2021 | April 16 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Where is the sweet spot?
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

Many aspects of our dairy and ways of thinking have changed here at Hillcrest Farms since moving to a robotic milking system. The work is less physical and more mental. Once things calmed down after the transition, more than a year later, we started looking at the little things.

For instance, where is the sweet spot in milk production? What is the golden number of cows per robot? You can ask any robotic farm these questions, and most likely, you will get a different answer from each one. The reason for this is simple, though. It’s what works best for you.

Nutrition, dry matter intake, the make-up of the pellet, guided flow versus free flow barn design these are just a few of the things that will completely change the herd dynamics and “your sweet spot.” Before transitioning into robotics, we visited a lot of different dairies and got all kinds of opinions and “do’s and don’ts” for the robotic dairy world. But, at the end of the day, you find out real quick that every robotic dairy is different in many aspects, and what will work for you and what will not.

Our robots are located in a freestall barn with 364 stalls. We are milking 279 cows with 5 V300 robots. We have two different robot groups. The older cow group has three robots, and the first lactation cow pen contains two robots. We also have one group of 36 late lactation cows that are nearing the dry period; they are milked in our parlor.
We have issues that a lot of robotic dairy farms do not, including hot weather and stable flies. This will impact milk production here just about more than anything else.
By Carl Babler, Hoard's Dairyman

The coronavirus pandemic was an outlier event that dramatically shocked the supply and demand fundamentals of all commodity markets. Milk was no exception.

Let’s look back on the action and reaction of the 2020 dairy markets for the purpose of recognizing several basic commodity marketing principles and, more importantly, how these principles applied to the milk market. To fully engage in this discussion, a number of time-tested commodity market principles are listed below in no particular order. Read more here>>>
April 2021 GA Milk Review
From Georgia Milk Producers, Inc.

In this edition:
  • Godfrey Feed Golf Team Wins the 11th Annual GDYF Golf Tournament
  • SCOTUS Dismisses Florida vs. Georgia Water Case
  • Georgia Cattlemen Host Steak Biscuit Breakfast at the Capitol
  • Over 2,500 dairy farms left dairying last year
  • GMP Dragline Fundamentals Workshop Set for May 20
  • GA Dairy Producers Invited to ACCM Proposal Presentation Meeting on May 12
  • Dixie Dairy Report

USDA switches dairy focus under COVID-19 strategy
From Progressive Dairy

The USDA announced a new COVID-19 pandemic nutrition assistance strategy that moves away from the distribution of food boxes. 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).

With DDP regulations as yet not published, a specific timeline was not announced. However, the USDA did provide minimum program requirements for dairy producers and processors to participate, including consideration of retroactive payment for previous donations. The plan requires participating dairy cooperatives and processors have a donation and distribution plan describing the process to be used for the donation, processing, transportation, temporary storage and distribution of eligible dairy products. Find details here.

Beyond dairy, the program makes more than $330 million to help agricultural producers and organizations in the food supply chain recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasis includes funding for specialty crop block grants and incentives to provide more fruits and vegetables for low-income consumers.

Grant project funding awarded as part of pandemic assistance can also go to organizations to assist farmworkers (e.g., for personal protective equipment and vaccination costs), projects to fund farmers, food businesses and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruption. Applications must be submitted electronically before June 12.

The USDA will also provide approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra-long staple cotton to support textile mills impacted by the pandemic.  Read more here>>>
New Dairy Donation Program Expected To Improve Upon Food Boxes
By Nicole Heslip, Brownfiled Ag News

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the new $400 million Dairy Donation program will discourage dumping milk and improve logistics at donation centers to distribute perishable products.

“So when and if we are in a situation in the future that we see a major disruption that could potentially cause farmers to have to dump milk, instead of dumping it there will be a resource that will allow them to not economically disadvantaged,” he explains. 

He says another component will be to make sure food banks can receive and store fresh products to distribute.

Vilsack, who made his comments during a Free Range Conversation this week hosted by American Farmland Trust, has also announced the development of a produce food box in place of the Farmers to Families Food Box program. Read more here>>>
Biden to cancel Trump's pandemic food aid after high costs, delivery problems
By Christopher Walljasper, Reuters

Yogurt was everywhere as volunteers opened boxes of fruit, frozen meat and dairy products that had shifted and spilled in transit to a food bank in Walworth County, Wisconsin.

They rushed to clean and transfer the packages of frozen meatballs, apples, milk and yogurt into cars for needy families to take home before they spoiled.

The food came from The Farmers to Families Food Box program that the Trump administration launched to feed out-of-work Americans with food rescued from farmers who would otherwise throw it away as the coronavirus pandemic upended food supply chains. Read more here>>>
GA Dairy Managers Series on Dragline Fundamentals in May

This workshop will cover team roles and responsibilities, along with safety considerations for manure application operators. These include how to safely operate equipment, handle the lay-flat hose, operate the dragline in the field and how to remain conscious of environmental concerns when pumping. Those attending will receive two continuing education hours for Animal Feeding Operator/Planner Certification. This meeting is open to dairymen, managers, and industry - free of charge and will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Limited seats are available and please preregister for lunch by calling our office at 706-310-0020. Click here for more information>>>
Carbon Contract Reality: Why Conservation-Minded Farmers May Not Qualify for Private Carbon Programs
By Christopher Walljasper, Reuters

As the chase to capture carbon continues, it’s a possible new source of income for farmers and ranchers.
“It is certainly a new revenue source for farmers,” says Todd Janzen, president of Janzen Schroeder Agricultural Law. “So, that's a pro no matter how you look at it.”
And as agriculture could be part of the solution, it’s being met with some skepticism.

“It is a wonderful opportunity,” says Joe Outlaw, co-director, Agriculture Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University. “But it's like every opportunity, you have to understand what you're getting yourself into."

Janzen says farmers need to think about possible sacrifices that could be required to make a long-term commitment.

“The contracts are really long and companies want a long-term duration, usually five, 10 or 15 years, because otherwise, it’s not that valuable (to them).” Read more here>>>
Georgia National Fair, Sunbelt Ag Expo plan to hold 2021 shows
From GA Farm Bureau

Yogurt was everywhere as volunteers opened boxes of fruit, frozen meat and dairy products that had shifted and spilled in transit to a food bank in Walworth County, Wisconsin.

They rushed to clean and transfer the packages of frozen meatballs, apples, milk and yogurt into cars for needy families to take home before they spoiled.

The food came from The Farmers to Families Food Box program that the Trump administration launched to feed out-of-work Americans with food rescued from farmers who would otherwise throw it away as the coronavirus pandemic upended food supply chains. Read more here>>>
New data, updated nutrition labeling rules push milk past sports drinks
From Dairy Foods

Milk long has been known to have nine essential nutrients. But according to the Washington, D.C.-based Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), new research examined by FDA and a review of the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine show that milk is also a good source of zinc, potassium and selenium and an excellent source of iodine.

With these vital nutrients, milk now can claim 13 essential nutrients, MilkPEP said. That reality pushes the beverage to a natural nutrient content level that few other single foods or beverages can compete with – even formulated sports drinks. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

TO ADVERTISE: EMAIL AD AND CONTACT INFORMATION TO FARRAH NEWBERRY at gamilkproducers
@gmail.com

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