2020 | September 4 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Fall District Meetings Begin September 11th
Dairy producers across Georgia are invited to attend the annual Fall District meetings for Georgia Milk Producers and The Dairy Alliance next month. The meetings will be held in five locations across the state. Our organizations will hold elections; report on industry issues and promotional efforts; and announce upcoming events. Dinner or lunch will be served at each location depending on the time the meeting is set to begin.
Due to current Covid-19 restrictions for gatherings, no more than 50 people are allowed to attend each meeting. For the Waynesboro meeting, please limit those attending from your farm to 2 or 3 people. Masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing will be utilized for each meeting. The meetings will be held on:
  • Sept. 11 Friday Hillcrest Farm, Dearing at NOON
  • Sept. 14 Monday BriarPatch Farm, Eatonton at 7 PM
  • Sept. 17 Thursday Burke Co. Extension Office, Waynesboro at 7 PM 
  • Sept. 21 Monday Oasis Coffee House, Montezuma at 7 PM
  • Oct. 1 Thursday The Barnstormer’s Grill, Williamson at 7 PM
To preregister for the district meeting of your choice, please contact the Georgia Milk office at 706-310-0020. We look forward to seeing you soon and value the input you share at our meetings!!
Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke

With fall district meetings coming up, one question members of the Georgia Milk Producers Inc. are being asked to consider is whether it is time for Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) reform  

According to Farrah Newberry, executive director, Georgia Milk Producers has joined other dairy organizations in the Southeast to form a task force to examine current conditions and identify market functions affecting the dairy supply chain, with a goal of developing consensus-based recommendations that support a viable dairy industry in the region.

The task force has also hired dairy market analyst Matt Gould to examine the industry in the Southeast over the past 20 years and the results of the FMMO reform enacted in 2000.

“While the FMMO does have rules in place that ensure producers are paid in a timely matter, it has not slowed down consolidation of dairy farms, processing plants and cooperatives over the last 20 years,” Newbery said in an email letter to Georgia Milk Producers members. “It has also dealt the Southeast a bad hand. We have a rapidly growing market, however, the loss of farms and processing facilities in this region is one of the highest in the nation.”

Newberry noted that an American Farm Bureau Federation FMMO Dairy Working Group recently released a final report outlining FMMO reform recommendations.
Lessons Learned from the Best Cow Man Ever: Red Larson
By Rick Lundquist, Dairy Herd Management

Red Larson died on July 17, 2020, in Okeechobee, Fla., at age 96. He was an honorable man and a legend in the dairy industry. He was the best cow man I have ever known. As with many of us who do what I do, we often learn much more from a client than we impart to them.

Here are seven lessons learned from Larson about dairying and business:

Treat people with respect. As he did with me, he treated everyone with respect — managers, employees, advisers and suppliers. He garnered respect in return.
82% of Farmers Have Lost Revenue Because of COVID-19

As a result of COVID-19, 82% of Georgia farmers lost revenue, according to an impact survey conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (CAED).

Some of the state’s leading agricultural organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB), the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) and the Georgia Grown program supported the survey by publicizing it and collecting responses. A total of 862 farmers statewide responded to the survey, which was held May 1-21.

It is important to note that COVID-19 statistics, policies and circumstances continue to evolve, and a follow-up survey is planned to gauge those changes.

Some key findings from the survey:

  • Farmers who experienced a decline in weekly sales reported an average revenue decline of $8,500 per week and those who anticipated an annual loss, on average expected to lose $49,000.
  • Farmers were more concerned with the potential financial impact of the pandemic than they were about getting sick or the emotional strain from the COVID-19 situation. Of the respondents, 25% were significantly concerned with low prices created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of market opportunities accounted for another 19% of those with significant concerns. Respondents reported only slight concerns with availability of farm inputs, access to working capital and lack of markets.
  • More than half of the farmers indicated they implemented social distancing measures to protect themselves and their customers. Approximately 20% provided protective equipment to their employees. Only 5% indicated that they closed their operations because of COVID-19.
  • Nearly 70% of the farmers indicated they were not participating in any relief program while only 22% were participating in a federal program. Those that were participating were most likely to have used the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). More than three-quarters of the farmers indicated that these COVID relief programs would not provide sufficient relief.
  • Livestock producers indicated that they experienced significant losses due to COVID-19.

The survey report can be viewed online at www.gfb.ag/COVID19impactstudy. For more information about the survey contact UGA Assistant Dean for Extension Dr. Mark McCann at mmccnn@uga.edu or 706-542-3824.

