM-Dairy

In Tuesday’s DairyLine broadcast, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist Dr. Brian Gould reports many dairy producers are protecting themselves with the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance program. Last Friday, 15 million hundredweights of milk were insured, according to Gould, raising the LGM total so far to 34.5 million hundredweights. That’s a little less than 2% of 2010’s total production, he said.

To read the comments, visit www.dairyline.com under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

Northeast Dairy Digest: March 2011

• Pennsylvania Grazing Conference registration closed

• Penn State Dairy Digest online

• Dairy webinar to address heat stress

• Advance dairy reproduction workshop offered

• Monthly conference call discusses LGM for Dairy margins, markets and risk management

Southeast Dairy Digest: March 2011

• Florida Dairy Production Conference is March 30

• Winter Forage Field Days set in Florida

• Kentucky Dairy Partners to meet

INDUSTRY NEWS

New website goes live at Bison Industries, Inc.

Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op, Inc. celebrates 25th anniversary

Oelberg receives Diamond V’s 2010 President’s Award

E.I. Medical Imaging announces new Facebook page

Zinpro Corporation expands sales team in Southwest U.S.

Pfizer Animal Health contributes to FFA and AABP Foundation Veterinary Scholarships in 2011

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

DPAC unveils ‘Cornerstones for Change’ dairy policy proposals

The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC), concerned the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future (FFTF) plan was “on a fast-track” while dairy organizations across the United States were waiting on more details, voted instead to move forward with an alternative plan. Called the “Cornerstone for Change,” it identifies what DPAC sees as problems in current federal dairy policy, and outlines suggested solutions.

PROBLEM: The farm-gate milk price is indirectly set by less than 1% of cheddar cheese trade and less than 2% of butter trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The USDA NASS Survey captures these prices and introduces a 4- to 6-week time lag. The NASS Survey no longer reflects broad supply and demand factors, covering only 20% to 40% of the cheese.

SOLUTIONS:

1) Improve market transparency and dilute CME influence by implementing mandatory daily electronic reporting of product prices/volumes; audit price reporting on a quarterly basis; and establish mandatory inventory reporting, with auditing.

2) Expand price discovery to reflect broad supply/demand factors by expanding the list of plants required to do mandatory price reporting; and adding more dairy products to the list of products reported.

PROBLEM: The federal milk pricing system is broken. Dairy markets today are three-pronged:
1) global, 2) national, and 3) regional. The complex and cumbersome federal milk pricing system is failing both producers and consumers because it: 1) inhibits free enterprise and innovation to be a consistent supplier in the world market; 2) facilitates the concentration of market power; 3) creates complicated order hearing processes that have created such regional issues, as the example of Southeastern producers who are, “in effect,” subsidizing the cost to transport supplemental milk from other regions to their deficit market. The current pricing system was developed before global marketing was an issue.

SOLUTIONS:

Simplify the milk pricing system by:

• reducing four milk classes to two;

• establishing  competitive pay pricing and move away from end-product-pricing formulas that “pigeon-hole” the milk;

• adopting a federal pricing system that encourages movement of milk to its highest value use; and

• adopting federal dairy policies that encourage competition, product innovation and market development.

PROBLEM: The federal milk pricing system places all the price risk on producers, and yet producers have no say in how those prices are fixed nor any redress for mistakes.

SOLUTIONS:

Redistribute price risk by:

• eliminating the Dairy Product Price Support Program and  guaranteed processor “make allowances”;

• adopting federal pricing policies that encourage competitive, market-based manufacturing decisions and market development to be a consistent supplier of dairy products in world markets;

• rejecting the continual process of patching and re-patching the pricing system;

• moving federal milk pricing methods in a direction that reflects the global realities of the 21st century and passes more value from the marketplace back to producers;

• promoting development of marketing models around the concept of “producing for a market” as a means of sharing price risk, achieving a price into the future, and managing milk production; and

• continuing risk management tools, like a voluntary LGM-Dairy margin insurance tool.

FYI

DPAC is a coalition of grassroots dairy producers actively participating in the policies and issues affecting milk pricing. The board is made up of active dairy producers – operating dairy farms ranging from 30 to 2,000 cows – from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana and Wisconsin, along with ad hoc members from additional states. For more information, visit www.dpac.net or phone: 800-422-8335.

