2020 | June 5 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Find comfort with dairy products, celebrate June Dairy Month
By Jennifer Whitaker, GA Farm Bureau

In this time of unrest, we could all use something to celebrate that’s wholesome and brings comfort. So, pour a cold glass of milk, dish up a bowl of ice cream or yogurt, put a slice of cheese on your sandwich, and join Georgia’s 130 dairy farms in celebrating June Dairy Month.

“June Dairy Month has always been a special month to honor the hard-working dairy farm families who produce nutritious milk and dairy foods,” said Paul Johnson, chairman of the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk (GACCM) Board of Directors. “Now, more than ever, we are proud to celebrate the resiliency of our dairy farmers and look forward to all the promotion efforts this month.”

The tradition of celebrating June Dairy Month traces its roots back to 1937 when grocer organizations sponsored “National Milk Month” as a way to distribute extra milk produced during the summer, according to The Dairy Alliance, a farmer-funded organization that promotes dairy products to consumers across the Southeast. By 1939, June became the official “dairy month.”

Macon, Sumter, Brooks, Burke and Morgan counties were Georgia’s top five milk producing counties in 2019 according to USDA data. Georgia is home to about 82,000 dairy cows that produced about 206 million gallons of milk last year. In 2019, 87.6% of all milk produced in Georgia was used and consumed as fluid milk.

Georgia, regional and national dairy organizations are celebrating dairy farmers and their contributions to America’s diet in a variety of ways. Read more here>>>
Hillcrest Farms using robots to milk cows more efficiently
From RFDTV, GA Farm Monitor

Making a profit while being efficient is what it is all about for this southern dairy, who is also invested in the future. 

The Georgia Farm Monitor presents this video highlighting Hillcrest Farms' operation and how they implement robots to be more efficient. Owner, Mark Rodgers states, "It is a different way to manage cows. It's a better way to manage your cows, it is more comfortable for the cows...It allows for the cow to set her day and it allows for us to have flexibility as well."  Watch video here>>>
Changes Coming to PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation
Significant changes are coming to the PPP loan forgiveness calculation. These changes are designed to make it easier for most businesses to maximize loan forgiveness, so that they will not have to repay the PPP loan. The House and the Senate both have passed the legislation, and the President is expected to sign it into law, perhaps as soon as this week. Here are the highlights of the bill:

  • PPP borrowers can choose to extend the 8-week period to 24 weeks, or they can keep the original 8-week period. This flexibility is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness.
  • The payroll expenditure requirement drops to 60% from 75%.  However, the lower 60% is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. Currently, a borrower is required to reduce the amount eligible for forgiveness if less than 75% of eligible funds are used for payroll costs, but forgiveness isn’t eliminated if the 75% threshold isn’t met.
  • Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore their workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by Dec. 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.
  • The legislation includes two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don’t fully restore their workforce. Previous guidance already allowed borrowers to exclude from those calculations employees who turned down good faith offers to be rehired at the same hours and wages as before the pandemic. The new bill allows borrowers to adjust because they could not find qualified employees or were unable to restore business operations to Feb. 15, 2020, levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions.
  • Borrowers now have five years to repay the loan instead of two. The interest rate remains at 1%.
  • Borrowers can now defer the employer’s share of FICA payroll taxes for two years. Half of the payroll taxes will be due in 2021, with the rest due in 2022. (Previously, those that received PPP funding, were excluded from this option.)

Assuming that the President signs the bill as expected, there will be a period of waiting for the SBA to work with the bank lenders to create the rules that will implement these changes. Please be alert for updates from your bank as they implement the changes. 

SBA and Treasury’s Rule and Application for Loan Forgiveness under PPP
Last week, the SBA and Department of Treasury released the PPP  loan forgiveness application  and  Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness . Read our firm’s  alert  on highlights and considerations for borrowers on the application. The interim rule and application clarifies some questions on period of review for loan forgiveness, how to determine payroll and non-payroll costs paid and incurred during the loan period, reductions in loan forgiveness, among other issues. Borrowers will need to work closely with their lender to ensure loan forgiveness. R ead here>>>
USDA Announces CFAP Webinars for Producers

Webinars for producers, farmers and ranchers will begin on June 9. View dates below and visit  FSA Outreach for more information.  Ag producers can learn more about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and how to submit additional commodities for USDA consideration through the NOFA process. 

Webinar Dates & Topics:
  • June 9 at 3:00 p.m. EDT - Outreach CFAP Webinar for Specialty Crops Producers
  • June 11 at 3:00 p.m. EDT- Outreach CFAP Webinar for Dairy & Non-Specialty Crops Producers
  • June 16 at 3:00 p.m. EDT  - Outreach CFAP Webinar for Non-Specialty Crops & Livestock Producers
  • June 18 at 3:00 p.m. EDT- Outreach CFAP Webinar on FSA Programs in the Time of Coronavirus

Visit the  FSA webinar page  for pre-registration links. Producers are also reminded of the CFAP Call Center available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. Reminder: June 22 -  Last date to submit additional commodities for consideration into CFAP  
Georgia beef producers to vote on continuation of state check-off
From GA Farm Bureau

Georgia beef producers will vote in a mail referendum scheduled for June 1-30 on whether they will renew the assessment they currently pay to fund the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Beef established by the Georgia legislature at the request of Georgia cattlemen in 2014.

Georgia Beef producers approved by vote a marketing order that established a $1 per head assessment on all cattle sold in Georgia for beef with a value over $100. This includes beef breeds as well as dairy breeds sold to be used for beef.

By law, beef producers must vote every three years to determine if they want to continue the market order. Georgia beef producers re-affirmed the market order in 2017.

