DairyProfit Update for May 28, 2012
USDA estimated 239,800 culled dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in April 2012, down 38,200 from the 278,000 culled in March 2012, but 2,000 more than April 2011.
Nationally, dairy cow culling averaged 11,419 per weekday (21 days) in April, compared to 12,636 per weekday (22 days) in March.
Through the first four months of 2012, cull cow slaughter totaled 1.043 million, up 24,200 from the same period in 2011.
By region, highest year-to-date culling was in the Midwest (304,100 head), including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin; and the Southwest (296,800 head), including Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.
Based on April’s Milk Production report indicating there were about 9.272 million cows in the United States, the April culling rate represents about 2.6% of the nation’s herd.
USDA is reviewing release times for several major statistical reports due to recent changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) – USDA entities responsible for the reports – will seek public comment on the release times and procedures of their key statistical reports.
Dates for the comment period have not been set. USDA expects to publish a notice in the Federal Register advising the public of the comment period in the coming weeks.
USDA is reviewing release times of the following statistical reports: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Cattle, Cattle on Feed, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings and Small Grain Summary. The current USDA release times of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET will remain in effect until further notice.
Previously, in a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) requested a 30-day public comment period. Among concerns, NCGA said allowing the futures markets to trade during the release of key USDA reports could lead to rampant market distortions, creating extreme market volatility and hurting growers’ ability to adjust risk management strategies and futures positions.
Sidebar: Paper discusses potential impact
Faculty at Texas A&M have authored a paper, “What to Expect from Expanded Trading Hours?” discusses the potential impact expanded trading hours may have on the hedging activities of farmers and ranchers, and how the evolving business of commodity futures exchanges affects price risk management. Find it at http://agecon2.tamu.edu/people/faculty/robinson-john/ExpandedTradingHours.pdf.
U.S. Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increase its efforts to address the misbranding of imitation dairy products. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) joined Coats in sending a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg. In their letter, the senators write:
“We are concerned that without more consistent, effective action, these misleading labels will become even more prevalent and further erode the meaning of these dairy terms. This practice unfairly allows non-dairy products to imply nutritional equivalence to dairy products and to potentially mislead consumers as to the true nutrient content or quality of these imitation products.
“While consumers may choose imitation dairy products for a variety of reasons—including personal preference, health, religion, or beliefs—it is inappropriate for manufacturers of these products to violate the law and continue to mislead consumers by capitalizing on dairy terminology for standardized foods. Imitation dairy products should be allowed on the market only when accurately labeled.”