DairyProfit Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: Feb. 25, 2011

LGM-Dairy gains popularity, funding

USDA’s Risk Management Agency increased funds available for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance pilot program. The program allows producers to insure a margin between feed costs and milk income. Recent program popularity stretched USDA premium subsidies and underwriting capacity by some coverage providers.

Cull cow numbers higher

Last Friday’s USDA January 2011 Milk Production report revealed U.S. milk cow numbers were up about 68,000 head from a year ago, to 9.157 million head.

This Friday, USDA estimated 263,900 culled dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in January 2011, up about 31,800 head from January 2010.

That would indicate a net of nearly 100,000 new replacements (either heifers or cows) entered the milking herd compared to a year ago.

MARKETS:

Block, butter up; Class III futures rebound

Closing on Friday, Feb. 25:

Cheddar barrels: unchanged, at $1.9500/lb.

Cheddar blocks: up 0.25¢, to $1.9875/lb.

Butter: up 1.0¢, to $2.02/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.8325/lb.

Class III milk futures: higher, +1¢ to +66¢/cwt. through January 2012, with largest jumps March-July 2011.

Corn futures: +14.2¢ to +26.2¢/bushel through December 2012.

Soybean futures: mostly +33¢ to +47¢/bushel through November 2012.

Soybean meal futures: steady to +$10.10/ton through December 2012.

The week in review

Last week, it was all but certain that cheese would hit $2/lb., but that didn’t happen this week, according to DairyLine Radio’s Lee Meilke.

After 23 consecutive sessions of gain, CME cheddar blocks took a one-day break on Thursday, before gaining another 0.25¢ on Friday. Blocks closed the week at $1.9875/lb., up 3.5¢ on the President’s Day holiday-shortened week, and 64.75¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago.

Cheddar  barrels showed a fissure Wednesday, inching down 0.5¢, but gained back 1¢ on Thursday, and closed Friday at $1.95/lb., also up 3.5¢ on the week and 66¢ more than a year ago. Thirteen cars of blocks traded hands on the week; 10 of barrels.

Cash butter closed Friday at $2.02/lb., up 1.5¢ on the week and 60.5¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago. Seven cars were sold.

Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.8325/lb., up 0.25¢ on the week. Extra Grade held all week at $1.80.

DAIRYLINE RADIO

Monday: DMI Update

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will, notes California dairy producer and National Dairy Board member Ray Prock. In Monday’s DairyLine broadcast, Prock, who milks about 450 cows, discusses how the national dairy checkoff helps connect producers and consumers.

To read the comments, visit www.dairyline.com under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

Midwest Dairy Digest

• UW-Madison dairy judges first at Southwestern Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest

• OSU Extension offers two ways to learn about composting livestock

• Missouri offers dairy business planning grants

• Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference scheduled at Fort Wayne

• Wisconsin dairy tax credit advances

• Holterman to speak at 9th Annual Western Wisconsin Heart of the Farm Conference

WESTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

The corn attack!

In the last few years, we have watched an increasing attack on corn. The skewed reasoning is: corn syrup is available, reasonably priced, and good for the average person, therefore; it must be bad! This is the kind of logic that has been applied to farmed salmon, Big Macs, lower taxes, capitalism and pasteurized milk, Baxter Black writes in his monthly column, On the Edge of Common Sense.

INDUSTRY NEWS

• Zareba website provides expanded electric fencing information

• Kemin and Avian Technology International announce distribution agreement

• CoBank reports 2010 financials

• AgriLabs names Glassford new marketing V.P.

• Monsanto to provide more than $1 million to support FFA in 2011

• Brackmeyer joins BouMatic®

• Natzke joins Accelerated Genetics

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

This week in DairyProfit Weekly

This week in Dairy Profit Weekly:

1) LGM-Dairy: USDA’s Risk Management Agency increased funds available for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance pilot program. The program allows producers to insure a margin between feed costs and milk income. Recent program popularity stretched USDA premium subsidies and underwriting capacity by some coverage providers.

2) Commercial dairies: Commercially licensed U.S. dairy operations totaled 53,127 in 2010, down about 1,805 (3%) from 2009’s total of 54,932. Looking at 5-year trends, the number of U.S. commercially licensed dairies declined about 18% since 2005, from 64,540 herds. The 2010 total is down about 28% from the 74,100 commercial dairies in 2002, the first year USDA reported numbers.

3) DPW Trends: January 2011 milk production, cow numbers and cow culling were up from the year before.

