Bobby Smith, UGA - Georgia Contestant for the 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo Milking Contest
2018 Sunbelt Expo Opens Despite of Hurricane Michael

The Dairy Pavilion at the 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo was busy serving delicious milk and yogurt, donated by Dale McClellan and M & B Products, and ice cream sandwiches sponsored by the GA ACC for Milk this week in Moultrie.

Although Hurricane Michael ripped through communities just South of Moultrie last week, the three-day show went on as usual and offered many in Agriculture an atmosphere of hope and renewal.  

On Tuesday, a hand-milking competition was held among representatives from the University of Georgia, University of Florida, Kentucky Dep artment of Agriculture and Auburn University.  Special thanks to Bobby Smith, UGA Northeast District Extension Director, for representing our state well and placing 2nd in the contest!!

Georgia's Mobile Dairy Classroom also educated the public each day on where milk comes from, how it is processed, the healthy benefits of consuming dairy products and dairy farmers' management of natural resources.  

Many thanks to Chip Blalock, Wendell Brown, Steve Blackburn and 
Expo staff for making this a great event each year!
USDA To Hold Producer Meeting for Those Affected by Hurrican Michael on Monday
A producer meeting has been scheduled for Monday, October 22, 2018,  beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Conference Center. FSA, NRCS, RD, and RMA staff will be available to provide updates and information regarding disaster programs that will be available to producers affected by Hurricane Michael.

Location: UGA Tifton Conference Center (Large Auditorium),  15 RDC Road, Tifton, GA 31794.  
Expo bounces back from hurricane

By Alan Mauldin, The Moultrie Observer


Driving to work last Thursday, Chip Blalock dreaded what he would see when he got there.

The executive director of Sunbelt Ag Expo was pleasantly surprised when he arrived and saw that damage was slight to the infrastructure, although that to the cotton in the farm show's field plots was significant.

Still, Blalock knows that for many residents and farming operations in a four-state area, Hurricane Michael had made a major and long-lasting impact.

The three-day show went on as usual, but for the region recovery is just beginning, he said.
"As we close the 41st Expo we continue to keep those in the path of Michael in our thoughts and prayers," he said.

Attendance was down somewhat, although final attendance figures were not available immediately.   Read more
By Progressive Dairyman Editor Dave Natzke

Southeast U.S. dairy producers and processors continue recovery efforts following Hurricane Michael, while damage assessment and a return to normalcy are ongoing following Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Michael hit Florida and Georgia on Oct. 10, before moving north. It struck a month after Hurricane Florence, with the most intense damage occurring in South Carolina and North Carolina. ( Read: Dairy assessing Hurricane Michael's Impact.)

As of early this week, milk truck access to some dairy farms remained a problem due to downed trees on roads and driveways in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, according to Jim Sleper, Southeast Milk Inc. (SMI) chief executive officer. While he hoped the situation would be resolved soon, some SMI members had no choice but to dump milk, resulting in several days of lost production.

SMI, a dairy cooperative with about 150 members in six states, handles most of the milk marketed into Florida. A majority of its members are in Florida and Georgia.

Power outages also remained an issue, both in the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia, and some farms could be without power for up to two weeks, Sleper said. Of dairy farms relying on generators, finding fuel to operate them was another challenge.    Read more 
A g Losses From Hurricane Michael Could Top $3 Billion
From GA Farm Bureau

Early estimates of agricultural losses caused by Hurricane Michael are starting to come in from the University of Georgia and Georgia Forestry Commission, and the numbers are staggering.

"Georgia has long led in the production of several renowned commodities and now we have the dubious distinction of also leading in the devastation and incredible loss of these prominent crops," said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. "These are generational losses that are unprecedented, and it will take unprecedented ideas and actions to help our farm families and rural communities recover."

Timber is a mainstay in South Georgia with many small or private landowners owning timberland. Approximately 1 million acres were destroyed, resulting in $1 billion in losses.

Cotton was the second highest contributor to Georgia's farm gate value last year, contributing just over 7 percent, with expectations for record yields this year. Estimated losses from Hurricane Michael range from $300 million to $800 million. The final loss estimate will be dependent on the ability to harvest what remains in the field.   Read more
Vice President Mike Pence Visits Sunbelt Ag Expo
Hurricane Michael has left many towns in South West Georgia decimated.

But, the spirits of many Georgians have not been shaken, which is one of the reasons why the annual Sunbelt Ag Expo has moved forward.

Tuesday, thousands of people across America are in Moultrie for day one of the show.

In the wake of Michael, United States Vice President Mike Pence made a special visit to the Sunbelt Ag Expo before visiting other communities devastated by the storm.

The comradery amongst farmers and families alike has only strengthened since last Wednesday, which is something Pence has already noticed.

In his speech he revealed how pleased he is with the resilience of Georgia farmers despite many of them losing one hundred percent of their crops.

"All the farmers gathered here today in the wake of Hurricane Michael, we are with you and we will stay with you until we rebuild and recover better than ever before," said Pence. Read more   
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

I am sure most of you know that women are starting to take on more responsibility in the agricultural industry. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, you would see a lot of husbands running the farms while the wives were tending to the home and children. Now, before you think this is a feminist blog, hold on - that's not what this is about. I just want to show a little appreciation and give a shout out to all the ladies of the industry who are doing their part to push agriculture in the right direction.

