Over the Moon Dairy, Buckhead                                                                                   Photo credit: Jay Moon
Congress Fails to Offer Relief for Georgia Farmers, AGAIN
From Georgia Agribusiness Council

In what was viewed as possibly our "last, best chance" to have funding designated for farmers and agribusinesses affected by Hurricane Michael, Congress passed a partial spending bill that includes absolutely zero dollars to deal with the crisis in rural Georgia. The bill also offers much less money than requested by President Trump to provide funding for a wall on the southern border of the U.S.

Even with these large shortcomings in the bill, President Trump is expected to sign the funding bill and later declare a state of emergency to start the legal process of funding "the wall".
Other leaders in Congress have warned that declaring a state of emergency to fund the wall could set a precedence that would be used by future Presidents to address national issues such as Climate Change and Gun Control.

While both sides continue to play politics, farmers in Georgia continue to struggle as planting season 2019 draws closer and closer with no federal assistance in sight.
UGA Mastitis Workshops This Month! Don't forget to register for the Waynesboro and Madison events!
The University of Georgia Extension Service will hold 2 mastitis workshops this month in Quitman, Waynesboro, and Madison.  The details are as follows:
February 27       Burke Co. Extension Office, 715 West 6th St., Waynesboro, GA
February 28       Morgan Co. Extension Office, 440 Hancock St., Madison, GA
11:00 am           Introduction
11:15 am           Best Milking Practices and the NMC 10-point Mastitis Plan, Dr. Valerie Ryman, Extension 
                         Dairy  Specialist, ADS-Athens, UGA
12:00 pm           Lunch
12:30 pm           The Right Drugs for the Mastitis Bugs, Dr. Emmanuel Rollin, CVM  - Athens, UGA
1:15 pm             How Diet Affects Milk Components and Quality, Dr. John Bernard, ADS-Tifton,  UGA
2:00 pm             Questions and answers
Lunch will be provided.  Please register with the Extension office by noon the day before the meeting (or as listed below) to reserve your meal, the numbers for county offices are:
Burke Co: (706) 554-2119
Morgan Co: (706) 342-2214
For registration and more information - click here

GA Food Animal Conference Will Officer Producer Session  Friday, March 29

Friday's general session at the Georgia Food Animal Conference will feature nationally-renowned speakers including Dr. Morgan McArthur and Dr. Francis L. Fluharty. The sessions will focus on greater stress management, finding the value of the VCPR, lost opportunities in cattle production, and veterinary stewardship. For registration and additional information, click here.
By Mike Opperman, Dairy Herd Management

Many dairy producers are hopeful that the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program through the 2018 Farm Bill will provide a better safety net. However, the government shutdown created some confusion about the program and its implementation. Below we've pulled together the answers to some frequently asked questions. Read more  

Did I miss the sign-up window for DMC? No. Technically farmers can legally obtain coverage under the program beginning January 1, 2019. However, the government shutdown prevented farmers from enrolling as FSA offices were closed. The best thing you can do is contact your FSA representative and ask them when they will be ready to take sign ups. 

Although it's illegal to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, federal officials say people in 19 states (including GA) have been exposed to drug-resistant Brucella after consuming raw milk from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Pennsylvania.

In a nationwide food safety alert, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that anyone who has consumed raw dairy products from the farm in the past three years should check in with their doctors. The outbreak strain of Brucella - RB51 - is resistant to rifampin, one of the antibiotics that is typically be used to prevent or treat brucellosis.

The CDC and state officials are urging consumers to throw away any raw dairy products from Miller's Biodiversity Farm that they have in their homes.   

"People who consumed raw milk or raw milk products from this dairy farm since January 2016 may have been exposed and should talk to their doctor," according to the CDC food safety alert.  Read more   
By Cory Geiger, Managing Editor, Hoards Dairyman

Despite sluggish farm gate milk prices, the collective U.S. dairy industry has been collaborating to create a brighter future for both producers and processors.

While more must be done to ensure both producer and processor profitability, growing dairy export sales and expanding domestic consumption for cheese and butter will go a long way toward restoring balance sheets, shared Michael Dykes, CEO and president of the International Dairy Foods Association.