4) DPW Industry: One recommendation coming from USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee urges research into what impact establishing higher national total solids standards in fluid milk would have on milk consumption, milk prices and dairy farmer income. A study commissioned by the California Milk Advisory Board may provide some answers.

5) DPW Washington: Federal Reserve district banks reported sharply higher farmland values, and the increase has caught the attention of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Rabobank says recent price declines in grain futures are counter market fundamentals, and may send the wrong signals for 2011 acreage needs.

Dave Natzke, Editor

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

LGM-Dairy gets funding boost

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has taken measures to manage available funds for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance pilot program.

LGM-Dairy became more popular when it was improved last December, by moving the premium due date until after the coverage period ends, and by putting in place graduated producer premium subsidies. These changes, plus a concerted effort among industry groups to promote the LGM-Dairy policy, resulted in recent significant increases in LGM-Dairy sales.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act authorizes expenditures for associated costs for all livestock pilot programs to a maximum of $20 million per fiscal year. RMA currently reinsures eight livestock pilot programs, including LGM-Dairy.

In a monthly “Markets & Management Update” conference call on Feb. 23, Alan Zepp, risk management program coordinator at Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence, said high producer interest in LGM-Dairy has stretched the underwriting capacity of some insurance providers, forcing them to limit policy sales.

It has also stretched available funds for USDA premium subsidies under the program, paid on those policies that insure multiple months during the insurance period. Zepp had warned LGM-Dairy may have run out of funds by June if RMA had not taken action.

To date, approximately $5.4 million in underwriting expenditures have been used for LGM-Dairy. In light of the large increases in sales for LGM-Dairy, for fiscal year 2011, RMA has made available $15 million for authorized expenditures to support the sales.

Sales of LGM-Dairy occur the last Friday (business day) of each month, starting at 5 p.m. and closing at 8 p.m. the next day. The next sales period for LGM-Dairy will be Feb 25-26.

For further information on LGM-Dairy policies, visit www.rma.usda.gov/livestock.

Zepp uses the monthly calls to update producers on current conditions related to dairy markets and margins, the Wednesday before monthly LGM-Dairy sales commence. For more information, call the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or e-mail info@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

In addition, Dr. Brian Gould, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist, offers an online LGM Analyzer, allowing producers to estimate the premium and run a Least Cost Optimizer to pick the right coverages to minimize  premiums, while ensuring that income over feed cost exceeds the desired target. Visit http://future.aae.wisc.edu/lgm_analyzer/.

DairyProfit Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: Feb. 24, 2011

Farmland values jump on strength of commodity prices and demand

If they haven’t been in the market for a while, dairy producers looking for land may be in for some sticker shock, based on quarterly surveys from Federal Reserve Bank district lenders. Minneapolis, Chicago and Kansas City district lenders said 2010 farmland values increased 10%-15%, with more moderate increases reported in the Dallas district. High commodity prices and demand for farmland drove the trend, and interest rates on most variable loans declined from the previous quarter.

FY ’11 dairy export outlook improves

USDA raised its quarterly forecast for fiscal year (FY) 2011 dairy exports due to rising global unit values and increased export volumes to Mexico and Asia. Based on the February 2011 outlook report, FY ’11 dairy exports will be about $3.7 billion, up from $3.2  billion in the November 2010 outlook, and up from the actual FY ’10 total of $3.37 billion.

FY ’11 U.S. dairy and cheese import forecasts were raised about $200 million from Novmber 2010 estimates, to $2.7 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively.

Total FY ’11 ag exports are forecast at $135.5 billion, up $26.8 billion from final FY ’10 exports. FY ’11 ag imports are forecast at $88.0 billion, up about $9.0 billion from the FY ’10 actual.

MARKETS:

Barrels, butter rise; April-May 2011 Class III futures lose $1/cwt. in 2 days

Closing on Thursday, Feb. 24:

Cheddar barrels: up 1.0¢, to $1.9500/lb.

Cheddar blocks: unchanged, at $1.9850/lb.

Butter: up 0.5¢, to $2.01/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.8325/lb.

Class III milk futures: lower, -2¢ to -58¢/cwt. through January 2012.

Corn futures: -10.2¢ to -3.6¢/bushel through December 2012.

Soybean futures: -9.4¢ to -1.6¢/bushel through November 2012.

Soybean meal futures: -$3.30 to -$1.20/ton through December 2012.

