Haygood Dairy Farms, Yatesville
Using On-Farm Milk Culturing to Drive Treatment Decisions

         March 15     10 a.m.      Reid Bros. Irrigation Company, Americus
                                              (908 Adderton St, Americus, GA 31719)
         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

**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
After trying to make financial ends meet for three consecutive years (2015-17), challenges to profitability will be amplified in 2018, said Jim Sleper, CEO of Southeast Milk Inc. (SMI), Belleview, Florida. The co-op has about 150 members in six states, marketing about 26 billion pounds of milk annually.

"Dairy farmers are bracing for what is expected to be another tough year, not unlike 2016," he said. "While we don't suspect it to be as tough as 2009 - due to the strength of the U.S. economy - producers are entering 2018 with trepidation and apprehension. Farms of all size simply hope to survive another price valley."
Farrah Newberry, executive director of the Georgia Milk Producers Inc., admits finding optimism in early 2018 is difficult. In addition to lower 2018 milk prices, which are predicted to be at least $1.50 per hundredweight (cwt) lower than 2017, shrinking milk basis negatively impacts farmer income.

"For decades, the Southeast held the highest basis in the nation," Newberry said. "Today, producers are receiving little to no premiums on Class I milk, and balancing costs and spring surplus losses cause farm prices to be lower."

Calvin Covington, retired dairy cooperative CEO, cites three reasons for mailbox prices that are now $1.50 to $2 lower than federal order blend prices: 1) lower over-order premiums; 2) more milk than local markets can utilize, resulting in milk being shipped out of local areas at discounted prices, with added transportation costs; and 3) higher local milk hauling charges.    Read more
He saw the mailman drive up and linger in the driveway, wondering if they were expecting a package. Moments later, his wife was standing there, holding a letter she had signed for.

The certified letter informed this Lancaster County dairy farm family that after 13 years of sending their milk to the Swiss Premium plant in Lebanon - along with decades of the farm's milk in generations before them - the agreement with Dean Dairy Direct would end May 31, 2018.

The same story played out Friday among neighboring farms on the same hauling route to the same plant. And it was the same scene in driveways for approximately 120 dairy farms in eight states, including 42 in eastern and western Pennsylvania - around half of the Dean Dairy Direct shippers to three plants in the state.
Reace Smith, director of corporate communications for the Dallas, Texas-based Dean Foods, confirmed in a phone call Monday that against the backdrop of expanding raw milk production, and companies "asserting and expanding their presence in a market where consumers are drinking less milk (namely the Fort Wayne, Indiana Walmart plant where bottling begins this month) over 100 dairy farms in eight states received 90-day termination notices" from Dean Dairy Direct on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3 stating that their agreements will end May 31, 2018.

Smith confirmed that the over 100 affected dairy farms are in the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.    Read more  
March 14th Dairy Dispersal at Mid-GA Livestock Market, Inc.

Florida Herd Dispersal
  • 140 Head Milking (70% Holstein, 30% Jersey/Jersey Cross)
  • Feed - Corn Silage
  • Avg. Age: 56 Head - First Lacatation, 36 Second Lactation and 48 Third Lactation
Regular Dairy and Beef Sale to Follow.  For more information, call  770-775-7314  

March 14th 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
"Déjà Vu" - Inventories, Inventories, Inventories

February 2018 Class and Component prices were consistently negative from the prior month.  Why?  Inventories were up again.  The only exception was butter, where inventories were at prior year levels.  The inventory data that is available is for the end of January.

In spite of decent exports and reduced imports of cheese, inventories of cheese continued to grow vs. the prior year (See Chart II).   The growth rate could be acceptable if there were not already excess inventories.  As covered in the prior post, if this production rate is continued, exports must increase dramatically and imports must continue to shrink to reduce the inventory. 
Read more
March Dixie Dairy Report

Click below to view:

This month's issue covers fluid milk sales, exports, milk production, milk prices and number of dairy farms in the Southeast.
The Work of Farmers Often Misunderstood

The work of farmers to feed our families is often misunderstood and under-appreciated. A recent letter in the Moultrie Observer referenced supposed local tax losses due to the use of the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) card by Colquitt County area farmers. This perspective is misguided in many ways, so I wanted to cut through the rhetoric and provide some facts for your readers. 

It is important to know the history of sales tax exemptions on farm inputs in order to have the proper perspective on this program and the benefits that it provides not only to farmers but also to the health of rural communities.

Farming is hard. Anyone that has worked on a farm or has family that makes a living on the farm knows this first hand. In many ways, farming is just like other production or processing companies which have long received sales tax exemptions on the tools needed to produce a product so that it can enter the market place where sales tax may be collected. But on the farm, instead of making products, they grow them in the face of many, many challenges. It requires a long list of inputs such as heavy equipment, fertilizer, seed, chemicals, irrigation, fuel, fence materials and the like in order to make the farm operational...and hopefully profitable. 
Read more

GATE Bill Update from GA Agribusiness Council:
The GATE bill continues to advance as it moved through the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday afternoon. It remains the same as passed by the House last week and looks to have smooth sailing to the finish line.  Senate Ag Chairman  John Wilkinson  (Toccoa)  has agreed to handle it the remainder of the way and we are grateful for the work of he and  Rep. Sam Watson  (Moultrie)  that helped secure these improvements to the GATE program. We testified at the committee meeting that these changes would strengthen the integrity of the program with the creation of a three-year card that carries a $150 registration fee, additional education initiatives, and enhanced application program.   Click here to watch the footage of the full committee . We'll keep working to get it through the Senate in the next week or two.
East Tennessee dairy farmers struggling with contract issues, falling profits
By Michael Crowe, WBIR News

A group of East Tennessee dairy farmers is worried for the future of their businesses.

