July 19, 2019: Center Programs

There is no question that the last few years have been a trying time for dairy farmers across the country. Margins have been better this year, but after a multi-year downturn, it will take time to recuperate. The Center for Dairy Excellence has resources available to help you make decisions that allow you to capitalize…

July 12, 2019: Pay Attention

It has always been important to know what is going on around your operation, but the digital era has made it even more important. There have been several animal abuse videos released recently, including two from dairies in Pennsylvania and a high-profile dairy in Indiana. Everyone involved in the dairy industry knows that animal abuse…

July 5, 2019: Dairy Revenue Protection

I have heard and written a lot about Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) over the last several weeks. I believe it will be a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Margin Protection Program. According to the USDA, over 5,000 dairies enrolled during the first 10 days of the enrollment period. With all the talk about DMC,…

June 28, 2019: June

Summer is here, and heat and humidity are on the rise. Cow comfort should be a priority year-round, but it’s especially important when it becomes hotter and more humid. Cows do not dissipate heat very well on their own, and mastitis-causing organisms love to grow in hot, wet environments. Make sure fans and sprinkler systems…

June 21, 2019: Crop Progress and DMC Margin Calculation Change

It has been a challenging spring for field work. Corn and soybean plantings are running behind the 5-year average, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report published on June 17. Time will tell what effect the late planting will have on yields and futures pricing. We do know that late planting is affecting how many acres of…

June 14, 2019: Dairy Margin Coverage Enrollment

June 17, 2019 is the first day to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. Dairy Margin Coverage is the 2018 Farm Bill program that replaces the Margin Protection Plan (MPP). Looking back at MPP, at the highest margin coverage ($8.00/cwt), it would have paid out 8 months in 2015 and 4 months in…

June 7, 2019: Class I Price Formula Change

For many years, the USDA has been using a formula to calculate the Class I (fluid milk) price based on the higher price between the Advance Class III (cheese) and Advance Class IV (butter and powder) price plus a location differential. This was beneficial to the dairy farmer, but made it especially difficult for fluid…

May 31, 2019: May

May has been a busy month for the U,S. dairy industry. We have seen improvement in Class III and IV futures prices. Significant progress has also been made in trade, with the U.S. lifting aluminum and steel tariffs and the subsequent lifting of Mexico’s and Canada’s countermeasures. This will allow dairy trade to resume at pre-tariff NAFTA rules. The…

May 24, 2019: Trade Agreements and Tariffs

Trade policy, tariffs and retaliatory tariffs have been a hot topic at dairy industry meetings I have attended in recent months. Last year, exports reached a record volume at nearly 16% of national milk production on a total milk solids basis. However, this has been overshadowed by a U.S. dairy industry that has been struggling…