DAIRYLINE RADIO

Friday: DairyProfit Weekly

One of the recommendations from USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee asks USDA to research what impact establishing higher national total solids standards in fluid milk would have on milk consumption, prices and farm income. In Friday’s DairyLine broadcast, Dairy Profit Weekly’s Dave Natzke reviews a recent study, commissioned by the California Milk Advisory Board, which may support that idea.

To read the comments, visit www.dairyline.com under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

Midwest Dairy Digest

• Indiana regional dairy meetings planned in March

• Minnesota NMI participants sought

• ISDA to Award College Scholarships

• Anaerobic digester operator training program offered in Wisconsin

Midwest Dairy Challenge draws over 65 students

Covey to be featured at PDPW Annual Business Conference

WESTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

Western Pulse: February 2011

• Conservation tillage conference March 9-11

• Dairy Herdsman Short Course set April 26-28

•  CV Water Board sends out 60 monitoring well notices to area dairies

• Rubes cartoonist will entertain at Western United Dairymen conference

• AJCA names 40 to Jersey Youth Academy in Ohio

Budge crowned 2011 Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador

National DHIA awards scholarships to 24 students

Virtus Nutrition launches first iPad dairy app

Funding reason for delay in Idaho Livestock, Enviro Studies Center

NEW PRODUCTS

• Express® vaccine expands reproductive protection

• Massey Ferguson® 5450 “Ultimate” loader tractor

• Massey Ferguson® MF1526 Compact Tractor

• Pioneer Hi-Bred releases 108 new corn products for 2011

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

Farmland values jump on strength of commodity prices, demand

By Dave Natzke

If they haven’t been in the market for a while, dairy producers looking for land may be in for some sticker shock, based on quarterly surveys from Federal Reserve Bank district lenders.

Chicago

Average farmland values (see Table 1) in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (covering all or portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin) increased 6% in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to David Oppedahl, business economist, writing in the bank’s quarterly AgLetter. The quarterly gain matched the largest rise in any quarter since 1977.

District land values and interest rates, reported by Federal Reserve Banks.Since district farmland values bottomed in 1986, the compound annual growth rate for farmland values (adjusted for inflation) has been 4%. The 12% annual (Jan. 1, 2010-2011) increase in district farmland values was the second-largest annual increase in the past 30 years. And, more than half of the survey respondents expected farmland values to keep rising during the first quarter of 2011.

Credit conditions in the district showed solid improvements for the fourth quarter of 2010, with more producers able to pay off loans and catch up on payments. Renewals and extensions of non-real estate ag loans fell, and repayment rates accelerated, including in dairy-heavy Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin still exhibited the highest rate (5%) of loans having major or severe repayment problems.

Agricultural interest rates decreased yet again in 2010’s fourth quarter (see Table 2). As of Jan 1, 2011, the average interest rates in the District were 5.85% for operating loans and 5.70% for farm real estate loans.

Looking forward, responding bankers anticipate higher volumes of operating, farm machinery and grain storage construction loans, as well as more loans guaranteed by the Farm Service Agency. They expect lower volumes for feeder cattle and dairy loans, although there was more hope for generating dairy loans in Wisconsin.  The expected willingness of farmers to make renewed investments in land, buildings, machinery, equipment and vehicles indicated that the agricultural sector is rebounding rebounded from the recession. Now, an issue facing agriculture will be how to manage the volatility, Oppedahl said.

Minneapolis

Solid harvests and soaring commodity prices were a boon in the Minneapolis Federal Reserve district (covering all or portions of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin). Farm incomes, capital spending and land values increased, according to Joe Mahon.

Cash rents and farmland values grew robustly. Irrigated farmland saw the largest gains in cash rents, with the average increasing 14.4% over last year, and the average land values increased 14.7%. Increases for irrigated farmland saw bigger gains in land values, up 16.6%, with a 10.4% increase in cash rents. Ranchland saw substantial increases for rents and values (up 5.3% and up 7.4%, respectively). Land values for all categories increased in every district state, with the sole exception of Montana ranchland. Cash rents varied more widely, from double-digit increases across all categories in Wisconsin, to a 2.5% decrease on irrigated farmland rents in Montana.

Increased incomes led to an increase in loan repayments, and renewals and extensions decreased. Loan demand was largely unchanged across the district, although a larger number of lenders said loan demand in Wisconsin declined.