Even though times have been tough on the dairy side of things, dairy families across America have been the "happy" face of this industry - as it should be. Dairy farms are evolving into farms that our grandparents would have never thought were possible. The breakthroughs we have seen with agricultural technology are out of this world. But as I said, it has been a tough couple of years. Fortunately, the women have stepped their game up.   Read more
Southeast Dairy Stewardship Program: Quitman (10/22)

University of Florida IFAS Extension and the University of Georgia Extension are proud to invite you for an educational program addressing Milk Quality on Dairy Farms. Experts and dairy farmers will provide insights on employee engagement, performance monitoring, mastitis control, and proper use of antimicrobials. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the program. Program is designed for owners, managers, and parlor personnel. Completion of this program will count towards annual animal care employee training required within the NMPF's National Dairy FARM Program.

America Is Drowning in Milk Nobody Wants
In 2005, Hamdi Ulukaya spent less than $1 million buying an old Kraft yogurt processing plant in New Berlin, 150 miles northwest of New York City. Within two years, the native of Turkey was already a success. His yogurt brand, Chobani, was in supermarket refrigerators everywhere, pushing aside older, big-name brands while making Greek yogurt a staple of the American diet. Rich but also healthy, it made its way into recipes for everything from smoothies to muffins and even popsicles.  Read more

So far this year the USDA's the  Dairy Margin Protection Program has paid more than $250 million to dairy farmers. That is more than the last three years combined.

Driven by improvements made by congress in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and USDA's efforts to inform dairy farmers about the enhanced program, as of early July more than 21,000 dairy farm operations had enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program for the 2018 coverage year. More are still putting the final touches on their enrollment applications. Once final enrollment is tallied, more than 50 percent of the licensed dairy operations in the U.S. will be participating. These farmers purchased MPP coverage on 131 billion pounds of milk, representing approximately 60 percent of the U.S. milk supply.

Undersecretary for Farm Production Conservation Bill Northey says the program is still available for farmers through the end of the year even after the 2014 Farm Bill has expired.  "We will continue to evaluate whether the margins are such in the dairy business that we end up needing payments through the end of the year."
Severe weather across the U.S. resulting in high risk for mycotoxins
From Alltech

Each growing season can present its own unique challenges, from hot temperatures and drought to excess rainfall and flooding. Extreme weather conditions can not only reduce yield but also delay harvest, increase plant stress and lead to future issues for the crop, including molds and mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they influence feed quality and animal safety. They are produced by certain species of molds and can have toxic properties that impact animal health and performance. Harvest samples from across the U.S. are currently being submitted to the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin analytical services laboratory, and the analysis is showing high levels of mycotoxins, as in past years, of DON, fusaric acid and fumonisin, as well as HT-2 this year.
"The extreme weather events that we've seen across the U.S. this year present different challenges, different types of molds and different types of mycotoxins," said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with the Alltech® Mycotoxin Management team. "And we monitor those risks with our harvest analysis through the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin tests to evaluate risk to livestock health and performance."
Mycotoxins are seldom found in isolation, and when multiple mycotoxins are consumed, they may have additive, or even synergistic, interactions that increase the overall risk to performance and health. As a result, an animal may have a stronger response than what would be expected if it was only experiencing a single mycotoxin challenge. In 2017, 95 percent of samples submitted tested positive for at least five mycotoxins.
Testing feedstuffs and finished feeds is important to understand the risk of mycotoxins, so Alltech is currently offering a free 37+® mycotoxin test to producers. Visit for more information.
  Alltech will host a United States Corn Silage Report webinar with Dr. Max Hawkins on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. CST. Register for the webinar via this link.
Hawkins and John Winchell, territory sales representative for Alltech, recently appeared on Rural America Live to speak about mycotoxin risks. Watch the video here .
  For more information on mycotoxin management, visit
The 140-Acre Farm That Is Quickly Becoming The Reigning Cheese Champ In Georgia

There is a farm in Georgia that is serving up some of the best cheese this state has ever seen. It's not just any ol' cheese either-it's thick wheels of fine, handcrafted cheese that are made from soft-ripened cow's milk straight from the farm. If you're looking to find some of the best cheesemakers in the American South then look no further, because this 140-acre farm has them right here.
Cheese Exports are "Stuck in the Mud"
From MilkPrice Blog

August dairy export and import data are now available.  In order to increase producer milk prices, cheese inventories must be reduced.  Domestic cheese consumption grows every year at about 2% annually.  However, cheese production is geared to also provide cheese for export in increasing amounts.  That is not happening. 
GA Dairy Classifieds

Heifers for Sale (SC): 
18 Bred Registered Holstein Heifers. Big heifers
4 Due in October
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, 
 AI Bred, and 
Contact: Debbie Glenn at 

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: 
WW Livestock Systems Hydraulic Head shoot, never used, excellent condition, kept  under roof.  Listed for $23,041 asking $15,000 or reasonable offer.  Call M
aggie 352-507- 
2042 or email:
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     
Upcoming Events:

October 25 -
The Dairy Alliance's Community and Cows Dinner at FarmView Market, Madison

Nov. 13-14 - GA Ag Labor Forum, Tifton  - click here for information
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020