2020 | September 25 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Start Making Plans to Join Us in Savannah this January!
Make plans to join us in-person this January for the 2021 GA Dairy Conference. Our staff is working hard to ensure that safety protocols are in place to minimize the spread of germs during our event. We look forward to seeing you in Savannah, Jan 18-20!! For hotel reservation information, visit our website: https://www.gadairyconference.com/accommodations
ZOOM Calls This Week for Districts 1 & 7
Georgia Milk Producers will two zoom calls for districts 1 & 7 on Oct. 6 & 7. Our organization will hold the district director elections, report on industry issues and promotional efforts; and announce upcoming events. An email and letter invite has been sent to all producers located in these districts. Please make plans to join us and contact us with questions at gamilkproducers@gmail.com.
Studies Confirm Dairy Does Not Cause Inflammation
By Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

While the internet is full of suggestions to avoid dairy due to its inflammatory properties, medical research does not appear to support that claim. A new systematic review shows consuming dairy appears to have neutral to beneficial effects on inflammatory markers. 

For the September review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers analyzed 27 trials that focused on dairy products’ effect on inflammatory markers. Dairy products included dairy food options like milk, yogurt, cheese, and proteins from milk including casein and whey. 
 
None of these studies suggest that either consuming dairy food or proteins from milk increase inflammation like previously believed. In fact, some of the studies report dairy intake actually results in a reduction in at least one biomarker of inflammation.
Milk Price Drastically Different Than Beginning of 2020 Due to Market, Government Help
By Betsy Jibben, Dairy Herd Management

This year has been anything but predictable for dairy prices between dumping milk, the pandemic and price recovery. 

For the dairy industry, how producers started the year is a drastic difference than where they're at now. 

"In our dairy, it’s been a great year,” says Brody Stapel, a farmer in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. “We were pretty hesitant going in. We took some protections early on in the market as in last fall,” says “We were able to weather a lot of what happened this year."

Rewind to earlier in the year. Some producers were forced to dump milk and prices crashed amid a global pandemic. 

"We went from comparing milk and cheese prices to what they looked like right after the global financial crisis to just a couple of months later looking at record cheese prices and incredibly strong milk prices,” says Alyssa Badger, the director of operations for HighGround Dairy.

Even now, prices for Class III are different. 

"I think our market prices are up at a level that was tolerable,” says Mark Stephenson, the director of dairy markets and policy at UW-Madison. “Maybe not as good as you wanted in what should have been a recovery year but they aren't at unlivable levels."While the internet is full of suggestions to avoid dairy due to its inflammatory properties, medical research does not appear to support that claim. A new systematic review shows consuming dairy appears to have neutral to beneficial effects on inflammatory markers. 

For the September review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers analyzed 27 trials that focused on dairy products’ effect on inflammatory markers. Dairy products included dairy food options like milk, yogurt, cheese, and proteins from milk including casein and whey.  

None of these studies suggest that either consuming dairy food or proteins from milk increase inflammation like previously believed. In fact, some of the studies report dairy intake actually results in a reduction in at least one biomarker of inflammation.
ICYMI: September 2020 GA Milk Review

In this issue:
-GMP District Meetings
-Second Round of CFAP Payments Coming
-UGA Tifton Dairy Closed Permanently
-Nick T. Place named Dean of UGA College of Ag
-Dixie Dairy Report
 
Thinking, evolving, learning, and adapting for the cows
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman

Now that we have been in our robotic milking barn for a while, we are brainstorming ideas to improve our fetch cow strategy.

As many of you know, we switched to a robotic milking system last November. When we made the change, we had a pretty good idea of how things would go initially. Since we are located in the south, cows move a little differently, especially dealing with heat stress. We didn’t have any dairies to visit to see how the heat stress was going to affect a voluntary milking system.

A lot of robot barns are guided flow. To keep it simple, everything kind of moves in one direction, making it an easier decision for the cows to go into the robot. What we have here is “free flow.” Cows go in any direction they choose.

We were told by farms we visited that they had around a 10% fetch rate for cows that were overdue to be milked. Most of these farms were guided flow systems, so we knew that our fetch rate would be higher. In the beginning, we were fetching cows almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was an around-the-clock job until the cows were trained. Slowly over time, we have done less fetching. We went from about seven fetches in a 24 hour period to six, then to five, then to four, and now down to three main fetches and a small extra fresh cow fetching session here and there.

Fetching consists of moving the cows in front of the robots and leaving them there for a period of time so they go through the voluntary milking systems. A select few cows (usually fresh cows) will go directly to a fetch pen that is attached to the entry of the robot. We have “swing down” gates to leave the remaining cows in front of the robots during that time. After a bit, we push the last seven or eight cows on our list down to that same fetch pen and lift our gates up. Read more here>>>
money_bag_tree.jpg
Farm subsidies keep rural communities rolling
By Farrah Newberry, Executive Director, GA Milk Producers

We have turned the page to the last chapter of 2020. Only 90 days left this year, and I am sure, like me, you are ready to turn the page to January 1, 2021. Not only am I ready to bid COVID-19 farewell, I am also ready to move past the elections. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!!

This year has financially impacted every American. Essential workers have worked through extremely tough circumstances and many non-essential workers have lost their jobs. Agriculture is among the industries hit hardest, but thankfully USDA sent money to most farmers to help weather the worst of circumstances (a black swan event for dairy). The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) was a welcome sight for farmers. A second round of payments is needed this fall to help farmers cope with extreme market volatility for the rest of 2020.

