Frosty morning in Burke County                                                                 Photo taken by Pamela Sapp
Earnest Turk, 2018
FODIA Recipient

During the 2019 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 2018.  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.  
Don't Forget!! Book Your Room for the GA Dairy Conference by Sunday, Dec 30th!!

The Savannah Riverfront Marriott is offering room rates for those attending the Georgia Dairy Conference from Saturday, January 19, until Thursday, January 24, at $130.00/room for single and double occupancy rooms. There will be a $7  parking fee per day for our group at the hotel.
 
Individuals are requested to call the hotel at 912-233-7722 or 800-285-0398 for reservations or follow a link on our conference website at http://www.gadairyconference.com/accomodations. Please mention that you are with the"2019 Georgia Dairy Conference" when making your reservation to ensure that you receive the discounted room rate.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Any reservation received after the cut-off date will be accepted on a space and rate-available basis. Availability and pricing cannot be guaranteed after the cut-off date.
 
GEORGIA DAIRY PRODUCERS: Georgia Milk Producers will 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! Registration for the conference is also free for Georgia dairy producers. Please register online at www.gadairyconference.com or call our office at 706-310-0020.
The 2018 Farm Bill: What You Need to Know
From AgWeb

Economic conditions facing farm country are undeniably bleak. USDA recently announced net farm income is projected to drop 12 percent in 2018, falling to levels not experienced since 2002 when adjusted for inflation. Title I of the conference report exists to aid producers struggling with poor market conditions and the countless other challenges impacting their operations each day. Passage of the conference report will provide certainty that an extension of the 2014 Farm Bill could not. The agreement reauthorizes and strengthens the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) options through 2023, improves the dairy safety net, continues standing disaster programs, and includes several common-sense improvements to U.S. farm policy.   Click here to read a summary of the Commodity Title of the 2018 Farm Bill
The downward trend line in fluid milk consumption continued in 2018. And for the first time in years, the decline pulled down the entire dairy category on a per-capita basis. 

Through the first eight months of the year, monthly USDA reports estimated sales of all fluid milk were running about 2.1 percent behind the same period in 2017. In its latest annual summary, the USDA estimated per-capita consumption of fluid milk products at 149 pounds in 2017, down 5 pounds from 2016 and down about 50 pounds in the past two decades. U.S. per-capita fluid milk consumption is now down nearly 100 pounds since 1975.

As a percentage of total dairy product consumption, fluid products have slipped from nearly 46 percent in 1975 to just over 23 percent in 2017.  Read more 
Monthly USDA data suggests that the U.S. dairy cow herd is shrinking. That's a good thing when it comes to supply-demand balance and the impact on milk prices.

The estimated U.S. inventory for both September and October was at least 30,000 head below year ago levels, the first time consecutive months have been down that much since the summer of 2010.

It has been noted in this column and elsewhere that milk supplies need to come into better balance with current demand in order for prices to show significant recovery. While these recent developments are an encouraging sign for future milk prices, further inventory reductions or large gains in demand are still needed to return most U.S. dairy operations to profitability.   Read more  
By John Geuss, MilkPrice Blog

November Class III milk and Component prices were released on December 5.  Milk protein and the Class III milk price were down considerably, and butter and butterfat were down slightly.  The Class III price fell to $14.44/cwt., about 7% lower than the prior month and 14% lower than November 2017.

The Class III price remains within the tight pattern it has been in for the last four years.  (See the November  11 post for more details on the "new normal."   The data for the last four years shows no significant trends for improvement.  The November price of $14.44/cwt. is in the lower quartile of prices over the period from January 2015 to the present.

What is driving the low milk price is the high inventory of cheese being carried.  For the linkage between the cheese price and the Class III milk price see the  prior post.  A case could be made that cheese prices could be worse based on current inventory levels.   Read more 
 
The Trump administration is  moving forward with a significant rollback of an Obama-era clean water regulation that has become a rallying cry for farmers and property-rights activists opposed to federal overreach.

The new proposal, unveiled Tuesday morning by acting  EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and other administration officials, would  ease Washington's oversight of small bodies of water, undoing a regulation President Donald Trump has called "a massive power grab."

The new rule would replace an Obama administration regulation,  known as the "Waters of the United States" rule that expanded federal protections to smaller rivers and streams.   Read more  
SEEKING SEVERAL DAIRY POSITIONS

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    
From Reuters

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday he expects the White House to approve a second tranche of aid payments to farmers hurt by ongoing trade disputes, despite new Chinese purchases of soybeans.

Perdue told reporters he expected to meet with the White House Office of Management and Budget on the issue on Friday. He added that he hoped China would continue buying U.S. soybeans after the recent purchases, but said he had no knowledge of new agreements for China to do so.
 
Staying Up When the Market is Down

Low milk prices, depressed demand and changing consumer preferences have collectively exerted a heavy toll on the industry and its people. ( freeimages.com )
It's hard to stay positive through a long stretch of red ink, even in an industry you love. Or, maybe, especially in an industry you love.

Virginia Tech University Professor Emeritus David Kohl has worked with farmers for several decades, and through more than one economic downturn. In a recent  video message provided by Compeer Financial, Kohl offered words of encouragement that included the following advice:
  • Surround yourself with positive people"One of the things I find is that people's net worth and self-worth often are equated and correlated to the type of people they stay around," said Kohl. "Do the people with whom you spend most of your time see the cup half empty, or see it half full?"
  • Shut down the social media and TVBe selective and limited in your use of media, as they often depict extremes. These over-hyped or highly passionate portrayals can be emotionally draining, even if they are extreme examples.
  • Rely on the wisdom of elders. "Sometimes we need to shut down our technology and have a talk with Grandma or Grandpa, or an older person in the community who has been through many of these economic cycles in the ag industry," advised Kohl. "Their wisdom and philosophy can be reassuring, particularly in these down cycles."
  • Invest in yourself. Leave the farm for some educational seminars, particularly those outside of agriculture. You are more than your profession - don't allow your identity as a farmer be the only thing that defines you. Dedicate time for exercise, and take time for reflection as well.
  • Embrace opportunities to serve others. Spending time in service to those less fortunate can provide valuable perspective and help heal your own anxieties. "A friend who recently returned from a mission trip to Guatemala said it was an incredibly uplifting experience," said Kohl. "There also are many ways to give back right in your local community, especially during the holidays."
The end of one year and start of another is the perfect time to take a step back and assess business and personal goals, as well as take stock in your blessings that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
Meet Dr. Jeff Weyers, another great GDC speaker!  
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GA Dairy Classifieds

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 
FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIAN. 
 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.

FOR SALE
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:


Jan. 22 - Feb. 1 GA Ag Forecast Series, click here for more information

Feb. 6 - GA Agribusiness Council's Legislative Breakfast, click here for more information
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020|  gamilkproducers@gmail.comwww.gamilk.org