GFB has assembled a collection of resources for those affected by the pandemic. That information can be accessed at www.gfb.org/advocacy/covid19resources.cms.
Dairy Sales Remain Powerhouse as Pandemic Demand Stabilizes
By Anne-Marie Roerink, Winsight Grocery Business

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way consumers are spending their food dollars. Very quickly, spending moved from a majority of dollars going to foodservice to a majority of dollars being spent in food retailing. Due to out-of-stocks, experimentation and economic pressure, consumers have been ping-ponging between fresh, frozen and center store, and between brands, sizes, familiar and new items. A renewed emphasis on home cooking and healthful immunity collided with less time for impulse inspiration in-store and the most heightened economic concerns in over a decade. While the extreme spikes of the early weeks have given away to a steady week-to-week performance, the sales gains for dollars and volume remain well above 2019 levels for most departments.

Dairy: A Sales Powerhouse
“Dairy sales were virtually the same as the week prior, but because of going up against a lower 2019 baseline, year-over-year gains improved to 13.4%,” said Abrielle Backhaus, research coordinator for IDDBA. “Dairy has been a pandemic powerhouse ever since the second week of March, with 23 weeks of consecutive double-digit increases. Importantly, the three biggest categories in dollar sales, cheese, milk and yogurt, improved their week-over-week and year-over-year dollar performances. These staples underscore that America continues to consume many more meals at home, from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and beverages.” Read more here>>>
U.S. dairy falling behind in global trade
By Krissa Welshans , Feedstuffs

U.S. dairy exports have increased more than 600% since 1996, but the U.S. is falling behind in reaching tremendous untapped potential overseas, National Milk Producers Federation president and chief executive officer Jim Mulhern said during a virtual town hall held this week.

“In far too many markets, we’re seeing growing opportunity gaps due to our competitors’ aggressiveness in racking up new trade partners,” he said. “The fact is, from a trade policy standpoint, we’re actually falling behind our competitors, particularly the European Union. The United States cannot let these opportunities with key ag importing markets slip away.” Read more here>>>
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

Nearly every year we have had severe heat stress within our dry cow group. This happened for the most part because they were used to living life during lactation inside the freestall barn being cooled with fans and sprinklers. Starting this year, we have been able to keep our dry cows inside the barn, too.

We learned a few years back that we would have to change some of our protocols for the dry cows. Our original protocols consisted of:

1. A dry-off pregnancy check.
2. Two sets of vaccines.
3. Hoof trimming.
4. Dry cow intramammary treatment.
5. An intramammary teat sealant.

Take this combination and add the heat adjustment of 100°F with 100% humidity. On top of that, they went from a total mixed ration to a grass, hay, and once a day corn grain mix. Adding all of these things together created a recipe for disaster. Read more here>>>
Carbon-Neutral Cows? Dairy Industry Moo-ving That Way
By Mark Shenk, Karma

The U.S. dairy industry is working to make milk production carbon neutral so that consumers will be able to enjoy cheese and other products guilt free.

The average cow will burp 220 pounds of methane into the atmosphere each year, making cattle the world’s biggest agricultural source of greenhouse gases. This has led environmental activists to call for consumers to use plant-based substitutes for milk and cheese, claiming that dairy cheese is five times worse for the environment than the nuts and tofu used to make vegan substitutes. The American dairy producers are fighting back with a plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

“We’ve embarked on something called the Net-Zero Initiative,” Jamie Jonker, vice president for sustainability and scientific affairs for the National Milk Producers Federation, told Karma. “The U.S. dairy industry is a net-carbon emitter, responsible for about 2% of the total. We aim to be at zero or even below by 2050.” Read more here>>>
Five COVID-19 Behaviors with Long-Term Implications for the Food and Beverage Industry
By Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy

It’s the end of summer, a strange summer at that. I don’t want to use the cliché “new norm,” but let’s face it, life and business is different. It will continue to be different, according to most food, beverage and consumer behavior analysts. 

As a new empty nester, I have time, lots of time. I am partaking in many webinars and identifying the similarities in messaging. From what I have heard—and observed—there are five COVID-19 (consumer and manufacturer) behaviors that will have long-term implications for the food and beverage industry. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 8/28/20

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 - Productive 360 Cow Holstein Herd For Sale, Parlor/Freestall/AI Sired/Lots of Young Cows/2X 70# 4%F SCC-160K More information at www.kreegerdairy.com or call Chad at 517-294-3484

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 John Felder for more information at 803-682-3425:
  • Dairy Tech Bay Pasturizer - $4,000
  • Tidenberg Hydraulic Hoof Table (like new) - $5,000
  • Mench Sand Trailor - $14,000
  • Hall Stall Sand Leveler (new) - $1,000
  • Claas Silage Choppers - 960 1875 cutterhead hours, 4WD, 600 orbis, HD300 PU - $190,000
  • Fans Cool Aire
  • 18 54" $225.00
  • 20 48" $125.00
  • 20 35" 100.00
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