Schaapman Holsteins, Abbeville

During the 2018 Georgia Dairy Conference, Georgia Milk Producers will award the Friend of the Dairy Industry Award to an individual or company that has served as a strong advocate for Georgia's dairy industry during 2017.  This award is open to any individual who is involved with the dairy industry (cooperative officials/field representatives, feed/supply companies or salesperson, veterinarian, etc.). Please send in your nominations today! CLICK HERE to submit nomination.
GFB Members headed to Jekyll Island for 80th Annual Convention

GA Milk Producers Executive Director Farrah Newberry serves cheese samples to Banks County Farm Bureau members Ann & Jerry Gordon
About 1,500 Georgia farmers and agribusiness leaders from across the state met on Jekyll Island Dec. 3-5 for the organization's 80th annual convention. The three-day event included a trade show and educational sessions that gave farmers updates on policy and production issues impacting Georgia's major commodities. During the general session on Dec. 4, convention attendees heard from Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

While delivering his annual address to Georgia Farm Bureau members, GFB President Gerald Long said three of the organization's top legislative priorities are obtaining a viable farm bill that strengthens the food security of the United States, defending farm water rights and protecting the rights of farmers and landowners from excessive government regulations.

"For more than 80 years, Georgia Farm Bureau has been the voice of Georgia farmers. Addressing farm issues is basic to Farm Bureau's purpose," Long said. "A new farm bill is being developed for 2018, and farmers must speak with a united voice to have influence. Farmers' rights to use water will continue to be an issue in Georgia as the United States Supreme Court will hear a case about water early next year that could have long-term impacts. Georgia Farm Bureau supports private property rights, and we will work to reign in government agencies that overreach into the rights of farmers and landowners."

Long also outlined his vision for Georgia Farm Bureau through the year 2020 to  inspire and educate today's farmers, youth and consumers to preserve and promote tomorrow's agriculture.  

Milk Production:
 Milk production in the 23 major states during October totaled 16.7 billion pounds, up 1.5% from October 2016. Production per cow for October averaged 1,917 pounds. The number of milk cows was 8.74 million head, 1,000 less than September 2017. September production was revised up 0.1% to 16.2 billion pounds. For milk production in the top 5 producing states, California was down 1.5% from October a year ago; Wisconsin up 2.3%; Idaho up 0.2%; New York down 0.1%; and Texas up 5.3%. Other states with large production increases were Arizona (6.6%), Utah (6.2%), Colorado (5.7%), Kansas (4.6%), Iowa (4.0%), South Dakota (4.3%), and New Mexico (4.0%). The states reporting a large decline in production compared to October 2016 were Oregon (-2.4%) and Washington (-0.5%).

Milk Price and Utilization: The Southeast Uniform milk price for October was $19.12, down $0.49 from September and $0.40 higher than October 2016. The Appalachian Uniform milk price was $18.59, down $0.47 from September and $0.49 higher than October 2016. September's Class III price was $16.69, up $0.33 from September, and $1.87 higher than October a year ago. The Class IV price was down $1.01 from September to $14.85, and $1.19 higher than October 2016. The Class I Mover price for December is $16.88, up $0.47 from November. The milk/feed ratio for October was 2.45, even with September.  Read More
Geuss: Little Reason to Resist Class I Formula Proposal
From Progressive Dairyman Editor Dave Natzke

Table I - Change in Average Class I Base Skim Price
Now that advanced pricing data for the full year of 2017 is available, dairy consultant   John Geuss has completed additional analysis of a proposal to change the federal milk marketing order (FMMO) Class I base price formula. His conclusion: There appears to be very little reason for a dairy producer to resist the proposed change.

The current classified pricing system, established in 2000, uses the higher of the Class III or IV price in each month, plus a location-specific differential in each milk marketing order region, to set the monthly Class I price. Under the proposed changes, the Class I system would be adjusted using the simple average of Classes III and IV as the Class I mover. To compensate for any loss of the "higher-of" pricing approach, the proposal applies a 74 cent per hundredweight increase to the monthly skim milk value in each FMMO.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) board has endorsed the proposal, and it will be one element of a larger package of risk management improvements NMPF will ask Congress to approve as the House and Senate agriculture committees begin to formulate the 2018 Farm Bill. (Read:  Class I pricing changes part of NMPF policy priorities)

In his analysis, Geuss compared current and proposed formulas using four different time periods: 2000 to 2017; the last 10 years; the last five years and the current year. If implemented in 2017, the proposed price formula would have raised the Class I base price by 11 cents per cwt. For all other periods analyzed, the Class I price would have been 1-3 cents per cwt higher.

Geuss identifies one potential red flag: Longer term, if the demand for butter creates too much skimmed milk, and the skimmed milk may only find a home as nonfat dry milk in international markets, it could keep Class IV prices low. In that case, the inclusion of a low Class IV price in the Class I formula could make Class I price lower. However, history does not currently show any long-term trend of low Class IV prices.