I often hear farmers say that they prefer to make their own money and not rely on the government for "handouts". I agree - it is important to stay competitive in a free market and position your business in a way to stay afloat in time of crisis. But farmers often act ashamed of government payments and are quick to say they don't need them. After years of depressed milk prices and an unexpected pandemic, subsidies are needed for our survival and to ensure a secure food supply for Americans.

In 1930, according to the USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive, nearly 25% of the population—roughly 30,000,000 people—lived on nearly 6.5 million farms and ranches. The original intent of U.S. farm subsidies was to provide economic stability to farmers during the Great Depression  and ensure a steady domestic food supply for Americans. 

However, by 2017, the number of people living on farms had dwindled to about 3.4 million and the number of farms just over two million. It's more difficult than ever to make a living farming, and when you add in COVID-19, subsidies were a necessity to keep farming.

When farmers continue to farm, they financially support local communities throughout the U.S. They spend money at the local feed store, buy parts at the auto shop and pay taxes that fund schools and local municipalities.  They #Keepfarming and keep rural communities rolling. 

It’s okay to accept government aid – sure there are abusers and they should be caught. We need a strong, local supply of food; we need the American farmer.

I hope the next time you feel ashamed about taking a farm subsidy, that you will remember this short article. There is nothing shameful in receiving a farm subsidy when the circumstances are out of your control. Agriculture is needed now more than ever – continue to produce the best food possible and I will continue to be thankful for all that you do to feed my family.
WEBINAR Hosted by NC Dairy Producers Assn. to cover Dairy Margin Coverage Program and Dairy Revenue Protection Program

In partnership with GA Milk Producers, the NC Dairy Producers Association will host a webinar covering the 2021 DMC and DR-P risk management programs. This is free for dairy producers.

Gordie Jones: Comfortable, Couch Potato Cows Produce More Milk
By Rhonda Brooks, Dairy Herd Management

If you want to boost milk production in your herd, it might not cost you a dime. Instead, consider investing some time in figuring out how comfortable your cows are, recommends Gordon (Gordie) Jones, DVM.

“Higher milk production occurs when there’s an absence of stress,” explains Jones, a consulting veterinarian and partner in the Central Sands Dairy, based near Nekoosa, Wis.

“The cow has three jobs – to stand to eat and drink, stand to give milk and then spend the rest of her time lying down,” says Jones, who has consulted with dairy producers in 37 countries around the world. Read more here>>>
Oregon's biggest dairy offers advice to Wisconsin dairy farms
Grace Connatser, Wisconsin State Farmer

Threemile Canyon Farms, Oregon's largest dairy boasting 33,000 dairy cows, 93,000 acres and 300 full-time workers provided sustainability advice to Wisconsin dairy farmers.

The Boardman, Ore. farm, featured on a recent Dairy Stream podcast episode, was recently awarded with the 2020 Outstanding Dairy Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for US Dairy.

General manager Marty Myers said the dairy relies on a "closed-loop" system that continuously recycles products, byproducts and resources on the farm for cost savings and efficiency.

Myers explained that it "all starts with the cow." Threemile grows 60% of the feed they need for their herd on nearly half of their acreage. Myers said then they process manure from their own cows through digesters that create methane as a form of renewable natural gas they then use for power, saving money on electricity. Through this process, the manure is also separated into liquids and solids, where the liquids are used for extra crop fertilizer, removing the need for traditional fertilizers, and the solids are used for cow bedding. Read more here>>>
Dairy Foods Formulating for the New Norm Home Cook
Grace Connatser, Wisconsin State Farmer

Home cooking has gone from trend to habit in the past six months. Market analysts and industry experts say home cooking is here for the long-term future. Dairy foods formulators are encouraged to get creative with products that provide short cuts in the kitchen: everything from specialty products for restaurant-quality home dinners to affordable products for everyday convenience. It’s everything that dairy can be.

Americans made a marked return to their kitchens in March, rediscovering scratch cooking, baking and above all, comfort. The global pandemic forced a shift to more purposeful shopping behaviors and more thoughtful, elaborate meal preparation.

According to a Hunter poll conducted in April 2020, 54% of Americans surveyed reported that they are cooking more since the pandemic, with a 50% increase in their cooking confidence. Notably, 44% reported that they have discovered new ingredients. 

Indeed, cooking confidence is soaring, and increased time in the kitchen has re-sparked a joy of cooking, according to the poll. Americans plan to continue cooking more even after the world reverts to normal, as they are finding cooking more helps them save money and eat healthier. They are becoming more adventurous in the kitchen, discovering new brands and products, and rediscovering old favorites. They are using recipes more than ever and are wasting less food. The pandemic is driving families together around the table, with many turning more to both healthier food and more indulgent and comfort foods, as they look to food for complete nourishment: body, mind and soul. 

Dairy foods do all this and more! Read more here>>>
GA Ag Labor Forum to be held virtually this November
This year might be different but we will still have the latest labor updates for growers, shippers, processors and other agricultural professionals.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear from industry experts as they help you comply with labor laws, all from the comfort and convenience of your home!

This five-part webinar series will be held 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the following dates:
  • Thursday, November 5
  • Tuesday, November 10
  • Thursday, November 12
  • Tuesday, November 17
  • Thursday, November 19

Cost: $95/participant includes access to all webinars and resources

Each webinar will be available for on-demand access and viewing for all registered attendees. Click here for more information>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Upcoming Events >>>
Fall District Meetings:
  • Oct. 6 - DISTRICT 1 ZOOM UPDATE at 1 PM
  • Oct. 7 - DISTRICT 7 ZOOM UPDATE at 7 PM

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

UPDATED 10/2/20

For Sale: Feed bunks on wheels, 4 in stock for $1,600 each. Contact Reid Bros. Irrigation for more information at 229-924-2474 or 229-942-0035.

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