2021 | July 16 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle Appointed as Georgia's Next State Veterinarian

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black has appointed Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle as Georgia's next State Veterinarian, succeeding Dr. Robert Cobb, who retired in June 2021. Hennebelle has served as Assistant State Veterinarian since September of 2016.

In her new role, Hennebelle will oversee the Animal Health Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture while managing staff veterinarians the state's Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program, and animal disease investigations as they arise.

Hennebelle received her Bachelor of Animal Science Degree at Berry College and her Doctoral of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia. She also pursued a Master's of Preventative Veterinary Medicine at the University of California Davis.

Before pursuing her master's degree, Dr. Hennebelle had a diverse background in practice ranging from a mixed-animal practice in the Northeast, serving the dairy industry, as well as shelter and companion animal medicine here in Georgia. She joined the Meat Inspection Section of the Georgia Department of Agriculture in December of 2013, where she served as a Public Health Veterinary (PHV) Supervisor.

Hennebelle said her previous experiences have set her up well for this position and she looks forward to what the future has in store.
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

Led by U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (D-New York), a group of about 25 lawmakers urged the Biden administration to reimburse dairy farmers for reduced income related to changes in how the Class I (fluid) milk price is calculated within the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. Industry and congressional members estimate the losses at about $725 million.

The so-called “Class I mover” price formula was changed in the 2018 Farm Bill, using the “average of” versus the previous “higher of” monthly Class III and Class IV milk prices as the starting point. Due to a run-up in cheese and Class III milk prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, using Class III-Class IV price averages resulted in substantially lower Class I prices.

The losses prompted the board of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to recommend a FMMO hearing on the Class I formula in late April. No formal hearing request has been submitted to USDA, however.

“The current Class I mover was intended to be revenue-neutral compared to the formula it replaced, but that has not been the case,” said Jim Mulhern, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) president and CEO. “The significant gaps between Class III and IV prices that developed during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed dairy farmers to significant and imbalanced losses, exceeding $725 million nationwide.”

In the letter to President Biden, the lawmakers estimated the Class I skim milk prices averaged $3.56 per cwt less during the second half of 2020 than they would have under the previous formula.

Dairy producers in the Southeast U.S., with higher Class I milk utilization rates, estimated losses topped $750 million in 2020. Losses in the three FMMOs covering the region – Appalachian, Florida and Southeast – lost about $155 million (21%) of the $750 million total, even though the percentage of milk produced in the three marketing areas represents just 5.5% of FMMO total milk marketings. That $155 million equated to a reduction in the 2020 blend price of about $1.25 per cwt, they said.

A paper authored by dairy economists Marin Bozic, the University of Minnesota, and Christopher Wolf, Cornell University, not only led to lower Class I milk prices but also were one of six factors contributing to reductions in producer price differentials (PPDs) within individual FMMOs.

Any reimbursement for losses could be complex, as individual FMMOs and individual producers within those orders were impacted differently. Read more here>>>
Where are the Cows Going? Texas is Rising Fastest!
By John Geuss. MilkPrice Blog

The number of cows in the U.S. continues to grow. Within that growth, there are some state-by-state significant long-term changes. The state "cow counts" in this post are for May of each year beginning with 2016 through 2021. This allows the most recent data to be included and compared to the same month of prior years. The trends established though the last six years are used to extrapolate where the growth and losses will occur in the next four years.  

There are 24 states that make up 96 percent of the total U.S. dairy cow population and six states make up 59 percent of the total U.S. dairy cows. The data for these 24 states and the six largest states will be used for much of this analysis. These six largest states in order by size are California, Wisconsin, Idaho, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

How do the six largest states compare in size? California is significantly larger than any other state. Wisconsin is second with 26 percent fewer cows than California. The next four states are smaller and close in size. There are some ranking changes among these four over the last six years. Read more here>>>
By Nicole Heslip, Brownfield Ag

The U.S. House Appropriation Committee has approved a bipartisan amendment that could provide a temporary year-round H-2A guest worker solution.

Alan Bjerga with the National Milk Producers Federation tells Brownfield dairy farmers and other yearlong ag producers have not been able to utilize the H-2A program, but this amendment could change that.

“There’s not a dairy season, it’s 365 days a year, 24-7, and so dairies aren’t able to participate in this program,” he explains.

Bjerga says the provision has been included in amendments of past appropriations and it’s unknown if it will make it into a final version, but continuous bipartisan support for year-long H-2A workers is important for the broader policy process. Read more here>>>
By Julie Harker, Brownfield Ag

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will soon take applications for pandemic livestock indemnity program.

