September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

CWT completes latest herd retirement

By Don Wick- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The voluntary herd retirement organized by Cooperatives Working Together eliminated 101,040 cows from the U.S. dairy herd.

"This should put a dent in milk production as we head into the summer," Chris Galen said, who is with the National Milk Producers Federation. "I think you'll see a much more elevated cow slaughter rate both in June and July as a result of the CWT activities."

When the on-farm audits wrapped up at the end of June, 367 herds from 41 states were removed, reflecting 1.96 million pounds of milk. This was the largest CWT herd retirement in the history of the effort.

DEIP extended for another year

USDA will extend the Dairy Export Incentive Program through June 30, 2010. The program, which resumed in May, was scheduled to wrap up at the end of last month. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said world dairy markets remain weak and the European Union continues to subsidize its dairy exports, prompting the extension of the dairy export program. Before its resumption this spring, the DEIP program had been on hiatus for five years.

Class III milk price released

The June Class III milk price was $9.97 per hundredweight. That's 13 cents higher than May, but $10.28 less than the price in June of last year.

Cheese, butter and NFDM output

According to the USDA, total U.S. cheese output in May was 861 million pounds - 2.6 percent above May 2008 and nearly two percent more than April of this year. Butter production totaled 139 million pounds - 3.9 percent higher than one year ago and 4.3 percent more than April. Nonfat dry milk production totaled 149 million pounds, over 13 percent more than May of last year.

New approach for animal ID suggested

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson and State Veterinarian Dr. Bill Hartmann have sent a joint letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to resume discussion on the implementation of a national animal identification system. Hugoson wants Vilsack to switch the focus to "how," rather than "why" have an animal ID program. Hugoson believes it may work better to build a system from the existing state programs.

"If you're going to have a federal bureaucracy set this up from scratch, it's sort of redundant; most of the states are already doing it or moving in that direction," Hugoson said. "Our suggestion is to piggy back on what the states are already doing; our experience has been that producers would feel much more comfortable dealing with state folks on doing this."

Climate change bill moves forward

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is taking up the climate change bill approved by the House last month. The House bill includes a provision negotiated by Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson. The National Milk Producers Federation said the House bill "offers dairy farmers opportunities under a cap and trade system, while minimizing increased costs." The climate change bill is far from complete, but NMPF said the dairy industry will remain "vigilant so that the concerns of dairy farmers are recognized in the legislative process."

Roundup Ready alfalfa appeal rejected

The sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa must wait until USDA completes its environmental impact research; which should be done by this fall. Monsanto sought a rehearing of its appeal, but the U.S. Appeals Court said it would accept no more petitions for rehearing and upheld the injunction for the sale of the biotech seed. This case has been in the courts for over three years.

Tail docking bill approved in California senate

The California State Senate has approved legislation banning the docking of tails in the dairy industry. The California Assembly is the next step for this bill. As California deals with a historic budget deficit, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger questioned the focus on this issue.

"I think it is inexcusable; how do they explain to the people of California that in the midst of the biggest budget crisis, we're having a debate about cow tails?"

That statement prompted a response from the head of the Humane Society of the United States. Wayne Pacelle said Schwarzenegger went out of his way to criticize an anti-cruelty bill that has no fiscal impact.

"He's acting like a demagogue and a bully," Pacelle said.

Minnesota's historic senate election comes to an end

Minnesota's newest senator is settling into office. Sen. Al Franken will not serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee, even though he was promised a seat by Chairman Tom Harkin during last fall's campaign. Senate Democratic leaders told CQ Politics that Franken's committees would be Judiciary and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, plus special Aging and Indian Affairs panels.

MN USDA appointments announced

Linda Hennen will serve as the state executive director for the Minnesota Farm Service Agency. Hennen has more than 30 years of experience with the FSA, including time as a district director and assistant state executive director. Colleen Landkamer has been named the state director for USDA Rural Development. Landkamer has served as a Blue Earth County Commissioner for over 20 years.

Aasness is joining pork checkoff team

A Fergus Falls, Minn., native has accepted a new position with the National Pork Board. Perry Aasness was the state executive director of the Minnesota Farm Service Agency. Before that, Aasness was the deputy commissioner of agriculture. In his new role, Aasness will serve as the vice president of producer services and industry relations.

Land O'Lakes makes a humorous twist in TV ad

The new Land O'Lakes television ad features 'colives.' The Holstein-colored olives moo and are touted as the source of the Land O'Lakes Butter with Olive Oil product. The new product was launched in May.

Dean Foods completes Alpro acquisition

Dean Foods has completed its acquisition of the European producer of soy-based beverages and food products. Alpro has plants in Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and The Netherlands. This deal is worth nearly $451 million (U.S.). Dean Foods is the largest dairy processor in the United States and also producers the Silk brand of soy beverages in North America.

Trivia Challenge

The milk mustache advertising campaign began in 1995. That answers our last trivia question. For this week, we have a question about the beef checkoff. Who chairs the Cattlemen's Beef Board? We'll have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star.

Don Wick is a partner and broadcaster for the Red River Farm Network, based in Grand Forks, N. D. He is the 2004 National Farm Broadcaster of the Year. Don and his wife Kolleen have two adult sons, Tony and Sam, and one very special grandson, Aiden. Don Wick can be reached at [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]


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