It's powerful when the U.S. dairy industry comes together to discuss how we can work together to lead dairy forward," shared Michael Dykes, CEO and president of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). "As an organization, we are laying a new foundation. Last fall, the respective IDFA boards and members voted to change our governance structure. They decided to merge the three organizations for milk, cheese, and ice cream into one unified IDFA," he said to those attending the 34th annual Dairy Forum in Orlando, Fla.

"Under this structure, IDFA will be more nimble. We will be more inclusive. We will be more effective in representing the interests of all segments of the dairy processing industry," said IDFA's leader, who grew up on a small dairy farm in Kentucky.

"We have a new IDFA Executive Council seated. The council will focus on the business operations of the association to carry out its fiduciary responsibilities," said Dykes, who also holds a degree in veterinary medicine. "Later this spring, we will inaugurate five industry segment boards to drive policy and strategy. These boards will represent fluid milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy-derived ingredients."
Read more 
With marketplace pressures stronger than ever, 2018 was a challenging year for milk across the value chain - from farmers to processors, brands, retailers and more. Milk is amidst a competitive environment unlike any we've seen before - a hyper-competitive and rapidly changing retail landscape, a food-forward culture that includes dairy-free and plant-based diets, and seemingly unlimited beverage choices for today's consumer. 

As a result, every food and beverage category and product is upping its game, spending more and smarter - against innovation, shopper marketing, customer relations, digital marketing and more. The milk category needs to up its game, too.

And I'm optimistic that it can. Based on Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) data, if we get just one additional serving per household per week from key consumer segments, we can drive significant growth for the category.   Read more
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army published an  official rule in the Federal Register on Feb.14 proposing to define the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposal is the second step in a comprehensive, two-step process intended to review and revise the definition of the "waters of the U.S." (WOTUS).

This follows several actions by the Trump Administration to overturn a 2015 WOTUS rule finalized by the Obama Administration, which is also held up in several court cases.
The new proposal opens up a 60-day comment period, requiring comments to be received on or before April 15, 2019. The proposed WOTUS definition revision is intended to increase CWA program predictability and consistency by increasing clarity as to the scope of the waters federally regulated under CWA, the agencies said in the rule.

Under the proposed rule, a tributary is defined as a river, stream or similar naturallyoccurring surface water channel that contributes perennial or intermittent flow to a traditional navigable water or territorial sea in a typical year either directly or indirectly. Read more
Forage sorghum silage in the Texas High Plains is a viable option with sugarcane aphid control, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service study.

Texas High Plains feedlots and dairies demand large quantities of quality silages. While corn is the predominant silage crop, declining well capacities and pumping restrictions are prompting interest in forage sorghum silage.

The concern, however, is with sugarcane aphids, or SCAs, and whether heavy infestations will allow proper ensiling, said Dr. Jourdan Bell, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Amarillo. Also, producers question if damage to the forage will degrade further during the fermentation process.

SCA infestations in forage sorghum silages the past three years have been extremely heavy, causing harvest issues, Bell said. But prior data on the actual amount of damage to silage yield and quality from these infestations is nonexistent.

"While we previously documented a direct correlation between increased SCA damage and decreased forage quality at harvest, we've never evaluated the effects of SCA damage to silage quality over time," she said.

The Bottom Line
In 2017, Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist in Amarillo, and Bell conducted a field trial to evaluate damage potential of SCAs to forage sorghum yield and silage quality. The research funding came from the Texas Grain Sorghum Board. Find the full study outline at  https://tinyurl.com/sorghforageSCAdamages.  
Flooding Kills Estimated 300,000-plus Cattle in Australia
From Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers

Record rain fall in northern Queensland, Australia has left upwards of 300,000 cattle dead as farmers struggle to care for their livestock during a multiday rain storm.

After years of drought, the northeastern region of Australia received much needed rain towards the end of January and the start February. However, the rain was more what is typically expected in the area during a single year and led to widespread devastation.

"We think that there's over 300,000 head of cattle that have been lost, drowned or washed away," says  Georgie Somerset, president of the farm lobby group AgForce.

