2020 | March 27 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
What’s in the CARES Act for Food and Agriculture
From John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has roiled the U.S. economy, the Senate passed the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act . In addition to direct payments to individuals of up to $1,200, extended unemployment benefits and federal loan guarantees, the $2 trillion CARES Act provides a number of food- and agriculture-related benefits, including funding to ensure children and low-income families have continued access to nutritious, affordable food and to ensure farmers have the financial resources they need to offset the more immediate economic impacts of the virus. Today’s article reviews the food and agriculture-related provisions of the CARES act. Read more here>>>
From Dave Natzke, Progressive Dairy

U.S. dairy industry leaders are pleased an economic stimulus package contains provisions to help support the nation’s dairy producers and processors, but they remain hopeful additional financial aid and other USDA policy and program changes will be forthcoming to offset anticipated losses due to COVID-19.

The massive, $2 trillion aid package working its way through Congress this week creates a $9.5 billion coronavirus agricultural disaster fund that specifically includes livestock and dairy producers, as well as critical assistance to small businesses that are a key link in the entire dairy supply chain. The bill also provides $14 billion in additional funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) that the USDA can use to assist agricultural producers.

Even though dairy is identified as a target area for aid, there is no specific funding level designated for dairy, and spending priorities are left to the discretion of the USDA.

While the stimulus package includes crucial assistance to farmers, it is likely not the last step to assist a dairy sector hard hit by COVID-19 economic disruptions, said Paul Bleiberg, vice president for government relations for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).
“There are absolutely going to be further legislative efforts,” Bleiberg said in  a podcast released by NMPF . “Congress may take a recess for a couple of weeks, maybe around the Easter recess, and it may be a little bit longer than it normally is, but I think that work behind the scenes is going to continue.” Read more here>>>
DAIRY IS CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE - NMPF release template work permits for dairy

Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for public health and safety as well as community well-being. Agriculture, including the dairy supply chain, was identified as essential critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 19; as such, employees have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. The full list of industries and DHS guidance can be accessed  here.  A Spanish-language version is available  here .

NMPF has crafted a template work permit for food and agriculture employees that explains the DHS guidance and asks relevant authorities to grant employees permission to travel to and from work. Along with the permit itself, the document also defines who is considered a food and agriculture employee for critical-infrastructure purposes. This document can be downloaded below.
EPA temporarily stops enforcement of environmental laws due to coronavirus

The  Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) suspended its enforcement of a variety of environmental laws on Thursday, saying that industries could have trouble complying with them due to the  coronavirus  pandemic.

The agency added that it won't expect "to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations. Read more here>>>
Farm Recovery Block Grant Applications Accepted Until April 8

T he Georgia Department of Agriculture is now accepting online applications from producers who experienced losses and expenses related to Hurricane Michael. All applications must be completed and submitted by  11:59 PM on April 8, 2020 . Only online applications will be accepted.

This block grant program is designed to compensate producers for losses and expenses in seven categories of assistance: beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable, pecan, poultry, timber, and uninsured infrastructure. On the application you will see these categories referred to as commodities. The assistance provided through the FRBG will address losses and expenses not already included in an existing USDA program. This means not all losses a producer experienced due to Hurricane Michael will be eligible. Learn more about applying for the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant here:  http://agr.georgia.gov/farm-recovery.aspx
During coronavirus, invest in farmers for the future
By Anthony Pahnke, Tribune News Service
The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered many restaurants, factories and stores, causing the U.S. economy to grind to a halt. As Congress delivers  a massive stimulus package , let’s not forget rural America and the American farmer.

This is our  opportunity  to bring about a rural renaissance, characterized by fair incomes, competitive markets and a new generation of farmers.

In fact, the reinvigoration of small-scale American farming is one of the primary ways that we can guard against future pandemics.

The new coronavirus is emphatically not a “Chinese virus,” as President Donald Trump has claimed. But its  origins  can be traced to China, and its roots appear to be in the  international food market .

Recently, industrial farm operations in China have expanded to meet the country’s dietary needs for its growing urban population, causing farmers to include animals of questionable origin into the food chain. The Chinese poultry industry, which domesticates wild birds for slaughter and consumption, has been particularly singled out for enabling viruses to make the leap from animals to humans. Read more here>>>
Meat prices rise while cattle prices drop as supermarkets race to stock shelves
By Jessi Devenyns , Food Dive
Fresh meat is yet another grocery item that consumers are purchasing faster than staff can restock. With buyers cleaning out shelves, producers are rethinking production schedules to provide the protein that consumers seek as COVID-19 has forced restaurants to shutter and Americans to stay home.

From beef and chicken to lamb and turkey, sales of animal protein across the board have increased dramatically in the last week. These statistics are in stark contrast to numbers provided by The Wall Street Journal just two weeks ago.  The Journal reported  U.S. cattle prices had fallen 19% between January and the first week of March this year.

Interestingly, this surge puts fresh meat in the same category as shelf-stable canned foods, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, which have been hard to obtain as consumers stock up on staples to prepare for quarantine measures. While meat is a fresh product,  reports show  consumers are buying in bulk, freezing extras to have on hand for a later date.
To compensate for the stockpiling, processors are diverting meat that would ordinarily be destined for restaurants and sending it to retail. Producers like Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Cargill and Sanderson Farms  are among the companies looking to shift  operations away from foodservice and toward retail to meet demand. Other meat processors are adding additional weekend shifts to their schedules to keep up, and some are requesting that the government  expand the guest worker visa  program to offset labor shortages.