Farm Service Agency offices will soon start taking applications for the pandemic livestock indemnity program
It’s for livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic from insufficient access to processing. They can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals.

Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) starting next Tuesday, July 20 through Friday Sept. 17, 2021.

Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance.

USDA has set aside up to $50 million in pandemic assistance funds to provide additional assistance for small hog producers that use the spot market or negotiate prices.
Call for 2022 GDC Presenters/Topics
GA Milk Producers, Inc.

The planning committee for the 2022 Georgia Dairy Conference is seeking relevant, innovative, and valuable topic and speaker suggestions. Individuals, companies, universities, organizations, and government agencies may submit proposals for consideration by July 22, 2021.

The Georgia Dairy Conference is held in Savannah in mid-January. Over 500 dairy professionals and farmers from 10 different states attended in 2020 and over 250 attendees were present in 2021 despite COVID restrictions and procedures.

Coordinated by Georgia Milk Producers, Inc., our planning committee works hard to develop a timely and innovative agenda for the conference each year.
How Will the Economic Boom Impact U.S. Agricultural Businesses?
By Jennifer Shike, Dairy Herd Management

The economic boom continues as U.S. consumers are getting out and about spending on services once again. Jobs are abundantly available, but workers are scarce as the labor market is healing slower than many economists expected, according to the latest Quarterly report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.

CoBank says labor challenges felt during the pandemic and continuing still today will incentivize businesses throughout the food supply chain to rapidly increase automation within their operations. 

“The most significant and lasting impact from COVID-19 will be an acceleration in automation,” says Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division, in the report. “And it will affect the entire supply chain from field to grocery and restaurants. It won’t be an overnight transformation, but much larger investments in technology now will lead to a much more automated supply chain over the next few years.” 

Although commodity price inflation has been a boon to many ag producers over the past year, CoBank says increases in raw material and transportation costs, combined with higher wages, are causing retailers to pass those higher costs on to consumers. 

Grocers and restaurants are trying to discern how this will impact consumer buying habits. CoBank adds, “The coming adjustments will look quite different for each segment of the food supply chain. But the acceleration in change will be meaningful, and strategic steps to build more resilient businesses are coming sooner than previously believed.”
Sky-High Feed Prices Are Pushing Dairy Farmers Over The Edge
By Daniela Sirtori-Cortina and Elizabeth Elkin, Yahoo Finance

Eric Vanstrom stuck by his dairy cows through a recession, a trade war and a global pandemic that forced him to dump milk into manure pits. This year, though, he’s finally had enough. The thing that’s putting him over the edge: exorbitant grain prices.

One weekend in early June, the Kennedy, New York, farmer and his wife loaded 46 milking cows into livestock trailers and sent them off to an auction house. Some went to other dairies. Others ended up at slaughterhouses, to be turned into ground beef. They were so expensive to feed and so unprofitable that he wasn’t even sad to see them go.

Vanstrom’s predicament is an increasingly common one. The corn and soybeans that dairy cows eat are seeing a historic rally, fueled by drought in key producing countries and China’s massive purchases of grain to feed a rapidly expanding hog herd. From the U.S. to Ethiopia, farmers say soaring costs are putting their businesses in peril, to the point that they’re thinking of exiting altogether.

“For a lot of cows, they’ll just have a career change, from happy cow to happy meal,” said Mary Ledman, global dairy strategist at Rabobank.Pricey feed is imparting renewed force to the industry’s transformation, fueling the growing dominance of megadairies, which milk tens of thousands of cows and are better positioned to weather the volatility of an increasingly global market. Though consolidation may boost efficiency and keep consumer prices in check, it’s also forcing small and mid-sized operations around the world out of business. President Joe Biden’s executive order to promote competition across American industries likely won’t have a major impact on dairy companies, according to broker StoneX Group Inc., with many of the agriculture-related directives aimed at the meat and poultry industries.

“If you see feed prices shooting up as they are now, that might be the thing that pushes you over to say, ‘It’s probably not a good idea to keep going,” said James MacDonald, an agricultural economist and visiting professor at the University of Maryland.

The small dairy is an iconic symbol of American rural life and values like honesty and hard work. Marketers have eagerly tied the wholesomeness of such a life to milk itself, with idyllic scenes of pastures and cows on packaging. With consumers increasingly willing to pay a premium for dairy products with organic and sustainable credentials, milk from megafarms faces competition on grocery shelves. Still, there’s little doubt that small operations are becoming rarer. Read more here>>>
The right milk for the region
BY Jessica Schmitt, Hoard's Dairyman

For many dairy farmers, extracting the most money from your milk check means being successful with components like fat and protein. Depending on the region and the product the milk is being made into, farmers may want to consider indices like Net Merit (NM$), Fluid Merit (FM$), or Cheese Merit (CM$).

