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January 2018 Issue No. 462

Inside this months issue …


Pinnacle of Bull-Headed Stupidity:
Plopping a 5,800-Cow CAFO on 127 Low-Lying Acres


Few Predictions for Dairy’s Fortunes in 2018 (p. 1):
    Pete Hardin details some of the positive signs in the dairy market place, but isn’t making any predictions about 2018.

How Solvent is Diary Globally??? (p. 1):
    Look around … some of the global dairy industry’s biggest players have serious question marks concerning their economic stability:  China Huishan Dairy, Fonterra, Dean Foods, and Dairy Farmers of America.

NAFTA Partnees Explore and Pursue Alternative Trading Options (p. 2):
   Nate Wilson continues his vigilance on the global trade scene.  He reports how our partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement – Canada and Mexico – are both pursuing alternate trading relationships in response to threats against them by U.S. president Donald Trump.  Agriculture has a lot to lose if trade relationships with Canada and Mexico deteriorate.

All FMMO Manufacturing Milk Prices Declined in December (p. 2):
   Lower dairy commodity prices caused declines in USDA’s calculations of many facturing milk prices in December.

Without MPP-Dairy, Producers Turning to LGM Insurance Program (p. 3):
   Dairy farmer/writer Jan Shepel describes the expanded LGM insurance program that dairy farmers may opt for, in order to floor their milk prices.  Since USDA Secretary Sonny Pursue released dairy farmers from their five-year contracts under the Margin Protection Program-Dairy, dairy producers may look to LGM for some price protection.

MMPA Deducted $1.98/Cwt. Off PPDs in 2017 (p. 3):
   For milk payments received during 2017, a Michigan Milk Producers Assn. member in southern Michigan has calculated that his co-op took $1.98/cwt. off the “Producer Price Differential.”   Those deductions helped absorb the co-op’s losses marketing members’ milk.  We include a chart comparing those monthly MMPA PPD’s with the prevailing federal milk order PPDs.

"Curiouser and Curiouser”: DFA’s Dictates to other Northeast Co-ops (p. 4):
Dairy Farmers of America continues its extortionate, thieving ways in the Northeast.  DFA is now telling certain co-ops that have marketing contracts with DFA’s subsidiary Dairy Marketing Services, that those other co-ops cannot add any new members!  The Northeast milk supply is rapidly turning tight.  And DFA/DMS are having problems meeting the raw milk needs of major cheese plants in northern New York.  What gives?

DFA Now Shafting Some NY Mega-Dairies (p. 4): 
DFA Now Shafting Some NY Mega-Dairies (p. 4): Some large dairies that belong to Dairy Farmers of America have been told they will now be assessed up to $1.00 for the privilege of hauling their own milk.  Cash-hungry DFA is even turning on the mega-dairies in New York State.

Michigan Milk Producers Grabs Yoplait Supply Contract in TN (p. 4):
    In early January, Michigan Milk Producers Assn replaced Maryland & Virginia Cooperative Milk Producers as the supplier of condensed milk at General Mill’s massive Yoplait yogurt plant at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  One more time, MMPA is screwing farmers in other regions to get rid of is distressed milk

Foremost Farms’ Wisconsin Members Angry Over “Drained” Milk Checks (p. 5):
   From April 2017 through last November, Foremost Farms swiped about $.60/cwt. from is Wisconsin members’ milk checks.  That “adjustment” has not been well explained.  Wisconsin dairy farmers are not used to having their milk income siphoned away.  Suspicions are that Foremost’s Wisconsin members are feeling the pain for the co-op’s problems of too much milk in Michigan.

U.S. Dairy Exports to Canada Decreased as 2017 Progressed (5): 
      Starting last spring, and accelerating in recent months, Canada has increasingly turned its back on the United States as a source of dairy commodities and ingredients.  Canada is not putting up with trash talk from the U.S. White House.

Tackle Spring Flush by Inoculating Soil with Raw Milk (p. 6):
Our writer and friend, Paris Reidhead, has his own solution for spring flush milk on organic dairy farms.   He is recommending raw milk – up to three gallons per acre – be used as a soil enhancer.  Interesting!

USDA’s “Pineapple Center Ring Organic Circus Fraud” Continues (p. 7):
  John Bobbe, executive director of OFARM, cynically describes a recent organic foods scandal at USDA that involves pineapples fraudulently sold as organic.  His point is that USDA’s National Organics Program is failing to police the integrity of organic foods for a variety of foods.