In addition to logistical changes, processors are  providing incentives  for workers to ensure they are present.  Reuters reported  Maple Leaf Foods, Hormel Foods, Cargill and Tyson will give temporary pay increases or bonuses to employees. Cargill will increase pay by $2 an hour until May 3 with an additional $500 bonus for the completion of weekly shifts for eight consecutive weeks. Read more here>>>
Dairy execs weigh in on coronavirus-related efforts and challenges, Part 1
By  Kathie Canning , Dairy Foods
As of March 26, 22 U.S. states had issued stay-at-home orders, and many “nonessential” businesses had closed. But food and beverage manufacturers, including dairy processors, continue to operate as part of a subset of industries deemed essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.

Dairy Foods asked high-level executives from a handful of well-known dairy processing companies about how these challenging times have impacted their operations.

Participants include Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, White Plains, N.Y., and Broomfield, Colo.; Monica Massey, executive vice president and chief of staff with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Kansas City, Kan.; Stan Ryan, president and CEO of Darigold Inc., Seattle (with input from other top Darigold executives); Robert Denning, President and CEO of Perry’s Ice Cream Co. Inc.; Ed Mullins, CEO of Prairie Farms Dairy, Edwardsville, Ill.; and Patrick Criteser, president and CEO, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Ore.

What follows is Part 1 of the discussion. Part 2 will be published on Monday, March 30.
Telemedicine Now Available To Treat Livestock And Pets, FDA Says
By Rhonda Brooks , Dairy Herd Management
Veterinarians can now use telemedicine practices to address animal health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a decision announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This pandemic has had impacts on many of our everyday lives and professions, and during this time, we need to provide veterinarians with the latitude to expand the use of telemedicine in the care of animals, not only pets, but also the animals that produce our food,” said Stephen M. Hahn, FDA commissioner, in a prepared statement. “The FDA is providing flexibility that will help veterinarians maintain the health of animals during the pandemic, while allowing for the social distancing that is so important in limiting the further spread of coronavirus disease across the country and the world.” Read more here>>>
ICYMI: March 2020 GA Milk Review
From GA Milk Producers

This edition covers: Georgia Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Update, Several Events Postponed, Dr. Joe West Retires, Farm Recovery Block Grant Applications Accepted Until April 8, and the March Dixie Dairy Report
Join us on May 8th as a sponsor or player at the 2020 GDYF Golf Tournament!! All proceeds support our 4-H and FFA dairy programs! For more information click here>>>
Go Into Dairy Loss Mitigation Mode NOW
By Jim Dickrell, Ag Web
Marin Bozic, a University of Minnesota dairy economist is urging dairy farmers to go into loss mitigation mode immediately and lock in at least some price protection through the second quarter of 2021 because of the uncertain market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using  Dairy Revenue Protection (RP) insurance  as his example, Bozic normally urges dairy farmers look at the two most current calendar quarters for loss protection when there are price declines. RP provides five quarters of pricing options, and he recommends using the fourth and fifth quarters as break-even price protectors. But due to the uncertainty in markets, he is urging dairy farmers to lock in prices now.

“We are in unprecedented times,” he says. “April [market movements] will be like you have never seen before, and it is likely to be a harrowing month for all of us.
Black Swan Event Shakes Up Dairy Margin Coverage Payment Forecast
By Michael Nepveux Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation
With market signals indicating an improving dairy economy and USDA’s own decision tool predicting low to no  Dairy Margin Coverage  payments this year, fewer dairy farmers opted into the 2018 farm bill’s flagship dairy program in 2020, But less than three full months into the year, the rapidly evolving situation under the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of safety net programs such as Dairy Revenue Protection and DMC.

DMC is a voluntary, insurance-style program that makes payments when the national average income-over-feed-cost margin falls below a farmer-selected coverage level. Coverage is available from $4 per hundredweight to as high as $9.50 per hundredweight. Dairy producers pay premiums for coverage and may annually re-select their coverage options. In signing up for the 2019 coverage year, farmers had the option to make a one-time election and receive a discount on DMC premiums. Program payments may be triggered monthly and are made if the DMC margin falls below the farmer’s elected coverage level. Program payments are based on the amount of milk covered in the program and may range from 5% to 95% of a farm’s milk production history in 5% increments. Market intel has  published  a  number  of articles  delving into  the revamped dairy program and the potential benefits for participating farmers. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
LAST Call for 2021 GA Dairy Conference Presenters Submissions! !
The planning committee for the 2021 Georgia Dairy Conference is seeking relevant, innovative and valuable topics/speakers.  Individuals, companies, universities, organizations and government agencies may submit proposals for consideration by  March 27, 2020 . Click Here to Download Submission Form and Instructions
59th Annual Convention & Beef Expo Rescheduled for May
From GA Cattlemen's Association

The 59th Annual Georgia Cattlemen's Association Convention & Trade Show and the 22nd Annual Georgia Beef Expo has been rescheduled for May 28-30, 2020  at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA. All current registrations have been transferred for the new dates. Click here to learn more>>>
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 3/6/20

For Sale: DAIRY HERD FOR SALE IN WAYNESBORO: AI sired and bred, 50% in first lactation, milking 75+ lbs 2x, 3.9 BF, SSC 150,000, free stall. For more information contact Kent Hege - (706) 871-3821.

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