Schaapman Holsteins, Abbeville
29th Annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium - Next week

The 29th Annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium will be held at the Best Western Gateway Grand, Gainesville, Florida on February 5 to February 7, 2018. The Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium is recognized as one of the premier conferences for gathering the latest information about advances in nutrition of dairy and beef cattle.
44th Annual Southern Dairy  Conference - Nashville, TN
March 5th-7th, 2018

Topics for 2018 will focus on: Labor Management, Milk Quality, 2018 Dairy Outlook, Federal Order Updates

Location: The Inn at Opryland,  2401 Music Valley Dr.,  Nashville, TN 37214
Reservations for the event will be made by individual attendees directly with Marriott reservations at  1-855-584-3466  or 615-889-0800 .   Reservation must be received on or before  Monday, February 5, 2018 .
To register for the 44th Annual Southern Dairy Conference - click here
By Derek Nolan for Progressive Dairyman

During the Fifth Annual Southeast Quality Milk Initiative Meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee, in November 2017, three representatives from two milk cooperatives sat down in an open panel to discuss current trends of the U.S. milk market.

Panelists were Bob Shipley and Fabian Bernal representing Dairy Farmers of America as well as Jim Howie representing Maryland and Virginia Milk Cooperative. Between the two co-ops, the panel serves over 14,000 dairy producers and handles nearly 30 percent of the milk in the U.S.. Discussion ranged from why markets change to school milk programs, but one topic led the conversation: milk quality.    Read more 
Livestock emissions reporting delayed until May 1
On Feb. 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit extended a stay of air emissions reporting from livestock wastes through at least May 1, 2018. The reporting deadline was scheduled for Jan. 22, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked for an additional 90-day extension.

EPA had asked for an additional stay to provide the agency with more time to prepare for any reporting obligations. In its motion for stay, EPA cited a need for more time to refine guidance to industry on meeting the reporting obligations and to finalize agriculture-specific forms that would be used to report emissions from animal wastes to EPA.    Read more 
By Clint Thompson, UGA

Commodity updates for high-value row crops like peanuts and cotton highlight this year's Georgia Ag Forecast meetings, which are currently being held statewide.

Georgia Ag Forecast, presented by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, is an annual seminar series that features CAES economists' agricultural market outlooks for the upcoming growing season.

"These meetings allow Georgia farmers and industry personnel to get a quick glance of what's going on and what factors are going to affect prices and production this year," said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. "How is this season going to play out for Georgia farmers? That's what people come to these Ag Forecast meetings to find out."

The first forecast was held in Lyons on Tuesday, Jan. 30, then in Bainbridge on Thursday, Feb. 1. Other seminars are slated for Tifton at the Tifton Campus Conference Center on Friday, Feb. 2; Macon at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building on Monday, Feb. 5; Cartersville at the Clarence Brown Conference Center on Tuesday, Feb. 6; and Athens at The Classic Center on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Each meeting is focused on commodities specific to that area of the state.  Read more 
Butterfat Drives Your Milk Price

With premiums eroding across the country because of the glut of milk just about everywhere but California, focus efforts on what you still are being paid for.

What's become clear is that butter is back. Dairy fat has been given a clean bill of health in human diets, and butterfat has become the driver of profitability in milk checks.

Butterfat typically accounts for more than 50% of your milk check. In February, for example, the Federal Order advanced price for fat was pegged at $2.50/lb while protein came in at just $1.68, nonfat solids at 52¢ and other solids at 8¢.

The good news is that maintaining butterfat levels is not rocket science. In fact, maintaining rumen and cow health is synonymous with achieving both high levels of milk and butterfat production.   Read more

If low milk prices aren't enough to worry about in the shortterm, shrinking basis across the Northeast and Midwest are enough to give dairy farmers longterm chronic fatigue syndrome.

Technically, basis is defined as the difference between the All-Milk price and standard uniform price in a Federal Order. This difference, the amount of premium (or basis), is paid by processors to attract milk to their dairy plants.

Even as milk prices have fluctuated based on changing market conditions, the Midwest has generally enjoyed a strong basis. Milk plants were running at less than capacity, and they bid for milk with premiums for butterfat, protein, milk quality, subsidized (or free) hauling and volume. For years, it wasn't uncommon for the basis in the Midwest to be $1 per cwt for just about everyone and even $2 or more for large producers delivering a tanker load of milk each day.    Read more

This issue features:

  • Report from the 2018 GA Dairy Conference
  • SUDIA is now" The Dairy Alliance"
  • Turk Receives FODI Award At GDC 
  • Dixie Dairy Report

Click Here for Newsletter


Click Here to Read our Executive Director's 

Blog for January 2018

'Gluten-free' water is now a thing - and it highlights a major labeling problem in the food industry

The  food labeling craze  coupled with banner headlines about the dangers of  gluten genetically modified organisms (GMOs)  and  hormones  are leading to increasingly absurd results.

For example,  you can now buy "premium" water that's not only free of GMOs and gluten but certified kosher and organic. Never mind that not a single drop of water anywhere contains either property or is altered in any way by those designations.

While some labels provide useful information that is not readily detectable by consumers, others contain misleading claims that exploit a knowledge gap with consumers and take advantage of their willingness to pay a premium for so-called process labels. For example, details on a product's country of origin are helpful;  labeling a bottle of water "gluten free" and "non-GMO" much less so.

