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Newsletter highlights from Sept. 7, 2012

Dairy producer organization newsletter highlights from Sept. 7, 2012

Newsletter highlights: Milk Producers Council

MPC board meeting is Sept. 11

The California Milk Producers Council (MPC) monthly board meeting will be held next Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. This month’s meeting will be held in the Kern County Farm Bureau board room, Bakersfield, Calif. All current and prospective MPC members and associate members are welcome to attend. RSVP by calling (909) 628-6018.


Global auction: Records set for volume, bidders and winners

If three in a row makes a trend, the price trend for global auction prices is pointing upward. The summary of this week’s auction reported 717 qualified bidders, 203 of which entered volumes, with 143 of them ending up with winning bids. The auction covered delivery periods ranging from October through March. The average winning price for all products to be delivered over the six months was $1.440/lb., 5.9¢/lb. higher than the winning price in the auction held two weeks ago; 17.1¢/lb. higher than one month ago; and 19¢/lb. higher than the most recent low point that was reached in mid-July. The volume reported sold in this auction was 129.6 million lbs., a record high. A year ago, 97 million lbs of product was sold in the first September auction. For a second time in a row, prices for all product categories were higher than the previous bidding.


Congress returning next week

After spending the last five weeks back in their districts, the House of Representatives is returning to Washington, DC next Monday, with a major piece of legislation awaiting their action: the 2012 Farm Bill.

The U.S. Senate has already approved their version of the bill, and the House Agriculture Committee has approved their version. The next step in the process is for the full House of Representatives to vote on the House Ag Committee’s version of the bill. Included in both the House and Senate bills is a package of reforms to the U.S. dairy safety net policies. Both bills would eliminate the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) and the Dairy Product Price Support (DPPSP) programs. Both bills would put in their place a two pronged safety net program for U.S. dairy farmers. Those two parts of the proposal are the Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program (DPMPP) and the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP).


Whey products market

Manufacturers of dry whey are presently in a good position. Domestic demand appears to be steady to firm, and running just a little higher than current production. Export demand continues to be strong. Dairy Market News reports prices rose in all regions this week as current supplies continue to go first to contracted buyers and then, occasionally, to others. The re-sale market is active and selling for prices above the reported ranges. Production varies by region depending, as always, first on cheese plant outputs then on how much is used for condensed whey and for higher concentrated products. Stocks are reported to be “comfortable” or “in balance.”


Newsletter highlights: Western United Dairymen

WUD asks Gov. Brown to veto two ag heat bills 

Western United Dairymen is calling upon its members to contact Gov. Brown and urge his veto of two bills approved by the state Legislature that deal with heat standards for farm-workers. AB 2346 by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Los Angeles) creates new standards for protecting farmworkers from heat-related illness. Under AB 2676 by Assemblyman Charles Calderson (D-Whittier) farmers could be jailed for failing to provide field workers with adequate shade or water. 

The measure requires that anyone directing or supervising a farmworker must ensure “continuous, ready access” to shade and to enough “suitably cool” water for each employee to drink one quart per hour throughout a work shift. Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to a six-month jail term and a fine of up to $10,000. If the victim suffers injury, the potential penalty would escalate to a one-year jail term and a $25,000 fine.


Dairy Leaders Class XI to visit Washington, D.C.

Members of the California Dairy Leaders Class XI will get a first-hand look at the inner workings of Capital Hill next week when they depart Thursday, Sept. 13 for the nation’s capital. 

“This will be an exciting time for our dairy leaders to be in DC,” said WUD CEO Michael Marsh, who will accompany the group. “We have several meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their key staff people. We will be in the thick of the debate over the Farm Bill and it should be a very educational experience for the class members. We will impress upon the Congress our serious concerns with Dairy Title provisions that unfairly discriminate against California dairy families and the feed costs we experience. We will also press for changes to the King Amendment that ranking member Peterson of Minnesota has recognized would undermine California’s ability to enforce our higher nutritional standards for fluid milk.” 

The California Dairy Leaders are Ellen Durrer, Durrer Dairy, L.P., Modesto; Lauren Reid, Fred Rau Dairy, Inc., Fresno; Jar-ed Mello, Wagner Dairy L.P., Escalon; Trevor Nutcher, Hidden Valley Dairy, Modesto; Robby Thommen, Thommen Dairy, Los Banos; David Dewit, Dewit Dairy, Acampo; Jennifer Beretta, Beretta Dairy, Santa Rosa; Rebecca Spaletta, Spaletta Dairy, Point Reyes and Jenny Mesenhimer, WUES Environmental Technician, Modesto 


Newsletter highlights: Dairylea

Pennsylvania survey to identify industry trends

The 2012 Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Producer Survey is now available. Pennsylvania farm owners and managers are being asked by the Center for Dairy Excellence to complete this survey which was mailed out to Pennsylvania farmers and can be found at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org.

Survey results will be used to identify future opportunities and potential challenges in the industry. Questions about milking herds, production acres, the operational structure and plans for the future are included in the survey. For more information about the producer survey, visit the Center for Dairy Excellence web site at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org, or call 717-346-0849.


Updated 2012 Producer Price Differentials

In our August 10 issue of Friday Facts, we shared that the growth in the value of Class III was outpacing growth in Class IV, and that this lag would lead to smaller and possibly negative Producer Price Differentials (PPD) here in the Northeast. Since that time, we have seen strong gains in the Class IV futures market to bring it more closely in line with Class III futures. In fact, in the third quarter of 2012, we are actually seeing stronger Class IV futures than Class III. This may actually lead to a Northeast PPD of normal to above-normal. Central New York gross milk prices for the fourth quarter are still expected to exceed $20.00

per hundredweight.


Farm Bill Now rally to be held Sept. 12

Next week a number of ag organizations will hold a rally to bolster support among legislators to take action on the Farm Bill. Currently, the Bill has been approved by the full Senate and the House Ag Committee but has not been voted upon by the full House. Without action by Congress, the existing Bill will expire on Sept. 30. Dairylea and DFA, through their membership in National Milk Producers Federations, will be supportive of the effort to take action now.