Dean Foods recently told 100 farmers nationwide it would stop buying their milk on May 31.

"Many factors, including a surplus of raw milk at a time when the public already is consuming less fluid milk and companies assertively entering or expanding their presence in the milk processing business, have exacerbated an already tenuous situation in a highly competitive market," a Dean spokesperson said.

"Our decision was an incredibly difficult one and a step that we worked very hard to avoid," she added.
Dean will continue to purchase milk from 12,000 U.S. producers, including some in Tennessee.

But the loss of these contracts can be devastating for producers. Eddie Gilbert was among those farmers, and said it will be tough to find another buyer.     Read more
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer

It's not easy, but I am thankful to work on the farm with my family.
My dad and I have been writing for the Hoard's Dairyman blog together as a team for a while now. We have written plenty of blogs on advocating, milk prices, robots, crops, and so forth . . . but I don't think that I have actually dug deep on what it is actually like to work with my father.

I am going to share some of those moments with you guys in this blog. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with some young people who are considering a return to the farm after getting their education.

When getting ready for college, my father told me to apply and start out in a degree different than anything relating to the dairy. He knew I had interest in nursing, seeing how my mother and stepmother were in the medical field. So, I started out majoring in nursing.

This lasted all of about a half a semester before running to my adviser's door asking for my major to be changed. Although I knew right off the bat this wasn't for me and agriculture was screaming my name, I am thankful that my dad pushed for me to start out as a nursing major. It made me realize very quickly what I truly wanted to do in life. Also, this made sure that I would never look back and ask "what if?"    Read more  
By: Progressive Dairyman Editor Dave Natzke

Another round of letters notifying dairy farmers they are losing a milk market arrived in mailboxes, this time in Indiana, Kentucky and surrounding states. In a letter dated Feb. 26, Brent Bunce, director of Dairy Direct Operations, said Dean Foods would cease buying milk from affected dairy farmers, effective May 31.

The total number of farms whose milk marketing contracts have been terminated is unknown. Dean Foods had not yet responded to questions from Progressive Dairyman.

According to some sources, it involves farmers in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee. Progressive Dairyman will provide updates as they become available.    Read more
By: Ashley Davenport

The USDA is setting its expectations for the dairy industry , and milk production is forecasted to be at a record high.

Last week at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum, Chief ag economist Robert Johansson believes milk production will reach 218.7 billion pounds, a 1.5 percent increase from 2017 levels. With that increase, prices are expected to worsen by 9 percent.

With this news, the dairy industry is bracing itself for another down year. Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors, thinks what's been playing out in the grain markets could soon be seen in dairy.

He says two factors could turn the markets around: China's down milk powder production and production problems in New Zealand from bad weather.

"We see this combination coming together, creating a whipsaw effect for milk powder prices and stimulating the overall milk prices much higher," he said on AgDay. "We think the market has gotten into a complacency that it ought not to be in." 
Read more
Dairy Foods: Innovation Knows No Limits at Expo West 2018
From Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy Blog

Welcom e to Expo West 2018, where there is an estimated 82,000-plus attendees exploring innovations from more than 3,500 exhibitors, of which 600 are first-time exhibitors. The first day of the expo-Thursday, March 8-was limited to educational sessions and table-top exhibitors in the new north halls.

There were many show-stoppers, with numerous being dairy based. There were also many that were not, but still provide inspiration for innovation. Come explore with me.

But first, the morning kicked off with Carlotta Mast, senior vice president of content at New Hope Network, providing insight to the state of the natural industry, which grew 6.5% to $207 billion in 2017. Natural, organic and functional foods and beverages are 70% of sales. These sales are growing about 10-times faster than total food and beverage sales.This supports data from The Hartman Group that shows across all regions of the U.S., consumers agree that the two most important attributes when shopping for foods and beverages are what's good for my heart and what's locally grown or produced. There is no doubt that consumers continue to view food and beverages as the linchpin of achieving a health and wellness lifestyle. They seek food-and-beverage products with recognizable ingredients and minimal processing as cues for fresh, less processed.

Mast identified five food trends driving inspiration at Expo West 2018. By far, the leader is the Plant Revolution. There was everything from new meat and dairy alternatives, to condiments and smoothies, including frozen desserts, cultured products, burgers, nuggets and frozen meals. 
Read more 
By Scott Trubey and Ligaya Figueras - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery, a producer of grass-fed Greek yogurt based in Norcross, is shutting its doors after nearly 10 years in business. 
According to a company statement, the creamery is closing because it lost a contract with its largest client, Whole Foods Market. The statement said the popular Atlanta creamery will lay off more than 30 employees and close by mid-March.

AtlantaFresh yogurt had been on Whole Foods' shelves for the last eight years, but the grocer removed all AtlantaFresh products from its system last fall, shortly after 
Amazon acquired Whole Foods for more than $13 billion
Read more
Consumers Give 95 Percent Approval of Dairy Husbandry After Farm Visit
From Dairy Herd Management

The public often hears in the media and from special interest groups that animals are housed in poor conditions, treated poorly and forced to perform at high levels. But what do consumers think after they've toured a modern, and in some cases, very large modern dairy farm? Not what the media sometimes presents or what some special interest groups want people to believe. In general, 95 percent of consumers leave with a positive or very positive impression about animal housing and 91-96 percent have high or very high trust the dairy farmers will do the right things with regard to caring for their animals. These values represent a large shift from their assessment before their farm visits, especially for those visiting dairy farms for the first time in 20 years. 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

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 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