Hillcrest Farms, Dearing, GA
Using On-Farm Milk Culturing to Drive Treatment Decisions

   March 20    10 a.m.       Burke Co. Extension Office, Waynesboro
                                        (715 West 6th Street, Waynesboro, 30830)
   March 22    10 a.m.        Andy's BBQ Restaurant, Eatonton
                                         (100 Friendship Rd SW, Eatonton, GA 31024)

This series will focus on the use of on-farm milk culturing to quickly identify pathogens that lead to mastitis and how testing can be used to  increase the odds of a full cure on first treatment, reduce the cost of treatments and reduce the use of intramammary antimicrobials. Speakers will review protocols for identifying mastitis cases, milk sample collection, lab sanitation, milk culturing lab methods, organism identification, recording and reporting and equipment care. Meetings are open to dairymen, managers, and employees - free of charge and will be held from 10 a.m. until noon. Please preregister for meal by calling our office at 706-310-0020.

The speakers, Dr. Emmanuel Rollin and Dr. Valerie Ryman, are both from the University of Georgia. Dr. Rollin is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dairy Production Medicine at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. His research interests include milk quality, transition health and milking equipment. Dr. Valerie Ryman is an Extension Dairy Specialist for the Animal and Dairy Science Department at the University of Georgia.  Her extension interests focus on mammary health and milk quality, with an emphasis on mastitis prevention and control strategies. Click here to view meeting flyer

Pictures from this week in Americus:

**A drawing will be held at each meeting for one producer to take home an incubator **
Sponsored by Georgia Milk Producers,  Boehringer Ingelheim  and  UGA Extension
The dairy industry faced a new wave of uncertainty earlier this week when Land O'Lakes cooperative announced a voluntary equity buyout for producer members in the East region and select milk sheds in the Upper Midwest.

"This decision was made because ongoing market volatility has impacted Land O'Lakes businesses and created economic uncertainty for many of our members," says Brooke Dillon communications manager for Land O'Lakes. "This was a mutually beneficial, completely optional solution that could support Land O'Lakes businesses and members who choose to participate."

While most Land O'Lakes producers welcomed the program, some producers don't see the deal as mutually beneficial. Debbi Myers, a Pennsylvania farmer and Land O'Lakes member who received the letter, says producers who are 70 years old and want to sell their remaining equity will have the first bid.    Read more  
If there's any silver lining in today's dairy markets, it's that the markets likely won't get much worse, says Dan Basse, an ag economist and president of AgResource Company based in Chicago.

Basse spoke at this week's Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Business Conference in Madison. "I think the dairy industry is in the process of bottoming out," he told some 1,100 attendees. He doesn't foresee a lot of downside risk in milk prices, with Class III prices trading in the $13 to $17 range this year.

"I don't think dairy markets will go down very much unless President Trump makes a mistake," he says.
One of the problems has been the strong U.S. dollar, which makes it difficult for U.S. dairy and other ag products to be competitive globally. "We need the U.S. dollar to drop 20 to 30% to spark a lasting U.S. ag economy recovery and cut non-U.S. world ag production," he says.

The dollar is down 6% in the last 9 months, triggered in part by President Trump's erratic and unpredictable behavior. Trump's actions are taking global confidence in the U.S. down. "In a strange way, that has been good for all of us [in terms of making U.S. products more competitive globally]," he says.   Read more  
March 21th Ferdia Farms Dairy Dispersal

- Complete dispersal of 700 Holstein cows and heifers
- Tractors, loaders, feed mixers, and 5000 gallon milk tank also selling
- All milk cows selling have been tested in the past 30 days and have a clean test on Staph Aureus and Mycoplasma
- Pregnancy test and vaccinations are up to date
- TB and Bangs tested - health sheets furnished

Visit our website for more information:   http://www.walnutgroveauction.com/auctions.html
The Dairy Alliance Awakens Hope for Dairy Farm Families in the Southeast 
From The Dairy Alliance

ATLANTA (March 13) - The Dairy Alliance's Global Dairy Summit convened state agriculture officials, industry stakeholders and thought leaders from across the Southeast to rally around a plan to reverse the dire economic circumstances facing the 2,000 local, family-owned farms in the Southeast.
For local dairy farm families, the future looks grim. Since 2010, the U.S. has lost nearly a quarter of its dairy farms nationwide, and the situation is even worse in the Southeast, with a 33% loss. This decline threatens the economic prospects of the 38,000 individuals employed by the dairy industry in the region, as well. And it's unfortunate for the public, because drinking fresh milk is a source of nourishment, enjoyment and supports the family farms of the southeast.
"The Global Dairy Summit is the stake-in-the ground for changing the trajectory of the dairy industry in the Southeast," said Doug Ackerman, CEO, The Dairy Alliance. "It's a chance for us to unite the industry around common goals. We need to act aggressively and decisively if the dairy industry is going to survive in the Southeast."
Today at the Summit, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) CEO and President Tom Vilsack introduced USDEC's "Next 5% Plan" that features common sense, proactive measures to reverse the economic tide for dairy farmers by 2025.
"For dairy farm families to have the chance to pass their farms onto their kids, the shift to a global marketplace focus holds the key," said Vilsack. "The "Next 5% Plan" will advance the dairy industry in the Southeast, providing a viable dairy industry in the Southeast for years to come."
A Promising Future: Next Steps with the "Next 5% Plan"
  • Unite the U.S. dairy industry and improve coordination with USDEC and its members to grow exports from 15% à20% for the benefit of all industrymembers.
  • Combat domestic challenges such as U.S. milk surplus and low milk prices impacting the bottom lines of hard-working dairy farmfamilies.
  • Strengthen existing and recruit new international markets by expanding and evolving U.S. dairy capabilities to meet global demandexpectations.
Educate the American public about the importance of dairy exports to their lives, to the U.S. economy and to the nearly 100,000 jobs created by dairy exports.  For more information on The Dairy Alliance, visit them online at: http://www.thedairyalliance.com/
From GA Farm Bureau Public Policy Dept. 