Queensland is home to approximately 11.1 million head of cattle, about 42.5% of Australia's cattle, according to  Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Government Land and Coasts.   Read more 

Georgia Correctional Industries has a position to fill in the Reidsville Georgia area for a: 
Dairy Manager - Milking
Plant Operator 4- Milk Processing
Plant Operator 3- Milk Processing
Farm and Livestock Specialist 2 -Milking

Applicants should be comfortable with computers and software and have good communication and organizational skills.  Applicants should also have two years experience in dairy processing and excellent knowledge of all Department of Agriculture guidelines pertaining to milk processing.  If interested send a resume to Nicole Gaulthney at:  ngaultney@gci-ga.com    
A Tinder-inspired app is helping farmers match up potential partners for their cattle.

Called "Tudder" - a mix of dating app Tinder and udder - it lets farmers swipe right on cattle they like the look of.

They are then directed to a page on the SellMyLivestock website where they can browse more pictures and data about the animals before deciding whether to buy

Valuable information is available on matters like milk yield and protein content, or calving potential, explained Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech which runs SellMyLivestock (SML) and Graindex, a UK-based online agritech trading platform.

"Matching livestock online is even easier than it is to match humans because there's a huge amount of data that sits behind these wonderful animals that predicts what their offspring will be," he said.
Launching just in time for Valentine's Day, the makers believer Tudder is the first ever matchmaking app for livestock . Read more
GA Dairy Classifieds

Calves wanted: Competitive pricing with a 6 day a week pick up. Will buy bulls and heifers of all ages. Peter's Cattle Co. 470-255-8515

Young Stock Supervisor wanted - 
Hart Agriculture Waynesboro GA
Grazing 500-1000 animals,   
Must be familiar with rotational grazing and breeding. 
Please contact Maggie 352-507-2042 or  maggie@hartagriculture.com
Dairy Manager wanted - 
Hart Agriculture Waynesboro GA
300-700 milking cows,   
60 bale rotary, New Zealand style grazing system. 
Please contact Maggie 352-507-2042 or  maggie@hartagriculture.com

Heifers for Sale (SC): 
18 Bred Registered Holstein Heifers. Big heifers 6 Due in November, 5 Due in December, 3 Due in March  50 years in the Dairy business, Top herd in South Carolina. RHA 25,000, Closed Herd, All AI Sired, all AI Bred, and  Vaccinated. Contact: Debbie Glenn at  864-376-8582.

Bull Calves WANTED: Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

For HIRE: Southeast DHIA 
has a position to fill in the 
West Central Georgia area for a 
 Responsibilities include data 
collection on area dairy farms 
during milking time. S
chedule is somewhat flexible 
but the hours are non-typical. S
ome travel and out-of-town 
work likely. 
Applicants should be comfortable 
with computers and software and
have good communication and 
organizational skills as well as 
reliable transportation. Pickup Truck required. I
f interested send a resume to 

For Sale: Custom manure application and Dryhill manure equipment sales. 
Contact Edwin @ 478-299-0717 with Agboys Custom Services LLC  - 
New 8"x52' lagoon pump with outriggers $24,000 (Pictured right)

For Sale 3000 gallon Surge/Westfalia milk tank and wash system. Three phase condensers. 2002 model. Excellent condition. John B Gay, 478-494-5107

WANTED: DeLaval Westfalia
 Neck Transponders:  TN Dairy seeking used Westfalia neck band transponders. 
Please contact Bill or Peggy Howell if interested at 423-972-9254 or 423-371-3032.

WANTED: Looking for used pasteurizing and bottling equipment in working condition; Linda and Darrell Rankins, Jr.; 334-745-2357 (best times: mid-day and after 8 p.m.)

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 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  barron.tench@gmail.com     
Upcoming Events:

Feb. 27 - UGA Mastitis Workshop, Waynesboro

Feb. 28 - UGA Mastitis Workshop, Madison

March 20-21, Certified Waste Operator Training, Athens
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020|  gamilkproducers@gmail.comwww.gamilk.org