  Geuss blogs about FMMO issues and their impact on milk prices and is a regular contributor to Progressive Dairyman.

Proposed changes to fluid milk pricing, and why farmers need to care.
Georgia AG Will Lose If U.S. Pulls Out of NAFTA
From GA Farm Bureau

The biggest wildcard for the economic outlook of Georgia agriculture is trade, University of Georgia Ag Economist Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman said during a presentation at the Georgia FarmBureau convention. Dorfman, a professor of agricultural & applied economics at the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, provided the economic outlook at the GFB Convention.
"A trade war would be very bad for Georgia. If we get rid of NAFTA, Georgia could gain in blueberries and vegetables, but Georgia would lose in poultry, corn, peanuts and pecans," Dorfman said. "If we can't sell to Mexico and Canada, someone else will sell to them. These are the two countries we can sell to with the lowest transportation cost. We could sell our products to other countries, but we'll make less money because we'll be paying higher shipping costs. This is why we'll lose if NAFTA goes away."
Dorfman said it will be important for farmers to watch their debt in 2018, especially if it's secured by the high land prices of recent years, and encouraged people to pay off their debt.     Read more
If you're a red dairy state, NAFTA matters
By John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation,

USDA just released long-term  Agricultural Projections to 2027  for the U.S. dairy industry. With these forecasts, USDA confirmed what we've all known for some time: the key to success for U.S. dairy producers and dairy farm income lies outside U.S. borders.

For 2017, U.S. dairy farmers will produce a record 215 billion pounds of milk, but over the next decade USDA projects America's milk production will surge by an additional 34 billion pounds - or an extra 93 million pounds per day.

USDA also knows that the domestic U.S. market is mature.  The growth in U.S. domestic consumption was up less than 2 percent annually.

Where then does the 34 billion pounds of milk coming online over the next decade need to go?

Export markets.          Read More 
From GA Agribusiness Council

The  Georgia Department of Audits  routinely takes a deep dive into a variety of state-run programs looking for gaps or inefficiencies. It's worth noting that they always turn up something that needs attention - that's their job.  Over the past several months, the auditors targeted the GATE program and how it is managed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.   Click here to download the 40-page final report that was recently issued.

In our review of their findings, we saw things that are certain to reignite conversation about changes to the law.  The need for the state to provide better communication and access between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Revenue is old news, yet it remains unresolved.  The process of collecting tax documents to prove qualifications to receive a GATE card is much more cumbersome than necessary.  This fuels concern that there are those with GATE cards that do not/should not qualify, which encourages some county and municipal governments to cry foul.  Even while they have no proof, it is the mere appearance of impropriety that breeds doubt. Thus, a battle could be brewing on the horizon.

While conjecture exists on how the program is managed,  it is our belief that the Department of Agriculture does a good job with GATE applications and verification process given the tools available . We all want to see fraud reduced or eliminated, but much of the progress on that front is halted by bureaucratic process at the Department of Revenue. Perhaps that can and will be addressed in the upcoming legislative session.
We ask GAC members to pay close attention to this issue as the 2018 lawmaking season begins on January 8.  We will work with our allies and our members to help shape the GATE program in a way that reduces opportunities for fraud, while  not putting the burden of documentation and verification on the backs of ag retailers . This has always been our position and we will not deviate. As always, we welcome your suggestions and covet your engagement.
Dairy MPP Enrollment Deadline is Dec. 15th

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications from dairy producers for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy).  The USDA has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018. To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. Full details will be included in a subsequent Federal Register Notice.  The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin - the difference between the price of milk and feed costs - falls below the coverage level selected by the producer. USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP-Dairy that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, Smartphone, tablet or any other platform, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit FSA online at or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the MPP-Dairy. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit  

Certified waster operators can receive one certified waste operator continuing education credit hour during the Georgia Dairy Conference.  To obtain your attendance certificate, you must  attend Dr. Joe Harner's presentation, titled Economics of Various Manure Systems,
 on Tuesday, January 16 at 8:45 a.m.

Veterinarians attending the 2018 Georgia Dairy Conference can earn up to five (5)  continuing education credit hours.  Registration and certificate of proof  can be found at the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Lab exhibit table in the GDC Trade Show.

Registration fees and conference meals are free to Georgia dairy producers and their families. Please let us know if you will be attending the Conference!  All information regarding the conference can be found online at .
Georgia Milk Producers will ALSO deduct $100/night for two nights from each Georgia dairy farm's hotel bill at checkout. It's our way to show our appreciation for your support and to encourage you to attend your annual dairy conference!
2017 Census of Ag Underway

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has begun mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation's producers. Conducted every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.

The census will be mailed in several phases through December. Farm operations of all sizes which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation.