Fixed and variable interest rates on loans for operating, machinery and real estate fell from their third quarter levels.

Kansas City

With booming farm income and robust demand, fourth-quarter farmland values soared in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (covering Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico and the western third of Missouri), according to Jason Henderson, branch executive, and Maria Akers, assistant economist.

Cropland values posted double-digit gains from year-ago levels, and ranchland values recorded their sharpest increase in two years. Cash rental rates, however, rose more modestly. Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the value of district irrigated and nonirrigated cropland jumped 14.8% and 12.9%, respectively, and ranchland values rose 9.2%.

Higher farmland values were fueled by strong demand from both farmers and nonfarm investors, despite a slight increase in the number of farms for sale. Bankers reported farmers remained the primary buyers of farmland, but many reported an uptick in investor purchases. Recreational or development use was cited less often than in previous years.

Compared to last year, cash rental rates rose more than 6.0% for cropland, and were up more than 4.0% for ranchland. With farmland value gains outpacing the increase in cash rents, some bankers were concerned values may not maintain their torrent pace.

Farm credit conditions improved and loan demand softened with higher farm income. More bankers reported lower operating loan demand, saying farmers used cash or vendor credit to pay for crop inputs and farm equipment. Survey respondents also noted an uptick in farm real estate cash transactions, and a rise in real estate lending by the Farm Credit System.

Bankers also commented on trends in farm real estate loans, including the process of determining prudent loan-to-value ratios. Farm real estate loan-to-value ratios ranged from 50% -90%, and the average was just over 70%. Three-quarters of survey respondents reported loan-to-value ratios at their bank had not changed in the last year; however, almost 20% of bankers indicated a decline in typical loan-to-value ratios used for farm real estate transactions. A few bankers mentioned loan amounts had been capped at a set dollar amount per acre, regardless of purchase price or appraised value.

Dallas

Favorable yields and strong commodity prices helped producers finish 2010 strong, according to bankers responding to the fourth-quarter survey in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, covering all or portions of Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana.

Cattle prices continued to increase, providing ranchers with solid profits, although very dry conditions were negatively impacting livestock and winter wheat producers. Limited winter grazing increased supplemental feeding costs.

Dryland and ranchland values were stable, while irrigated values rose slightly on the heels of the successful cotton crop. About one-quarter of the bankers expected farmland values to increase during the first quarter of 2011.

The generally strong crop and livestock performance in 2010 boosted loan demand and repayment rates, as both these indexes turned positive for the first time since mid-2008. Loan volume expectations remained weak for several loan types, although increased agriculture profitability led to an increase in farm machinery loans.

Compared to the previous quarter, interest rates on operating and machinery loans declined, but rates for real estate loans increased slightly.

FYI

For quarterly updates on agricultural credit conditions and farmland values in specific Federal Reserve bank districts, visit: www.minneapolisfed.org/Research/data/district/usstates.cfm.


Northeast Dairy Digest: March 2011

Pennsylvania Grazing Conference registration closed

Registration for the 14th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference on March 15, in DuBois, Pa., has sold out. Overwhelming awareness about this year’s keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin has resulted in a capacity crowd for the event.  For any questions, contact Headwaters RC&D at 814-375-1372 Extension 4.

Penn State Dairy Digest online

The February 2011 issue of Dairy Digest is now online at http://www.das.psu.edu/dairydigest

In this issue:

Pennsylvania Dairy of Distinction applications due April 15

Lighting changes coming in 2012 with government ban

What is AMDUCA and what is the FDA up to?

Study reports long-term effects of calfhood events

Producers can create cash flow plan at Dairy Alliance workshop

How to create cow-friendly tie stalls

For a pdf of this issue, go to http://www.das.psu.edu/research-extension/dairy/dairy-digest/pdf/dairydigest.pdf

Dairy webinar to address heat stress

Now is the time to consider modifications to dairy housing to address upcoming summer heat events and their impact on milk production and herd health.

“Heat Stress Abatement in Freestall and Tie Stall Dairies” is the topic of the next session of the Technology Tuesdays webinar series presented by Penn State Dairy Alliance. The online session will be offered, free, on March 8, 8:30-10 a.m., Eastern time.

Dan F. McFarland and John Tyson, Penn State Extension engineers, will lead the session. “Heat abatement has become more important than ever with today’s high-producing cows. However, the issue on the farm is which method or methods best fit the dairy’s facilities and management, while being a good economic investment,” explains McFarland. “We’ll look at some ways to sort through the options to get the one that’s the best fit for your farm,” notes Tyson.

