DairyBusiness Update for March 27, 2013
USDA’s Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory released its annual assessment of Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) somatic cell test-day results. Nationally, average test-day herd SCC during 2012 was 200,000 cells/milliliter (cells/mL), down 17,000 cells/mL from 2011. Average test-day herd SCC has declined every year since 2005 and every year except one since 2001.
Forty-two states had lower average SCC than reported in 2011; 5 states had higher averages (Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas). One state, Louisiana, had an average test-day SCC above 400,000 cells/mL.
The current legal limit for bulk tank SCC is 750,000 cells/mL for Grade A producers. Lowering the limit to a maximum of 400,000 cells/mL has been proposed in the past, and will be again at the upcoming National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), to be held April 19-24, in Indianapolis, Ind. Three proposals have been offered for consideration this year, including one from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) that would lower the maximum to 600,000 cells/mL on Jan. 1, 2014 and 400,000 cell/mL on Jan. 1. 2015. For information on the NCIMS, visit www.ncims.org/index.htm.
The USDA analysis also looks at SCC based on state and region, herd size and month. State average SCC generally was lower than the national average for Mountain and Western states, and often higher for a few Southeastern states. In general, larger herds had lower SCC. SCC increased from May through August and then declined quickly from September through November. The highest quality milk was produced in November and December. To see the full report, visit http://aipl.arsusda.gov/publish/dhi/current/sccx.html
USDA, CDCB sign agreement on dairy genetic evaluations
An agreement has been signed transitioning dairy genetic evaluations from USDA to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), according to Jay Mattison, CDCB vice chair.
Called the “Non-funded Cooperative Agreement” between USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and CDCB, it was presented to the industry last summer and has been the subject of ongoing discussion and debate.
With the agreement in place, the production of genetic evaluations and management reports would begin to be moved from USDA’s Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) to CDCB. CDCB has retained a team, headed by Dr, Duane Norman, who recently retired as head from AIPL. They will be involved with producing the April genetic evaluations, including genomic information.
Beginning with the April evaluations, breeders will be able to obtain genomic evaluations on their own bulls, as well as their females. CDCB announced the fee schedules that will be in place, and the revenue from those fees will be used to offset some of the costs of producing the genetic evaluations going forward.
Holstein Association USA still reluctant
Holstein Association USA president Chuck Worden said his organization was not notified that the agreement had been signed. Holstein USA had participated in a CDCB meeting last October, at which time the document was approved over Holstein USA’s objections. The vote at that meeting was seven in favor, two opposed (Agri-Tech Analytics joined Holstein USA in opposition). Further, Worden said, until there are signed agreements Holstein USA and CDCB, safeguarding Holstein data, the Holstein USA would not be participating.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) joined the Center for Food Integrity and the U.S. pork sector to jointly launch “See It? Stop It!SM Animal care starts with you,” a proactive demonstration of agriculture’s commitment to farm animal care. The initiative empowers, and in fact, demands that if signs of animal abuse, neglect, mishandling or harm are witnessed, anyone working on a farm or in a farm setting has an obligation to report it immediately.
The initiative combines well with the dairy industry’s National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible ManagementTM to ensure the well-being of animals in our care, according to Betsy Flores, NMPF’s senior director of Animal Health and Welfare.
Additional information about the program, including an employer checklist, guidance for integrating the program into existing animal well-being programs, posters for use in barns and guidance on employee training is available at www.SeeItStopIt.org.
Earlier this month a group of 39 House members sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requesting an explanation on its release of potentially sensitive information related to confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to animal right advocate organizations.
According to U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), EPA released sensitive information about livestock and poultry farmers without reviewing the data to determine if it included confidential business information protected by federal privacy laws or withheld for national security concerns.
Previously, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said it was was notified by EPA that CAFO information collected from states was released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Iowa-Nebraska February dairy budget worsens
February 2013 dairy budgets got a little worse compared to January in Iowa and Nebraska, even though total costs declined for a third straight month, according to Robert Tigner, Extension Educator.
Total variable and fixed costs dropped 43¢/cwt. from January, to $19.91/cwt., with corn, soybean meal and hay prices down slightly. They’re down about $1.08/cwt. since November 2012.
The budgeted break-even price for a freestall dairy with a 24,000-lb. rolling herd average (RHA) dropped by 20¢, to $22.49/cwt. However, the February 2013 milk price of $19.40/cwt. was down 57¢ from January. Even with a Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payment, milk receipts totaled $19.84/cwt. in February, down 26¢ from January.
The February federal order producer price differential (PPD) was higher, but cull cow prices were slightly lower.
Based on this budget, herds producing 24,000 lbs. of milk per cow per year saw a $1.96/cwt. return over variable costs. But, adding fixed costs, labor and management, producers realized a loss of $2.48/cwt. for February.
Current trends: The February total variable and fixed costs per hundredweight and break-even price for the 24,000-lb. RHA freestall herd are the lowest since August 2012, but so is the actual milk price.
Contact Tigner at email@example.com.
MARKETS: Cheese, butter lower; Class III futures slightly higher
Today's market closing prices:
Butter: down 2.0¢, to $1.64/lb.
Cheddar blocks: down 0.25¢, to $1.6925/lb.
Cheddar barrels: down 0.75¢, to $1.5975/lb.
Grade A nonfat dry milk: up 1.0¢, to $1.55/lb.
Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged at $1.56/lb.
Class III milk: +5¢ to +20¢, April through December 2013. Based on current CME closing prices, the 2013 average is $18.41/cwt.; and the 2014 average is $16.71/cwt.
Corn mixed, soybean and meal futures higher
Corn: -1¢ to +5¢ per bushel through December 2013. The 2013 average is $6.56/bu.
Soybeans: +2¢ to +6¢ per bushel through December 2013. The 2013 average is $13.73/bu.
Soybean meal: +$0.70 to +$2.90/ton through December 2013. The 2013 average is $388.30/ton.
USDA announces its Grain Stocks and 2013 Prospective Plantings reports on March 28.
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