NASS revised the census forms in an attempt to document changes and emerging trends in the industry. Changes include a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices, and questions about on-farm decision-making to help better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers, and others involved in running a farm enterprise.

The census response deadline is Feb. 5, 2018. Responding to the Census of Agriculture is required by law. The same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. NASS will release the results of the census in February 2019.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit or call 800-727-9540.   
Register Today for the 2018 Georgia Ag Forecast Seminars!

Predicting markets and preparing for the next growing season can be a tough job, but that's where we can help. Georgia Ag Forecast is an annual seminar series presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

UGA, the state's land-grant and flagship institution, is committed to sharing the latest research and information to help Georgia farmers and agribusinesses. Join our economists as they provide an outlook of agricultural markets for the coming year. Participants will network with UGA faculty and UGA Cooperative Extension agents, local producers and other stakeholders, and will leave the meeting with a copy of the 2017 Georgia Ag Forecast book, which is designed to provide detailed analyses of major commodities produced in the state. Find the closet meeting location near you-click here for info & registration!
Southeastern Soil Summit in January

Georgia is hosting the  Southeastern Soil Summit  in Atlanta on January 21-22, 2018 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. This Summit will allow the  FDA  to give an overview of where they are with the development of Subpart F Biological Soil Amendments as well as give the  produce, composting, and compost material suppliers  the opportunity to provide input and discussion on what this part of the Rule needs to look like.   Click here for full details and registration.


The University of Georgia's Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest helps to highlight the state's burgeoning food product scene with its annual competition.Registration for the 2018 contest, which is coordinated each year by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is now open at .

Now well into its second decade, the competition serves both food entrepreneurs, assisting them in testing new products and reaching a larger audience, and established brands, helping them break into new markets and receive accolades for established product lines.

To date, more than 1,200 food products have been entered in the contest. Many of these products are sold in regional and national markets. As a result of the contest, some have increased their wholesale distribution or internet sales or experienced better traffic at local farmers markets.

Product categories include barbecue sauces, beverages, condiments and salsas, confections, dairy and related products, honey, jams and jellies, meats and seafood, meat-alternative products, sauces and seasonings, snack foods, and miscellaneous products. There is no limit to the number of products an individual business can submit.

The early registration fee is $100 per entry and continues through Jan. 19, 2018. After that date, the price increases to $150 and remains open until Feb. 8, 2018. 
Sponsor Registration for the 2018 GA Dairy Conference is Open!
Sponsorship registration is now open for the 2018 GA Dairy Conference!  Join us Jan. 15-17 in Savannah, GA,  for the premier Southeastern dairy conference.  

Each year the Georgia Dairy Conference  provides companies with the option to network with dairy producers and industry leaders, while extending a company's brand with several sponsorship opportunities. Dairymen from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia have attended this conference in the past.
Don't wait - register today!  Georgia Milk Producers offers 4 levels of support for companies interested in sponsoring our conference and/or participating in our trade show.

Mark Your Calendars:

Dec. 25-26, 2017: Merry Christmas , GMP Office is Closed
January 15-17, 2018: Georgia Dairy Conference, Savannah
Jan 30 - Feb. 7: UGA Ag Forecast Meetings Across GA - Click Here
GA Dairy Classifieds

For sale 200 cow dairy in Eatonton, Georgia; selling choice of 100 head.  SCC low 200,000's.  Cows mostly AI sired for last 30 years primarily Holstein, few Jerseys and cross breeds.  Cows in milk tank average 70 lbs. 3.9 fat test on low input feed.  Complete DHIA info. on all cows.  Nearly 100 head in first lactation or springing now.  Also offering 50 bred heifers to start calving late January thru Summer.   Call 423-506-2621

Springers for Sale:   50 head of Holsteins, almost all are AI ID Sired and most are 2nd Generation ID.  All heifers are confirmed AI pregnant.  12 are due in December, 30 early January, & 8 late January.  Also have bred heifers available calving Feb-Apr. Stanley London (706) 969-9282

For Sale: 
Jersey cows, heifers and calves for sale.  Registered with AJCA, all ages! Contact Matt Holton at 770-718-8271, call or text.  Dawsonville, GA.

For information contact Jim Reid at 
or email at

Coastal Hay for sale.  $50 for 4 x 5 round bales or $6 a square bale.  Contact Ryan Keith in Waynesboro at 803-627-0762.

WANTED:  Looking to purchase 300 to 500 lb Holstein heifers. Please call Ray Ward  at 

FOR HIRE:  Custom Silage Harvesting.  Late model JD chopper. Will travel. Let me put your quality forage up! Nic Haynes, Muddy H Farms, 678-617-3379.

We have a continuous selection of fresh and springing heifers.
Call William at  (706) 768-2857 or visit our website at 

Bullcalves Wanted : Looking for Bullcalves to purchase - Barron Tench 864-844-2295 or     
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020