Technology Tuesdays is a free webinar series designed for dairy producers, their employees, and agri-business professionals. The webinar format lets participants enjoy an educational program in real-time from the comfort and convenience of their office computer or laptop.

Although there is no fee to participate in the program, advance registration is required. To register, contact the Dairy Alliance office, toll-free, at 888-373-7232 or email askdairyalliance@psu.edu.

Participants must have a high-speed internet connection and speakers on their computer in order to see and hear the presentation. More information is available at: www.das.psu.edu/dairy-alliance/education/technology.

Advance dairy reproduction workshop offered

Penn State research shows that reproductive performance is one the most common bottlenecks to profitability on

Pennsylvania dairies. Reproductive performance impacts the bulk tank as longer days open and extended calving intervals lead to fewer days of peak milk production.

To address these bottlenecks to profitability, Penn State Dairy Alliance is offering a series of Advanced Reproduction Workshops at sites across the state in March. This workshop is for dairy producers, their employees, and interested dairy industry personnel. Participants in the Advanced Reproduction Workshop will receive in-depth training in heat synchronization methods, the use of BioPRYN(r), using genomics to improve herd genetics, and managing reproductive diseases.

Instructors will include: Penn State Extension educators Robert Goodling, Gary Hennip, Brian Kelly and Amber Yutzy, and Dr. Robert Van Saun of the Penn State Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates, at

these locations:

* Huntingdon County: March 15, 2011. Penn State Cooperative Extension Office in Huntingdon County, 10722 Fairgrounds Road, Huntingdon, PA.

* Lancaster County: March 17, 2011. Shady Maple Smorgasbord, 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl, PA.

* Mercer County: March 22, 2011. Penn State Cooperative Extension Office in Mercer County, 463 N. Perry Highway, Mercer, PA.

* Bradford County: March 24, 2011. Blast Central Intermediate Unit, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton, PA.

Advance registration is required. Thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Pennsylvania producers and their dairy employees may attend at the discounted rate of $25 per person. The registration fee is $50 per person for all others. To register, call the Penn State Dairy Alliance Office, toll-free, at 888-373-7232, or register online with a credit card at www.dairyalliance.org. This workshop qualifies for two SmartStart credits through AgChoice Farm Credit.

Monthly conference call discusses LGM for Dairy margins, markets and risk management

Join Alan Zepp, risk management program coordinator at the Center for Dairy Excellence, leads ”Protecting Your Profits” calls the last Wednesday of every month. The calls are intended to provide regular updates on dairy markets and margins current available through the Livestock Gross Margins (LGM) for Dairy. The calls are held just ahead of the monthly LGM sales date, which is the last business Friday until the following day, Saturday, at 9 p.m.

Call the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or e-mail info@centerfordairyexcellence.org to register or find out more information about the call.

Southeast Dairy Digest: March 2011

Florida Dairy Production Conference is March 30

The 47th Florida Dairy Production Conference will be held March 30, at the Best Western Gateway Grant, Gainesville, Florida.

The agenda includes:

9:45 a.m.    Welcome – Geoff Dahl, University of Florida

10  a.m.     Implications of Evolving Dairy Markets and Policy for the Florida Dairy Industry – Andrew Novakovic, Cornell University

10:50  a.m.     Producing Quality Milk in Florida – David Bray, University of Florida

11:30  a.m.     Dairy Youth Update – Chris Holcomb, University of Florida

12:00 p.m.  Luncheon

1:15  p.m.      Identifying and Treating Uterine Disease in Dairy Cows – Klibs Galvaõ, University of Florida

1:50  p.m.      Application of Daily Milk Weights, Daily Components, and Body Weights in Dairy Management – Eric Diepersloot, University of Florida

2:25  p.m.      Dairy Lending: A Lender’s Perspective – Jeffrey Spencer, Farm Credit of Florida

3  p.m.      Refreshment Break

3.30  p.m.      Feeding Cows with Increasing Feed Costs:  Efficiencies, Feed Options, and Quality Control – Charlie Stallings, Virginia Tech

4:20   p.m.     Reproductive Programs for Florida Dairy Herds – José Santos, University of Florida

5  p.m.      Reception

For more information, contact Dave Bray, drbray@ufl.edu or Albert De Vries, devries@ufl.edu.

