2019 | Nov 1 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
It’s go time
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer
The robots on our Georgia dairy farm will be ready to milk the cows next week.

It is an exciting time here at the farm. The finishing touches are being made to get the robots ready to milk our cows starting next Tuesday. The start-up date has been moved a couple of times for different reasons . . . but now everything is a “Go.”

We have had so much support leading up to now. So many people have offered to lend a hand with the start-up.

Our plan is a little different than the original one. We will now be starting all five robots at the same time and have shifts of people around the clock pushing cows through. We have been on “feed only” mode in the robots for about three weeks now. Needless to say, the cows aren’t nearly as hard to get in the robots now that they have gotten used to it and have been chowing down on the robot’s pellets.

In fact, I watched a cow last week (on her own) go into the robot and eat some pellets. When the gate opened, she walked out, circled back around, and walked back into the robot to do it all again. She did this about seven times while I was standing there.

We have a few other things going on in our educational center as well. Dad had a life-sized cow painted to show how the digestive system works. Our water tank for the maternity barn has been painted to show a stork carrying a baby calf with “Mooternity” written above it.

Dad has been on Facebook getting ideas about what to name each robot. We have been blessed with support from the community through Facebook with ideas and suggestions. My cousin just went and bought a big screen television to show calves being born and other educational things while people watch the robots milking. We will also be getting a fake cow that people can milk.
We are excited for the upcoming weeks. We hope to have a smooth transition for our cows. It’s going to be a long next few weeks — if not months — but we are ready! Read here>>>
GA Ag Labor Relations Forum Next Week in Tifton
New federal report shows dairy cooperatives struggling with power imbalances and competing interests
By Jessica Fu, The New Food Economy
As the industry consolidates, a handful of co-ops control more of the milk market than ever before. Small dairy farmers are feeling the squeeze.

Fifty-five years ago, the Beatles made their American debut, Disney released the original  Mary Poppins , and 1,244 dairy cooperatives across the country represented milk farmers’ interests in negotiations with processors and retailers. Since then, the dairy industry has undergone rapid consolidation, and co-ops have followed suit. Today, just 118 remain, per the most recent Department of Agriculture (USDA)  numbers .

With every merger, more and more farms of different sizes, business models, and geographic locations have found themselves grouped under the same organizational roof. This phenomenon, as a result, has created power imbalances within the very associations founded to mitigate them, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO)  report  on the issue.

The GAO report was issued in response to a request by Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and is based on a review of USDA publications, peer-reviewed research, and interviews with various stakeholders. (For her part, Gillibrand  has a history  of advocating on behalf of dairy farmers, likely because New York is the  third highest  dairy-producing state.) Read more here>>>>
USDA Abruptly Halts Animal ID Plan
By Greg Henderson , AgWeb
USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Friday (Oct. 25) it has suspended its plan to phase-in the use of electronic ID (RFID) tags for cattle and bison.

APHIS said in a statement  the policy shift was in response to executive orders from President Trump that have highlighted the need for transparency and communication of issues “before placing any new requirements on American farmers and ranchers.” Read more here>>>
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 was introduced in the US House of Representatives this week, with the goal of expanding the H-2A foreign guestworker program and aiding with legalization of current workers.

Fall Animal and Dairy Science Department Newsletter
From University of Georgia
Check out the 2019 fall edition of The Department of Animal & Dairy Science 

  • This edition features articles from:
  • Professor Dean Pringle
  • Francis Fluharty, department head
  • Associate Professor John Gonzalez
  • Live from the LAB update
  • Existing drug could treat aggressive brain cancer Student spotlights

Milk production and cow numbers for the first half of 2019 were reviewed in the  July 15, 2019 post  to this blog. Data for the third quarter is now available. Class III milk prices have increased (Chart I), and expectations of improved dairy pricing are showing in the futures market.

Inventories of cheese have fallen a little to a 36-day supply in August (Chart II). However, the inventories are still well above the 2014 levels which reached a 30-day supply.

Chart II - Days Inventory of Cheese in Cold StorageWith the higher milk prices, milk production is already heating up. There are clear warning signs of possible over-production of milk on the horizon. With cheese inventories already relatively high, excess milk could quickly bloat the cheese inventories and impact pricing. Read more here>>>
USDA Offers Temporary Changes To DMC Intergenerational Transfer Rule
By Jim Dickrell, Dairy Herd Management
If a spouse, child or grandchild has joined your operation, you may be eligible for an increase in your Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) production history.

If the spouse, child or grandchild joined the operation since 2014 and additional dairy cattle were added to your herd, your DMC history can be updated to reflect that increased milk production, reports  Dairy Famers of America.  The cattle must have been purchased within 120 days of the family member joining the operation. The production history can be increased up to 5 million pounds.