Comparison of Milk Prices Received by East Coast OrganicMilk Producers (p. 7):
  No less source than Moody’s Investors Service states that DFA members’ milk checks are subordinated to their co-op’s indebtedness.

Michigan Dairy Farmer Sentenced for Illegal Labor Scam (p. 7):
  Denis Burke will serve 30 months in prison, and pay a $1.38 million fine for hiring undocumented farm workers. 

Pinnacle of Bull-Headed Stupidity: Plopping a 5,800-Cow CAFO on 127 Low-Lying Acres (p. 8-11):

U.S. Policy Decisions Can Make or Break Sorely Needed Dairy Exports (p. 12):
   Jan Shepel reports on a speech delivered in early December by Matt McKnight, COO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

1/1/18: Agri-Mark Raising “Stop Charge” to $15., Plus Unspecified Higher Milk Hauling Charges (p. 12):   
The easiest way for Agri-Mark to cover costs and inefficiencies is to dip into members’ milk checks.  That’ss the case, as of January 1, 2018, when Agri-Mark members see their stop charges and hauling costs rise.

Dairy Commodity Picture: Big November ’17 Butter Inventory Drawdown (p. 13):
   Butter inventories in the U.S. declined by a nice 60 million lbs. during November.  But on the downside, barrel Cheddar prices have lost about $.45/lb. since early December.

Chinese Soccer Investment Reveals Shoddy Assets Scam (p. 12):
  A shady Chinese investor who purchased a famous Italian soccer club – A.C. Milan – is tangled in a web of fictitious assets.  This story reveals the widespread fraud behind some Chinese corporations and investors.

Dairy Commodity Scene: All Commodity Prices Slipping (p. 13):
  Block Cheddar, nonfat dry milk, and Grade A butter are all down at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  500-lb. barrel Cheddar is up, temporarily.  There is no hope for milk powder prices in the coming half-year, except perhaps in the event of a nuclear war.

Petition Calls on USDA to Revoke Brazil’s “Equivalency” Status for Meat Imports (p. 14):
  Jan Shepel details a move by R-CALFUSA to address inequities in the beef markets.  R-CALFUSA wants the USDA to remove Brazil’s meat inspections’ status as being equivalent to the U.S.

Brutally Cold Weather Drops Milk Production in the Northeast (p. 14):
  The combination of low-energy corn silage from 2017 and brutally cold weather has pulled down farm milk output in the Northeast – particularly in New York State and New England.

Food is different, dairy is different … (p. 15):
  Pete Hardin stresss that the nation’s best, long-term interests are served by creating policies that recognize the special role that agriculture and food provide.  Policies that create long-term, sustainable agriculture are the only sane policies to chart.  Further, we must explore what interests are benefitting from agricultural pricing systems that keep farm prices low.

1St “Ed McNamara Award” to MMPA’s Ken Nobis (p. 15):
  It’s been more than 30 years coming, but The Milkweed can now bestow its first-ever “Ed McNamara Award” to Michigan Milk Producers Assn. president Ken Nobis.  The award recognizes the dumbest dairy co-op leader since McNamara’s ego took down NEDCO in the Northeast in 1985.  In 2017, MMPA deducted $1.98/cwt. from members’ Producer Price Differentials to compensate for the co-op’s marketing losses.

Farm Credit offices in NY and PA bullying borrowers over accounting services (p. 15):
  Imagine a lender that coerces borrowers to use that lender’s accounting and tax-filing services … under threat of losing the loans!  That’s the case in certain parts of the Northeast.

GENYOUth Gala: What was Bill Clinton’s Speaker’s Fee??? (p. 16):
  What good can come of a dairy “fund-raiser” that solicits $2,500 to $15,000 per seat (in tables of 10) to hear vegan Bill Clinton speak?  Clinton doesns’t even eat dairy products.  The Clinton Foundation has denied a request for a copy of Clinton’s speech.  Dairy Management, Inc. has failed to respond to questions about Clinton’s speaker’s fee for the event, that honored *%^#@ Tom VIlsack.  

Post-Glyphosate: Let the Healing Begin (p. 16):
  Writer Paris Reidhead details results from an experiment in Switzerland where several dozen farmers in a watershed dramatically reduced their use of glyphosate-type herbicides.  Water quality improved!

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