Tag Archives: Dairy

Nebraska:  Milk production in Nebraska during the January-March 2019 quarter totaled 357 million pounds, down 2 percent from the January-March quarter last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 59,000 head, 1,000 head less than the same period last year.

Kansas:  Milk production in Kansas during March 2019 totaled 328 million pounds, up 3 percent from March 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 164,000 head, 7,000 head more than March 2018. Milk production per cow averaged 2,000 pounds.

Access the National publication for this release at:

https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/h989r321c

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — An insurance program to help hard-pressed dairy farmers is expected to be ready for enrollment in June, the U.S. Farm Service Agency says, but farmers say it won’t tackle the underlying challenges they face.

Dairy farmers are in their fifth year of low milk prices that have driven thousands out of business.

“I’ve been in this for over 40 years and this is as bad as it’s ever gotten,” said Vermont dairy farmer Jacques Parent on Tuesday.

Describing the dairy farmers’ situation as urgent, 38 U.S. senators signed a letter late last month urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the insurance program quickly and work to educate farmers about their options.

The improved insurance program in the 2018 farm bill — called Dairy Margin Coverage — expands the coverage levels for farmers. They pay premiums and receive payments when the gap between milk prices and feed prices reach a certain level. The program was delayed by the 35-day partial government shutdown. Payments will be retroactive to January.

“USDA is working diligently to implement the DMC program and other programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce wrote in an email on Monday.

Still, the more time that passes, the harder it is for farmers.

“I think it’s frustrating, very frustrating because we’ve gone through this four-year drought in revenue and each month it gets put off the more disheartened producers become,” said Michigan dairy farmer Ken Nobis.

Consumer demand in some segments and unresolved trade issues that are harming exports and boosting surpluses are other issues challenging the dairy industry, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation has said.

For many years, dairy farmers went through a three-year cycle of a good year, a bad year and a mediocre year, Nobis said.

“Now we’re in our fifth year of below profitable levels of milk production, that’s pretty hard for anyone to withstand,” he said.

Higher tier coverage is available for smaller operations. Nobis, whose farm milks 1,000 cows, and Parent with 700 cows, would cap out early.

“It’s appreciated but it’s only a little Band Aid,” said Parent.

The bottom line is farmers don’t want a check from the government, said Nobis. “What we want is a viable market and that viable market … has been damaged dramatically by the trade issues that we didn’t ask for, frankly.”

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Hundreds of dairy farmers from across the nation will convene in Saint Paul, Minnesota July 16-18, 2019 for the second annual Dairy Experience Forum to gain a deeper understanding of today’s consumers and how their different values, shopping habits and consumption patterns impact how the industry can collaborate to build dairy demand. Building on the success of last year’s event, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is joining Midwest Dairy in co-sponsoring the second annual forum to make a bigger footprint in the dairy community.

The vision for the Dairy Experience Forum is to facilitate conversation and learning among farmers, dairy experts and partners as they discuss useful insights and ideas that can be used in their ongoing work to help ensure a successful future for dairy. As part of the program, attendees will hear from leaders, both from within and outside of the dairy industry, who are translating consumer insights, relevant to variety of generations, into innovative products that meet the needs of consumers of all ages.

The event will provide opportunities to engage with leading experts from research institutions, food companies, retailers and processors, cooperatives and dairy farm operations. It will also allow a platform for dairy farmers to hear from consumers firsthand what attributes and values are important to them as they make purchasing decisions related to the dairy products they enjoy.

“With the mutual goal of sparking new thinking and innovation, we’re excited to collaborate with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to co-lead this forward-looking event with an even broader audience, said Midwest Dairy CEO Lucas Lentsch. “By convening a larger representation of the dairy community, we can all gain an even greater perspective on the roles consumers play in driving our industry into the future.”

“We are thrilled to be working together to help farmers and dairy companies better understand consumer mindsets as well as what is driving massive shifts behind product innovation and the way people buy and consume dairy products,” said Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO Chad Vincent. “It is essential we understand what consumers are looking for and how we can meet their needs to drive demand. Anyone from the farm community that is interested in learning how to adapt to these trends is encouraged to attend.”

A confirmed agenda and registration for the forum will be available late April.

Dairy producers who participated in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program now can participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy for 2018 coverage.

The Department of Agriculture announced the eligibility last week. Producers enrolled in 2018 LGM-Dairy, administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency under 2014 Farm Bill, were ineligible for coverage under MPP-Dairy, a safety net program available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says changes in the 2018 Farm Bill “includes the ability for producers with LGM coverage to retroactively enroll in MPP-Dairy for 2018.”

The MPP-Dairy program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producers in a dairy operation. LGM-Dairy is an insurance product that provides protection when feed costs rise, or milk prices drop. This retroactive sign-up is only for dairy producers with 2018 LGM coverage who produced and marketed milk in 2018 but did not obtain full year MPP-Dairy coverage.