In my experience as a food economist, such "fake transparency" does nothing to inform consumers about the nature of their foods. Moreover, it can actually decrease well-being when accompanied by a higher price tag. A new labeling law set to take effect next year will only make matters worse.   Read more
By  Tom Vilsack, U.S. News Opinion Contributor

For the food industry, 2017 was the year of the label. Whether 'non-GMO' or 'no high fructose corn syrup', 'no added hormones' or 'gluten free,' consumers are increasingly demanding more information about what's in their fo od.

report last fall by Nielsen found that 39 percent of consumers would switch from the brands they currently buy to others that provide clearer, more accurate product information. Additionally, 73 percent reported feeling positively about brands that share the "why behind the buy" information about their products.

For food manufacturers - including those in the dairy industry - the writing is on the wall, and it couldn't be clearer. While many are responding with a barrage of new labels to meet that demand, they're doing so with an eye towards giving their products a leg up over the competition, and their bottom lines a boost as well.  
Dairymen seek price change formula
By: Jake Putnam, American Farm Bureau

The US dairy industry and milk producers are united on a proposal to change the way that milk is priced. 

Producers have protected the pricing system for decades while Processors have ignored federal milk marketing orders that set prices for milk based on various dairy products. 

Processors have traditionally pooled the receipts to pay producers based on average prices.

Producers also fought off proposals by processors to allow them to start buying fluid milk through contracts with farmers. 

But now, the International Dairy Foods Association and National Milk Producers Federation are asking Congress to include compromised provisions in the new farm bill that modifies the formula that determines the floor price for fluid milk. It's based on fluctuations in milk prices that go into the butter and cheese sectors of the market.  
  Read more
Next-Generation Dairy Snacks: Processors Need to Play the Convenience Card
By: Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy Blog

It's all about speed, experience and personalization.

And here's where dairy foods are challenged, in particular at grocery stores. This is because many dairy foods-think yogurt cups, string cheese, frozen novelties, etc.-have long been merchandised in single-serve formats. Why would retailers relocate these lower-margin products from the back of the store-that's usually where the dairy case is located-to the front of store where consumers are willing to pay $7.99 per pound for a scoop of yogurt on the salad bar? And, that's not even touching on "slotting fee" bribery schemes. (Just calling it what it is!)

It's time to reinvent dairy snacks and go after other channels, namely convenience stores, gas stations, coffee shops, school cafes, health clubs, and more. I emphasize the "reinvent," because the convenience shopper is looking for products that catch their eye and meet their personal needs, emotionally and physically. 
Perdue Unveils, Interactive Website for Agricultural Producers
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled, the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers.govis now live but will have multiple features added over the coming months to allow agricultural producers to make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs. The website, launched at a breakfast hosted by the Michigan Farm Bureau, gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA's Farm Production and Conservation mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency. Read more

Cargill Inc. is backing an Irish startup that uses facial recognition software to help increase the productivity of dairy cows, the latest move by the largest closely held U.S. company to bolster its agricultural-technology efforts.

Cargill has taken a minority stake in  Cainthus, which harnesses machine-learning and imaging techniques to identify cows and glean information on everything from their behavior to appetite, David Hunt, president and co-founder of Cainthus, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Details of the investment weren't disclosed. Read more

ALEXANDRIA, Minn.-There wasn't really a last straw that made Billy Euerle walk away from his Garfield dairy farm last year.
Things had been bad for several years.
He trudged through his days, milking Hot Chocolate and Caroline and Brooke and all the others, barely sleeping. Facing terrible milk prices and crushing debt, he struggled to find motivation. Every chore seemed to take twice as long, and his whole family was feeling the stress. To top it off, severe storms in 2017 ravaged several farm buildings.     Read more 
IN DEPTH: Oversupply of milk, low prices cause concern for area dairy farmers
Dairy farmers faced tight margins for the past couple years and another predicted year of low milk prices is causing even more concern for the whole dairy industry.

Recent milk production numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture's website show the United States dairy industry will produce an estimated 218.8 billion pounds of milk this year. While it's a 0.5 billion pound reduction than what was predicted at the end of 2017, prices continue to drop because the demand for US dairy products are low.

"It'd be just like if you cut your take home pay from your own job," said Mike Enge, who is the owner of a third generation 700 dairy cow operation in Sauk Prairie. "Where are you going to make ends meet? Well you got to do what you can and that's basically the scenario we're in right now."    Read more

Moo juice was considered the best because it had the most even, substantial blend of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, along with being a plentiful source of other nutrients. It also seems to have some germ-fighting potential, thanks to  containing proteins that strengthen the immune system against infection.

In the land of milk and honey, good old-fashioned dairy is still on top-at least so says a recent  review published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology this past November. Researchers at McGill University in Canada compared the nutritional content and health benefits of cow's milk to four popular and unsweetened plant-based milk substitutes: soy, rice, coconut, and almond. Cow's milk was the most nutritionally balanced, but if you want to avoid dairy, soy milk came in a close second. Almond milk? Dead last.

Sai Kranthi Vanga, a PhD candidate at the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill, and his co-author set out to confirm whether these plant-based milks really were the healthy and wholesome alternatives to cow's milk they've been branded as.  Read more
Mark Your Calendars:

Feb. 10: UGA Commercial Dairy Heifer Show, Athens, GA
Feb. 21-23: Georgia Jr. National Livestock Show, Perry
Mar. 5-7: Southern Dairy Conference, Nashville, TN
Mar.  30: GDYF Golf Tournament, Bishop, GA
Apri. 7: 2018 UGA Spring Dairy Show, Athens

GA Dairy Classifieds

FOR SALE: 13 Holstein heifers due Feb and March, 5 with dams over 1000lbs fat , 6 bred to sexed semen. Over 30 yrs AI  Ray Ward.  706-473-8789  Eatonton, Ga

WANTED:  L ooking 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 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

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

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