Funds from the assessments are used to fund research, education, and promotion projects for the Georgia cattle producers. In the five years since the assessment began, more than $2.5 million has been committed to research projects with the University of Georgia that help producers with production issues and for state education and promotion programs which benefit Georgia beef producers.

Beef producers should receive a ballot in the mail, but if they do not by June 10, they can call 404-656-3680 or go to  www.GABeefBallot.com . Ballots and the back of the return envelope must be filled out for the ballot to be considered as eligible. Ballots must also be postmarked by June 30.  
2020 Corn Silage Virtual Tour
Sponsored by University of Georgia and University of Florida

Join UF and UGA Animal Science and Agronomy faculty along with our guests from 14 companies showcasing the best corn hybrids for silage in Florida. Our special thanks for Dekalb, Syngenta, Croplan Genetics, Sun Prairie Seeds, Pioneer, Dyna-Gro, Local Seed, Seedway, REV Brand, Augusta Seeds, Phoenix, MorCorn, AgraTech and UF corn breeding program.

More information on previous events at: https://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/courses/csfd/
Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment Triggered at $6.50 Level
By Anna Lisa-Laca, Dairy Herd Management
D airy farmers with dairy margin coverage at or about the $6.50 mark will receive a payment for April. The April milk over feed margin landed at $6.03 per cwt. The lowest all-milk price recorded for the year, $14.40, met the lowest feed costs recorded in 2020 at $8.37 per cwt. 

This is the second payment triggered by DMC in 2020.

“The steep drop in the April margin has been long anticipated by the dairy futures, which currently indicate another drop to around $5 per cwt. in May,” says the National Milk Producers Federation. “However, as bad as this year’s second quarter will be for the nation’s struggling dairy farmers, the recent futures are continuing to show a considerably brighter light at the end of the current very dark pandemic tunnel.” Read more here>>>
DOJ Subpoenas Big 4 Beef Packers
By  Greg Henderson , AgWeb
The Department of Justice has formally demanded information from America’s Big 4 U.S. beef packers regarding potential antitrust violations, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The DOJ antitrust division sent investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to Tyson Foods, JBS SA, Cargill, Inc., and National Beef Inc., and has contacted state attorneys general about the probe after a group of states called for an investigation, said the source, who declined to be named because the inquiry is confidential.

The DOJ request comes at a time of intense scrutiny on beef packers who have struggled with shutdowns and reduced plant outputs due to the coronavirus. Cattle markets have seen increased volatility which reduced prices paid to producers while supply shortages dramatically increased the price of wholesale beef, increasing packer revenues per animal processed.

While the coronavirus produced a massive industry-wide impact on cattle and beef markets, it was the second black swan event creating disruptions in less than a year. Last August a fire at Tyson Foods’ Finney County facility closed operations for several months, with similar abbreviated impacts on both live cattle and wholesale beef prices. The Big 4 beef packers control about 80% of the beef processed for U.S. consumption, and their market dominance has spurred longstanding concerns over their market leverage over cattle producers. Read more here>>>
Food and beverage is the only sector projected to grow this year, report says
By Megan Poinsk i, Food Dive
It wasn't all that long ago that the packaged food business was seen as a perpetual safe investment. Regardless of what else is going on in the world, the reasoning went, people have to eat. And while trends, discoveries and world events can alter some businesses, they don't change the simple fact that food is something everyone needs to buy.

But a plethora of consumer choices, widespread sentiment about the health and quality of processed products and new options at restaurants eroded Big Food's safe positions. In the last several years, former titans of industry like Kraft Heinz that had been seen as strongholds saw their stock prices fall. 

Other brands, including Campbell Soup, Hain Celestial and General Mills, have seen organic revenues and sales  consistently dropping in recent years , making CPG companies prime targets for activist investors. Third Point, an activist investment firm led by Daniel Loeb,  took a $300 million stake  in Campbell Soup — about 7% of the company — in 2018.  Read more here>>>
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 [email protected]
U.S. court blocks sales of Bayer weed killer in United States
A U.S. appeals court has blocked Bayer AGA three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency substantially understated the risks related to the use of dicamba, a chemical found in herbicides sold by Bayer and rivals that are sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton. The herbicides are known to drift away and damage other crops that are not resistant.

The lawsuit was among those German-based Bayer inherited when it bought Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. The company faces separate allegations that its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer.

Environmental groups have sought cancellation of the EPA’s approval of Monsanto’s dicamba-based XtendiMax herbicide, arguing it harms nearby plants and wildlife.
The court agreed, and its ruling, issued on Wednesday, also blocks sales of dicamba-based herbicides like BASF’s Engenia and Corteva Agriscience’s FeXapan.

from selling an agricultural weed killer in the United States, the latest setback for a business already fighting an expensive legal battle over another product
Summer Inspiration Series: Make dairy foods recession proof. Help retailers provide shoppers meal solutions, along with a touch of comfort
By D onna Berry, Berry on Dairy

Comfort, that’s what a lot of the world needs right now, especially the U.S. We are all fortunate to be working in the food industry because food is the one thing that unites us. Every food and beverage brand right now has the ability to connect with consumers and provide comfort. This may be in the form of nutrition, philanthropy or simply nourishing the soul. Now is the time to strengthen this brand connection in order to keep it recession proof. Because…we will be in a recession very soon.

Ben & Jerry’s is one of the best brands throughout food and beverage to make an emotional connection with consumers to keep them coming back for more. Penzey’s spice company is another that never ceases to amaze me. If you are unfamiliar with this online brand with store locations scattered throughout the country, link  HERE . Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 5/1/20

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

For Sale: Corn Silage - For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

FOR Sale: Stretch-O-Matic Bale Wrapper and Mover. For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

Bull Calves WANTED:  Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

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 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   crumpdairyreplacements.org