2021 | May 21 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Lawmakers urge additional dairy aid
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

More than 20 U.S. Senators have signed a letter urging the USDA to provide additional direct payments to dairy farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) or other new or existing programs.

The letter, sent to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain and market volatility, as well as increasing feed, labor, equipment and energy costs facing dairy farmers. It also called attention to the impact of Class I milk pricing formula changes, which the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said has resulted in $725 million in lost income for dairy farmers.

The USDA has announced a new COVID-19 pandemic nutrition assistance strategy that moves away from the distribution of food boxes at the end of May. While the Farmers to Families Food Box program will no longer be a major outlet for large-scale dairy product distribution, the USDA announced it would implement the Dairy Donation Program (DDP). That plan reimburses participating dairy cooperatives and processors for the donation, processing, transportation, temporary storage and distribution of eligible dairy products.

The USDA also previously expanded CFAP payments to specialty crop and some livestock producers, but no additional aid is directed specifically to dairy producers.

At Progressive Dairy’s deadline, there has been no update from the USDA concerning a law allowing smaller dairy producers to update their Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) milk production history baselines and become eligible for a supplemental DMC payment. The adjustment was approved in a COVID-19 relief bill, signed into law in late December 2020. Read more here>>>
Georgia Dept of Ag: Agriculture Commodity Commissions Seeking Nominations
From All On Georgia

Several Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commissions are seeking nominations for positions of individuals whose terms are set to expire. The deadline for receiving nominations is Thursday, May 30, 2021.

To serve on a Commodity Commission, a person must be a producer of the commodity of the commission, commit to attend meetings and represent the producers of the commodity. Term-expiring board members are also eligible for reappointment. 
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

April 2020 started a five-month slowdown in U.S. milk production growth as the industry struggled with market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such is not the case a year later. The USDA’s April Milk Production latest report was released on May 20, and the numbers are large. Read more here>>>
2021 fluid sales slid lower in March
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

Here’s an update on U.S fluid milk sales data from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service for March 2021.

  • Total sales: March 2021 sales of packaged fluid milk products totaled 3.92 billion pounds, down about 7.5% from the same month a year earlier. At 11.38 billion pounds, year-to-date (January-March 2021) sales of all fluid products were down 5.3%.

  • Conventional products: March sales totaled 3.67 billion pounds, down 8%. Flavored whole milk and reduced-fat (2%) flavored milk were the only major categories showing growth, up 22% and 13%, respectively. Year-to-date sales of conventional products are down 5.9% at 10.65 billion pounds.

  • Organic products: Monthly sales totaled 255 million pounds, up 0.2% from a year earlier. Most major organic categories posted small gains compared to a year earlier. Year-to-date sales of organic products are up 4.8%. Organic represented almost 6.5% of total fluid product sales in March 2021.

The U.S. figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in federal milk marketing order (FMMO) areas and California (now a part of the FMMO system), which account for approximately 92% of total fluid milk sales in the U.S. Sales outlets include food stores, convenience stores, warehouse stores/wholesale clubs, nonfood stores, schools, the food service industry and home delivery. Read more here>>>
Celebrate Dairy Month with the Book of the Year
From GA Farm Bureau

Every year, Georgia Farm Bureau donates an agriculture-themed children’s book to all public libraries in the state of Georgia. This year Farm Bureau will donate copies of “Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish”, which was named the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Book of the Year.

In honor of the book donation and of June being Dairy Month, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you learn more about this popular book and about the dairy industry in Georgia. Read more here>>>
Carbon storage offers hope for climate, cash for farmers
By John Flesher, Associated Press

The rye and rapeseed that Rick Clifton cultivated in central Ohio were coming along nicely — until his tractor rumbled over the flat, fertile landscape, spraying it with herbicides.

These crops weren’t meant to be eaten, but to occupy the ground between Clifton’s soybean harvest last fall and this spring’s planting. Yet thanks to their environmental value, he’ll still make money from them.

Farmers increasingly have been growing offseason cereals and grasses to prevent erosion and improve soil. Now, they’re gaining currency as weapons against climate change.

Experts believe keeping ground covered year-round rather than bare in winter is among practices that could reduce emissions of planet-warming gases while boosting the agricultural economy, if used far more widely.

“For too long, we’ve failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis: jobs, jobs, jobs,” President Joe Biden said in his April address to Congress. One example, he added: “Farmers planting cover crops so they can reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it.” Read more here>>>
Grassroots efforts continue seeking solution to Class I formula change losses
By Sherry Bunting, Farmshine, May 2021

The Class I ‘mover’ is the subject of much discussion — two years after the averaging method plus 74 cents replaced the ‘higher of’ method to determine the base producer price of Class I beverage milk in May 2019.
A letter drafted by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is gathering signatures from Senators and will be sent to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding financial assistance to cover direct and indirect losses borne by dairy farmers due to the formula change exacerbated by the pandemic.

“By allocating more direct payments through CFAP, USDA could take action to reduce the strain that dairy farmers are facing. Specifically, the agency should continue issuing payments to dairy farmers under CFAP, or through any further assistance programs that USDA conceives, including the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, for the first six months of 2021 and make these payments retroactive to January 1st,” the Senator’s letter states.

The American Dairy Coalition is urging producers to contact their Senators about signing onto the letter by end of day Monday, May 17. Senators should contact Dominic Sanchez at Senator Gillibrand’s office by email at Dominic_Sanchez@gillibrand.senate.gov
A transparent USDA hearing process was used 20 years ago to originally set the ‘higher of’ as the method when USDA rejected proposals for averaging Class III and IV due to depooling and negative differentials. However, in the 2018 Farm Bill, the Class I mover was changed from ‘higher of’ to an averaging method legislatively without hearings, without comment, without the producer referendum — without vetting.
May 2021 GA Milk Review
From Georgia Milk Producers, Inc.

In this edition:
  • Governor Kemp Signs Multiple Bills Supporting Georgia Farmers & Timber Growers
  • Grassroots efforts continue seeking solution to Class I formula change losses
  • Dairy industry important to Southeast Agriculture
  • Commodity Commissions Seeking Nominations
  • Dixie Dairy Report 
April 2021 Dairy Market Report

Several positive signs have emerged in recent months that are pointing to a tightening milk supply-demand balance and improving milk prices. Year-over-year milk production growth moderated from 2.4 percent in January to 1.8 percent in March, and there are unmistakable signs that the national dairy cow herd is on the ebbing side of the current herd expansion cycle. U.S. dairy exports are particularly strong, with March exports reaching the second highest level ever as a percentage of monthly U.S. milk solids production. Meanwhile, domestic use of dairy products in the first quarter of 2021 rose 7 percent from a year earlier for both butter and American-type cheese. Still, despite the rosier outlook, immediate conditions remain challenging, with margins under the federal Dairy Margin Coverage program averaging almost $3.00/cwt below the maximum $9.50/cwt coverage level during the quarter, as rising feed costs combined with out-of-balance milk supplies kept returns over feed costs at depressed levels. 
What’s Next? “Transparelocalicious”
By Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy

Transparelocalicious. This is a term coined by Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker of the 2004 film: Supersize Me. It’s also a term that’s about five years old, but its significance accelerated with the pandemic. 

Ah, the pandemic. What a difference a year makes! Right? We must all be patient as many of us take baby steps when we reenter a mask-free, in-person world at the gym, shopping, dining and eventually, travel and trade shows. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds


For Sale: Double 8 herringbone bone parlor available in Starr, SC.
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