For those farms that were in enrolled in the dairy Margin Protection Program from 2014 through 2018, the production history may be applied to the DMC 2019 calendar year. Operations who make this adjustment may be eligible for additional payments this year.
Operations have until December 13, 2019 to update their production histories to reflect the intergenerational transfers. Do so at your local Farm Service Agency office.

You can also enroll for 2020 DMC coverage through December 13, 2019.
California's Oldest Dairy Shut Parlor Doors to Expand Almond Business
By  Taylor Leach , AgWeb
After spending 126 years milking cows, the Giacomazzi family, owners of California’s oldest dairy farm, is shutting their parlor doors for good to expand their budding almond business. 

First getting its start in 1893, the Giacomazzi Dairy in Hanford, Calif., grew from what was once a small dairy operation into a 1,000-cow facility with an additional 1,000 replacement animals on the side. As the historical farm continued to expand, growing pains were experienced and some of the facilities equipment started to show its age.

“Being that this dairy is over 125 years old, it's not very efficient,” says fourth-generation owner Dino Giacomazzi in an interview with  ABC 30 Action News.  “It's not modern, so we have to either invest to upgrade this dairy or invest in something else." 
By Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy Blog
Dairy is not going away, but the industry will continue to see encroachment from plant-based alternatives, explained Phil Plourd, president, Blimling and Associates, and president of the services division of Dairy.com, at the recent American Dairy Products Institute Dairy Ingredients Seminar in Santa Barbara, Calif. Some estimates suggest the dairy-alternatives market could top $10 billion by 2023, increasing nearly 10% annually from current levels. He stressed that the industry cannot turn a blind eye to the growth. Maybe it’s time for your dairy to get on board!

To learn more about the category and why it makes sense to include non-dairy in your product portfolio, link  HERE  to download a copy of “Growing Roots in the Dairy Aisle: The Rise of Plant-Based Alternatives.”  Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Dr. Andy Johnson, known as the "Udder Doctor", is scheduled to speak on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the 2020 GA Dairy Conference!! Dr. Johnson is a dairy consultant who has consulted in 30 countries and 46 states. He has consulted on dairies ranging from 20 to over 20,000 dairy cows. His specialties are quality milk production, new parlor design and performance, and cow comfort. He chaired the NMC sub-committee on milking machine evaluation and developed the new airflow protocols that have become the US standards. To learn more visit our website at http:// gadairyconference.com #2020GDC
Animal Waste Operator and Planner Certification Training in November
A waste planner/operator certification training will be offered in Athens at the UGA Livestock Arena classroom on November 13 & 14, 2019. All permitted livestock operations (other than dry poultry operations) must have a certified animal waste systems operator and an implemented nutrient management plan written by a certified planner. In previous years this has been held as separate trainings, one to certify farm owners/employees to properly manage animal waste systems and the other to certify people to write nutrient management plans.

This training has been combined into one training with break-out sessions on day 2 for topics specific to each group. Both certifications require completion of this course and passing of the exam. This is the final operator/planner certification course this year. The next training will be in March 2020. Click here for registration form and information>>>
Univ. of Florida Seeking
Dairy Manager
The Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, is looking for candidates for the position of manager of its Dairy Unit.
Where to apply:
Applications close:  November 4, 2019 (or later until the position has been filled)
More information:
Dr. Audy Spell Dr. Albert De Vries
Operations Manager Professor and Associate Chair
251-656-6972 cell phone 352-474-3412 office phone
352-294-1059 office phone devries@ufl.edu
Upcoming Events >>>

November 7 - GA Milk Board of Directors Meeting in Macon - Open to all GA dairy farmers, email us here for information

Dec. 8-10 - GA Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Jekyll Island

GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 10/4/19

The following are FOR SALE from Archie Felder. For more information call 1-803-682-3426 :
Dairy Tech Bag Pasturizer - $4,000
Tidenberg Hydraulic Hoof Table (like new) - $5,000
Hall stall sand leveler skid steer (never used) - $1,000
Mench Sand Trailer - $14,000
McLanahan 20 x 20 sand seperator - $25,000
Chiller Drake 24 hp, dual 12 hp scroll tank pumps, 3 phase - $10,000
Fans 3-phase w/brackets:
54" - $225/ea (18 available)
48" - $125/ea (20 available)
36" - $100/ea (20 available)
3000 Mueller Milk Tank - $5,000
20 springers 7 1/2 - 8 mos. pg - $1,450/ea (24,000 2x herd average)

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