The Best Western is near I-75 exit 390.  For more information, including registration information, visit http://dairy.ifas.ufl.edu/index.shtml.

Winter Forage Field Days set in Florida

Programs highlighting forages for dairy will be held in Florida in early March.

March 4 – Winter Forages for Florida Featuring Triticale. Triple G Dairy, Highlands County, FL.  9 a.m. to noon.  Contact Randy Gornto at Highlands County Extension Office (863) 402-6540.

Program highlights:

• Overview of winter forage systems at the Florida dairy located in Highlands County.

• Discussion on winter forage production, quality and nutrient management.

• Tour the triticale experimental breeding lines and other cool season forage varieties adapted to Florida

March 8 – Winter Forages Field Day. Shenandoah Dairy, 16540 68th Place, Live Oak, FL.  9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Contact Mary Sowerby, (386) 362-2771 (office) or (865) 250-7761 (cell).

Program highlights:

• History and Use of Forages on Shenandoah Dairy / Ted Henderson

• What Works and Why in Variety Selection for Dairies / Ann Blount

• Testing Triticale /Ryegrass Blends on Dairies / Cheryl Mackowiak

• Walking tour of plots / Ron Barnett, Bill Smith, Ann Blount and Cheryl Mackowiak

• Use of Triticale and Other Winter Forages in Dairy Rations /

• Noon Field equipment demonstration

March 11 –  Winter Forages for Dairies. Start at Bubba Que’s Restaurant,  116 N Main Street, Chiefland, FL .  11:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact Mary Sowerby, (386) 362-2771 (office) or (865) 250-7761 (cell).

Program highlights:

• Forage Research for Dairies

• Ryz-up Research plots

• Winter forage plots at Alliance Dairy

• Tour of Alliance Dairy (optional)

Kentucky Dairy Partners to meet

The Kentucky Dairy Partners annual meeting will be held March 1-2, at the Cave City Convention Center, Cave City, Ky.

A reception and Exhibit Hall open the event’s activities, March 1, 6-8 p.m.

The March program begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. Workshop topics and speakers include:

9:30 a.m. – Nature vs. Nurture: Cow comfort and its effects on animal health, by Fabian Bernal, Alltech

10:00 a.m. – A new approach to dairy’s image, by CHeryl Hayn and Terry Rowlett

10:40 a.m. – Lowering SCC is not a guessing game, by Jeff Reneau, University of Minnesota

11:10 a.m. – What’s new in University of Kentucky Dairy Extension, Research and Teaching, by Bill Silvia, UK

11:40 a.m. – Kentucky Dairy Development Council annual business meeting

1:30 a.m. – McDonald’s: A dairy destination, by Diane Leanard, DMI

2 p.m. – Lowering SCC makes cents for you, by Jeff Reneau, University of Minnesota

2:30 p.m. – Raising the standard on milk quality, by Beth Jones, Brad Bertram and Jeremy Kinslow

3:30 p.m. – Adjourn

Registration is $25/person at the door. No registration fee for Kentucky dairy producers, with a limit of two per dairy permit. For more information, visit http://kydairy.org.

Midwest Dairy Digest: Feb. 24, 2011

UW-Madison dairy judges first at Southwestern Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest

UW-Madison team members (left to right) include Ty Hildebrandt, Chelsea Holschbach, Brian Coyne, Ben Sarbacker, and assistant coach Brian Kelroy.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy cattle judging team took top honors at the Southwestern Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest held Jan. 16 in Fort Worth, Texas as part of the 2011 Fort  Worth Stock Show. Nine teams  from across the country competed in the contest.

The UW’s team’s four seniors dominated the field, placing first in Brown Swiss, Jerseys and Oral Reasons on their way to winning the overall high team award. Team members included: Brian Coyne, Spring Valley, Dairy Science; Chelsea Holschbach, Baraboo; Ben Sarbacker, Verona; and Ty Hildebrandt, Hustisford.

Coyne placed first in oral reasons and second in Brown Swiss, and had the highest individual point total.

OSU Extension offers two ways to learn about composting livestock

Composting dead farm animals can save farmers money, protect the environment and return animals slowly to the earth – and two OSU Extension programs in March will feature composting techniques.

Livestock Mortality Composting Workshops are being offered March 7 in Carey, about 60 miles south of Toledo; and March 8 in Newark, about 40 miles east of Columbus. Registration costs $10 and can be done at the door. A composting manual is included.