The majority of discussion among industry partners this week centered on the proposed changes to Georgia's ag water metering program. While a framework bill passed out of the Senate before the Crossover deadline, debate continued on what acceptable changes need to be made to strengthen the integrity of the program.   

Farm  Bureau staff worked in coordination with industry partners and legislators to ensure that both  farmers ' interests are protected and accurate data is collected. The House Natural Resources & Environment Committee favorably reported  SB 451  on 3/15, resulting from the strong leadership by Reps.  Tom McCall Lynn Smith Buddy Harden Sam Watson , and Sens.  Tyler Harper Dean Burke , and  Larry Walker .
The current version of the bill will codify the program under the authority of Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to provide regulatory accountability and establish processes for successful administration of the program. It also upholds the state's commitment to shoulder the repair, replacement, and installation of meters, as well as requiring EPD to contract out the reading of meters annually.
We expect the bill will continue moving toward passage with limited changes, after stakeholders reached common ground. 
It's just around the corner...
 Don't miss out on our 8th Annual Golf Tournament.... AND 
according to the 
Almanac a beautiful spring day! 
Mark your calendars for March 30 at 11 a.m.
Lane Creek Golf Club, Bishop, GA

U.S. farm income has been cut in half
By Corey Geiger, Managing Editor

Dairy isn't the only agricultural commodity facing a downturn in pay prices. In its latest forecast, USDA projects that farm income will be $59.5 billion nationally in 2018. That's down from a $123.8 billion peak in 2013 for a reduction of 52 percent.

To say the least, that is a heavy hit in the pocket book. The total includes all farms from grain to livestock.

As for dairy, receipts have fallen $15 billion since 2014. That's a reduction of $300,000 per farm, estimated John Newton, who is market intelligence director with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

As this situation has unfolded, farmers across the country have stepped up borrowing to cover costs. In addition, it's expected that with climbing interest rates, borrowing costs for real estate loans will reach the highest levels since 1989. With that in mind, USDA forecasts interest on farm loans will be up nearly 40 percent when compared to 2013.

A bright spot for balance sheets has been land. Those values have been holding strong.
However, this could be a tumultuous year for some dairy farmers. We have been hearing reports that some dairy operations have so many milk check assignments (payments going to loans and expenses) that actual take home pay is almost nonexistent. In other instances, banks are conducting a thorough review of assets to ensure solvency of loans.
By Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal's AgPro
In a nationwide class action, Syngenta
will pay a $1.51 billion settlement to U.S. corn farmers, grain handling facilities and ethanol plants. The settlement covers corn priced after September 15, 2013.

All farmers are eligible for the settlement, including those who might have opted out of previous Syngenta lawsuits. When funds are available farmers must submit a claim form to collect-notices will likely be mailed and farmers will need to submit forms, opt out or object to agreement terms. Read more
Certified Nutrient Planner/ Waste Operator Training in March
The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia will hold their annual planner/operator certification training in Athens at the UGA Livestock Arena classroom on March 20-21, 2018. Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Nutrient Management Planner or Certified Waste Operator in Georgia must attend this training. This training is only available once a year. Also, those seeking continuing education credit hours are welcome to attend. For more information and to register for the training visit the AWARE website at: http://aware.uga.edu/downloads/Operator-plannerFlyer2018.pdf
UGA Spring Dairy Show - April 7th
Mark your calendar for the 2018 UGA Spring Dairy Show.  With a long running history (we're on the 55th year) this Spring Show is a great way to bring together all of our registered cattle producers from across the southeast.  In addition, this show helps ensure that we have high quality animals ready to go for the Georgia State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest!  Please help spread the word as we would love for this year's show turnout to be even bigger and better than last.   Please email jfain@uga.edu or call 706-542-9108 with any questions!  Show information and registration packet available here.
AGAware Workshops Scheduled for Summer
AgSouth is excited to announce the dates and locations locked down for another round of AGAware workshops. Van McCall will present an exciting and fun-filled, educational workshop on farm finance.  The classes are from  9am until 4pm with lunch provided and there is no charge to attend. The workshops are certified for FSA borrower credits as well.
Click here for more information . This is a hands-on workshop with actual projects conducted during the training. 

Mark Your Calendars:

Mar. 20: GDMS Waynesboro - Click here for flyer
Mar.  30: GDYF Golf Tournament, Bishop, GA
April 5-7: 57th Annual GA Cattlemen's Assoc. Convention & Trade Show and 21st Annual Georgia Beef Expo Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA
GA Dairy Classifieds

WANTED: GA Corrections Facilitity in Reidsvile seeks farm manager to 
manage farm and livestock operations, supervise inmates and staff, perform administrative duties and will oversee land, equipment and vehicles.  Click here for more information

WANTED: UGA Tifton Dairy looking for a  full time milker with duties to include: setting up the
parlor; milking cows; cleaning free stalls; cleaning milking equipment and parlor
to meet state and FDA guidelines. In addition to milking, the individual will be
assisting staff with routine animal care to include assistance with moving,
vaccinating, treating, and sorting animals. Click here for more information

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: 
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 jim@reidbros.com

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     
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020 gamilkproducers@gmail.com