Each of these indices includes a combination of favorable traits and converts it into a monetary value. While many traits remain rather constant, the production portion of NM$, FM$, and CM$ varies based on returns to one’s milk check. For many, NM$ is the place to start. During the July 7 Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLiveStream, Chris Wolf, agricultural economist at Cornell University, shared,“A genetic index simplifies the process of selecting sires based on some combination of economically important traits.” Read more here>>>
First-of-its-Kind Map Pulls From Various Data Sources to Highlight Broadband Needs
From FBNews

A new digital map from the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration provides more detail about broadband needs across the country than any other publicly available resource. Tapping into data aggregated at the county, census tract, and census block level from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission, M-Lab, Ookla and Microsoft, the map shows the many parts of the country reporting connection speeds that fall below the FCC’s current benchmark for fixed broadband service of 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload.

Farmers, ranchers and others who live in rural communities struggle everyday with poor connection speeds, which slow down their work on the business end of the farm, school work, and their ability to download and share important documents – and so much more.

“A reliable and speedy broadband connection is also critical to farmers’ use of precision agriculture to farm as sustainably and efficiently as possible. Without high-speed internet, farmers cannot collect key data or analyze it to determine the exact amount of fertilizer to apply, how much water their crops need or the precise amount of herbicides or pesticides they should use,” explained Ryan Yates, managing director of public policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

NTIA’s new map can help officials determine where to focus government funding and public-private partnership efforts to enhance broadband. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds


Looking for calves for 200 head calf barn with auto feeders in Arcadia
FL: Please call Brian 863-444-0060

Delaval meters, Germania entrance and exit gates with tailboards and indexing tail, Muller plate cooler, receiving jar, filter housing and lowline stainless pipeline. Serious inquiries call 864-617-5911, Iris Barham
Expanding or looking for top quality herd replacement?
Available at all times: 
Fresh two and three year old's and total herds; Also springing heifers and heifers of all ages.  Service age bulls with top genetics available all year round. All different breeds and crossbreds also available. Last two loads of fresh two and three year olds Holsteins went on the trucks averaging 115 lbs and 112 lbs! One load to TN and the other to Wisconsin.
Les McCracken 
608-214-6484. Cell
608-879-2653. Fax

Seeking fulltime farm worker at heifer replacement farm in Eatonton, GA. If interested, please contact Mike Rainey at 706-473-0730.

Seeking Beef and dairy crossed bullcalves/heifers bottled or weaned. Please contact Victoria Rowland at 404-922-0938 or 423-946-5869

Will Raise Heifers for GA Dairy Farms: Hello we are located in Southern Illinois and have an abundance of pasture and cheap feed available looking to contract with a dairy to grow heifers for them, out location offers mild climate and we are just 558 miles from Montezuma Ga. Please contact 817-528-6645 very reasonable daily rates.

For Sale- DeLaval 84 Vacuum Pump on Stand, Oil Reclaimer, 10 HP- 3 Phase Electric Motor. New Bearings, New Oil Seal, New Belts. $2000
For more Information Call Tony Strickland , 229-254-6871; deepsouthai@gmail.com

For sale - Please contact Archie Felder for more information at 803-682-3426:
  • Dairy Tech Bay Pasturizer - $4,000
  • Tidenberg Hydraulic Hoof Table (like new) - $5,000
  • Claas Silage Choppers - 960 1875 cutterhead hours, 4WD, 600 orbis, HD300 PU - $180,000
  • Koomin John Deere Corn Header adapter for Claus Silage Chopper Used - $6,000
WANTED: Peter's Cattle Co. will buy any dairy, beef, and cross, bottle or weaned, bulls, heifers or free martins. Pick up weekly 7 days a week. Chris- 470-255-8515
Bull Calves WANTED:  Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

FOR SALE :  We have a continuous selection of fresh and springing heifers.   Call William at   (706) 768-2857  or visit our website at   crumpdairyreplacements.org  
Farmer to Farmer Support Program Available for SE dairy farmers
Farmers across the Southeast are experiencing uncertain times like never before. All aspects of agriculture have been hit by market losses due to COVID-19, but dairy has reached a level of uncertainty that many have never experienced.

As we navigate through these next few months, dairy producers across the Southeast have come together to introduce the "Farmer to Farmer Support Program." If you find that you need support or would like to talk to a fellow farmer or industry friend, they have several volunteers that are willing and able to help. Georgia Milk Producers has also put together a packet on the program that you can access by clicking here. 

For more information on the program, please reach out to Farrah Newberry at gamilkproducers@gmail.com