2021 | March 19 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
From Progressive Dairy

The dairy producer mood emanating out of the Southeast is one of concern, a downturn from recent history.

“Whereas each of the last two years have begun with cautious optimism, many dairy farmers in the Southeast are entering 2021 beaten up pretty badly,” said Travis Senn, market analyst for Southeast Milk Inc. (SMI), a cooperative with about 150 members in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana. “Between high market balancing expenses and broken pricing mechanisms, our members really felt the pinch last year.”

Senn estimates the new Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) Class I milk pricing mechanism, adopted in May 2019, failed any farmers sending milk to fluid milk bottlers in 2020. “Talk to the dairy farmers in the Southeast and you feel a sense of urgency – if meaningful reform is not accomplished soon, many may be forced out of business,” he said.

Calvin Covington, a retired dairy cooperative CEO who now does some farming, consulting, writing and public speaking, estimates the change in the “Class I mover” calculation from the “higher of” to “average” Class III-Class IV prices resulted in lowering the 2020 average blend price about $1 per hundredweight (cwt) in the Appalachian, Florida and Southeast FMMOs.

With that as the backdrop, dairying in the Southeast begins 2021 under darker clouds. On the farm front, the outlook for lower milk prices, combined with climbing energy and feed prices, point to tighter dairy producer income margins in 2021, said Covington. The government’s role is also expected to change in the year ahead, with more regulations anticipated, along with a decline in direct dairy payments and dairy product purchases.

For Farrah Newberry, executive director of Georgia Milk Producers Inc., larger producers have eased some of their worry through risk management tools. However, smaller producers faced with price pressures and volatility and growing input costs are more apprehensive; they’re losing confidence in future opportunities. Both large and small face escalating feed costs and labor shortfalls. Read more here>>>
Georgia to celebrate Agriculture Awareness Week
By Jay Moon Morgan County Extension/4-H

Georgia is set to honor agricultural industries across the state during Georgia Agriculture Awareness week, scheduled for March 22– 26.

From the farm to our plates, Georgia Agriculture never stops. During the week those who work in agriculture, commodities, and products will be highlighted. Monday, March 22 is Hands-On Garden Day. You are encouraged to share photos of your garden experiences. Tuesday, March 23, is Buy Georgia Grown Day. From local honey to local milk, be sure to get out and buy local Georgia Grown Products. Wednesday, March 24 is Ag-Hero Day to celebrate those that work in agriculture to keep us fed and clothed. Thursday, March 25 is Ag-Literacy Day, to celebrate reading and agricultural literacy. Be sure to pick up a good book to read. Last but not least, Friday, March 26, is Make My Plate Georgia Grown Day. Strive to eat a 100 percent Georgia Grown Meal whether it be breakfast, lunch, supper or snacks in-between. Join in and celebrate Georgia Agriculture Week activities at home.
AD Valorem Bills Advance Out of Senate Finance Committee
From GA Farm Bureau Public Policy Department

This week HB 498 and HB 282 were taken up by the Senate Finance Committee after having crossed over from the House earlier in the session.
HB 498 by Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) amends the ad valorem tax exemption of farm equipment and products to allow the exemption for a farm entity made up of two individually-qualifying family farms. Because this change requires amending the state’s constitution, if passed it will require a statewide referendum on the November 2022 ballot to be enacted.
HB 282, sponsored by Rep. Steven Meeks (R-Screven), provides clarity to the ad valorem taxation of qualified timberland property by defining parameters for “contiguous” property. This would allow for tracts separated by utility lines, railroads, etc. to be considered one piece of property for valuation purposes.
Both pieces of legislation were passed out of committee favorably and are on their way to the Senate Rules Committee.
State lawmakers push bills to unwind spring forward, fall back ritual
By Ross Williams, Georgia Recorder

If you feel out of sorts next week, you won’t be alone.

People across Georgia will likely feel groggy and mixed up after setting their clocks to jump forward an hour for daylight saving time on Sunday, but the biannual time change is more than just an annoyance for some, says Woodstock Republican state Rep. Wes Cantrell.

Research has shown increases in fatal accidents and pedestrians struck by cars after time changes. Teachers complain of students coming to class tired, heart attack rates spike, and so do workplace injuries.