Proper composting – done without odors, vermin or objectionable gases – is the focus. The program will be the same at both places.

The livestock industry is faced with discovering innovative and economical ways to dispose of mortality losses, which has been brought on by the disappearance of rendering plants, concerns over groundwater pollution from burial and the economic and environmental issues of incineration.

But, composting dead animals is an option available to all livestock producers.

Speaking will be experts from Ohio State University Extension and from area Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).

The March 7 workshop runs 7-9 p.m. at the Wyandot County Recycling Center, 11385 County Highway 4, Carey. Call Ken Stucky at 419-447-7073 or Chris Bruynis at 419-294-4931 for more information.

OSU Extension’s Wyandot County office and the Crawford, Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot SWCDs are the hosts.

The March 8 workshop runs 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the office of the program’s host, OSU Extension in Licking County, 771 E. Main St., Suite 103, Newark. For details, contact Howard Siegrist, 740-670-5315, siegrist.1@osu.edu.

OSU Extension, which brings the resources of Ohio State directly to the people of Ohio, is the outreach arm of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Missouri offers dairy business planning grants

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is accepting applications for the 2011 Dairy Business Planning Grant Program. Deadline to apply is March 25.

This funding will enable Missouri’s dairy producers to work with qualified dairy business planning professionals to develop a business plan to facilitate startup, improve profitability, increase production and encourage modernization and expansion of dairy farms in Missouri. Funding for the grant is being provided by the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Dairy Growth Council.

Grants are capped at $5,000 and/or may not finance more than 90% of the cost of the business plan, whichever is less. The dairy producer is required to pay at least 10% of the cost of the work done. Applications will be scored competitively.

Applications are online at mda.mo.gov. For more information, contact MASBDA via phone: 573-751-2129; or e-mail masbda@mda.mo.gov.

Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference scheduled at Fort Wayne

The 2011Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference will be held April 19-20, at the Grand Wayne Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.

For more information, contact:

• Michelle Milligan, phone: 614-292-7374 or e-mail: milligan.4@osu.edu

• Herb Bucholtz, phone: 517-230-0120 or e-mail: bucholtz@msu.edu

• visit http://tristatedairy.osu.edu

Wisconsin dairy tax credit advances

The Wisconsin State Senate passed a bill to help grow and modernize Wisconsin’s dairy and livestock industries.

Senate Bill 9, authored by State Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) was passed on Feb. 22. It extends the dairy and livestock modernization tax credit that was to expire at the end of 2011 through 2017. The income and franchise tax credit can be claimed on 10% of the amount paid for the construction, improvement and acquisition of buildings and facilities, or acquiring a variety of equipment used for dairy and livestock production.

Holterman to speak at 9th Annual Western Wisconsin Heart of the Farm Conference

The 9th Annual Western Wisconsin Heart of the Farm – Women in Agriculture Conference will be held March 3, in Chippewa Falls, Wis.

This conference provides farm women with the opportunity to network with other farm women and learn about balancing farm, family, and personal priorities; organizational skills; social media; how to have a voice in agriculture; and LGM-Dairy. A musical duet by two local musicians will be played during lunch and the conference will end with a Beer and Cheese tasting by Leinenkugel’s Brewery.

Topics and speakers include:

• Balancing Act – Or Is It a Three-Ring Circus? Randy Knapp, UW-Extension Chippewa County agriculture agent and Jenny Vanderlin, Asst. Director, UW-Extension’s Center for Dairy Profitability.

• I Want to Be More Organized – But Where Do I Begin? Sally Hayden, owner, Hayden’s Bookkeeping Solutions.

• Thank You, Michael Pollan OR Never Underestimate the Power of a Farm Tour. Daphne Holterman, dairy farmer and World Dairy Expo Woman of the Year, 2009.

• How Much is Your Dairy Farm Willing to Spend to Avoid the Next Financial Disaster? Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy and Analysis and UW-Extension’s Center for Dairy Profitability.

• Social Media Universe. Laurie Boettcher, Boettcher Speaks, Eau Claire, WI.

For more information contact: Randy Knapp, randy.knapp@ces.uwex.edu, 715-726-7950, Jenny Vanderlin, jmvander@wisc.edu, 608-263-7795 or visit the Heart of the Farm website at http://www.uwex.edu/ces/heartofthefarm/ .

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