“And by the way, the worst day to go to court is the Monday after spring forward,” Cantrell said. “Research shows that judges hand out the harshest penalties, the harshest sentences on the Monday after spring forward. The evidence is clear. We need to get rid of time change." Read more here>>>
March 2021 GA Milk Review
In this month's newsletter:
  • GA House AG Committee Forms Raw Milk Study Committee Williams Honored at State Livestock Show
  • More and More Cows
  • GDYF Golf Tournament
  • DMC’S January Payout Exceeds Annual Premium Costs
  • Dixie Dairy Report 

The women in charge
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

Some people underestimate the impact females have on dairy farms.

I saw a Facebook post the other day from an old college friend that said if you don’t believe that there is still sexism in 2021, then feel free to walk with her into a car dealership, gun store, or equipment yard. Of course, I commented about how I have had similar experiences here at the farm.

If I were standing with a man and a salesman or feed hauler were to come up the driveway, they would jump out and immediately walk up to the man instead of me first almost 99% of the time. I usually don’t let it bother me too much, but deep down after so many times of this happening, it does ruffle some feathers. One of her statements included “My money spends just as well as a man’s does,” which is very true.

I am not one to go on and on about how women can do anything men can do. I firmly believe that women are made differently. But women working on a farm surprises the average person for some reason. I have had people ask me, “Do they actually let you drive that?” (Um, who is ‘they’?) Or I’ve heard, “I don’t want you to hurt yourself, I’ll unload this.” (I am quite sure if I’m not strong enough to pick it up, I’ll find and operate a piece of equipment that can).

My all-time favorite comment is, “I’d like to speak to the man in charge.” That’s always a fun one. Most of the time they are trying to be polite, and I do realize that. But when they figure out the man in charge is actually a woman in charge, they seem to be completely confused.

Times have changed. Not that women helping on the farm is anything new. My aunt, grandmother, and I’m sure my great-grandmother probably even helped from time to time. But the man was usually the one in charge back then. Over the past 20 to 30 years, women have been excelling in the agriculture industry in all aspects. Read more here>>>
UGA DairyFax First Quarter 2021 Issue

This issue is featured with:
  • 2021 State Commercial Dairy Heifer Show
  • Group of UGA investigators set to study the gastrointestinal microbiome of dairy-beef steers.
  • Managing higher feed cost and spring surplus prices  
  • Consider laboratory confirmation when Staphylococcus aureus mastitis is suspected, even when using on-farm culture
  • Where there’s a will, there’s a way
  • Genetics, diet, or gut bacteria: which one will save you the most money?
  • Top 20 DHIA high herds by test day milk and fat production & low herds for SCC score

New EPA Administrator Michael Regan Confirmed by Senate
From Southeast Agnet

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is officially under new leadership. Michael Regan has been confirmed by the Senate as the 15th EPA Administrator through a vote of 66-34. Regan received significant support from the agricultural industry throughout the confirmation process. Ag groups had expressed enthusiasm for working with Regan in finding practical solutions to environmental issues. Read more here>>>
Cows, and farmers, are part of the solution to climate change
By Frank Mitloehner, Washington Examiner

Cows are often assigned disproportionate climate change blame, but recent weeks in Washington bring hope that political leaders may begin to embrace livestock’s potential game-changing solutions to climate challenges.

When President Biden issued his Jan. 27 executive order on tackling the climate crisis, he said his administration sees farmers “making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process.”

During his first hearing as House Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. David Scott noted that many farmers are “already adopting production practices that not only improve productivity but store carbon and reduce emissions in the atmosphere … and there is tremendous opportunity to do more.” Read more here>>>
House Votes to Give Millions of Dreamers and Farmworkers a Path to Citizenship
By Nicholas Fandos. The New York Times

The Democratic-led House voted on Thursday to create a path to citizenship for an estimated four million undocumented immigrants, reopening a politically charged debate over the nation’s broken immigration system just as President Biden confronts a growing surge of migrants at the border.

In a near party-line vote of 228 to 197, the House first moved to set up a permanent legal pathway for more than 2.5 million undocumented immigrants, including those brought to the United States as children, known as Dreamers, and others granted Temporary Protected Status for humanitarian reasons. Just nine Republicans voted yes.

Hours later, lawmakers approved a second measure with more bipartisan backing that would eventually grant legal status to close to a million farmworkers and their families while updating a key agricultural visa program. This time, 30 Republicans, many representing agriculture-heavy districts, joined nearly every Democrat to vote in favor. Read more here>>>

Join us for the 2021 GDYF Golf Tournament on March 26th in Bishop. Help us continue to support our dairy FFA, 4-H and collegiate youth programs in Georgia!! Lunch will start at 11 a.m. and Tee Time is at noon.

For more information go to our event brochure online:
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds


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