2019 | June 28 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
GA Dairies Located in Hurricane Micheal Disaster Zone Should Prepare Documentation Quickly to Apply for Disaster Aid
The Georgia Disaster Recovery Task Force, led by Commissioner Gary Black, is working diligently to ensure that Georgia farms impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018 will receive aid under USDA's WHIP program and special state block grants for each commodity (including dairy). Georgia dairy farms located in the FEMA disaster area should prepare documentation immediately. Once USDA and the GA Dept of Agriculture approves programs for the state and earmarks aid for each commodity, the sign-up period will begin. The signup period will only be for 15 days in order to rush payments to producers desperately needing to plant and repair damaged property. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions at 706-207-0168.
Watch for Signs of Heat Stress This Week
By Jim Dickrell, Dairy Herd Management
With the first major wave of heat stress rolling into the Midwest this week, now is the time to check cooling systems for your herd, including dry cows, replacements and calves.

Declines in feed intake, milk yield and milk fat are obvious signs of heat stress in lactating cows. However, dry cows, calves and heifers can also experience heat stress.

Normal body temps for cows and calves is 101.5°F. “Body temperatures above 103°F indicate heat stress, and above 104°F indicate severe heat stress,” says John Bernard, a dairy nutrition and management specialist with the University of Georgia.

Respiration rates will also increase with heat stress, he says. Normal respiration rates for cows is 40 breaths per minute. To evaluate heat stress, count the respiration rate of 10 cows. “A respiration rate greater than 75 breaths per minute for seven cows indicates that the cows are experiencing heat stress,” Bernard says. “If more than 5 cows display open mouth breathing or respiration rates greater than 100 per minute suggest severe heat stress.” Read more here>>>
Farmers to Receive Retroactive Dairy Margin Coverage Payments in July
By Anna-Lisa Laca , Milk Business
Dairy producers enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage program (DMC) can expect to start receiving retroactive payments the first or second week of July. According to Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, the office of management and budget is finalizing some details, but USDA is ready to issue payments as soon as they get the green light. 

“We plan to start payments pretty soon. We have our software and our mechanics nearly ready to go at least by the first of July here,” Northey told a group of reporters on Thursday. 

Because the program is retroactive, payment is guaranteed upon enrollment. According to Northey the retroactive payments alone cover premium costs at this point. In fact, many analysts are saying participation in the program is “a no-brainer.”

Sign-ups for the new safety program, which was authorized in the 2018 farm bill, began on June 17. In the first 10 days enrollment was open, more than 5,300 producers signed up to participate. In 2018, 21,000 producers participated in the Margin Protection Program (MPP). Northey expects enrollment to outpace MPP by the time the sign-up period ends on Sept. 1. Full Story Here>>>
Reviewing Projected Payments Under Dairy Margin Coverage
From Michael Nepveux, DairyBusiness
Signup began  earlier this week for the  Dairy Margin Coverage  program, the 2018 farm bill’s replacement for the Margin Protection Program. Market Intel already conducted an in-depth  review of DMC , but it is helpful to provide a brief overview of the program.

An improvement on MPP, DMC is a voluntary program that makes payments when the national average income-over-feed-cost margin falls below a farmer-selected coverage level. Coverage is available from $4 per hundredweight to as high as $9.50 per hundredweight, and dairy producers pay premiums for coverage. Program payments may be triggered monthly and are made if the DMC margin falls below the farmer’s elected coverage level. Program payments are based on the amount of milk covered in the program and may range from 5% to 95% of a farm’s milk production history in 5% increments. The program has two tiers; Tier I covers up to 5 million pounds and has more affordable premiums than Tier II, which covers any milk over the first 5 million pounds. A farmer can enroll milk in Tier II at a different coverage level than Tier I. When a farm enrolls in DMC they may receive a 25% premium discount if they make a one-time election for both the coverage level and the amount of milk enrolled in the program.

Many farmers wonder how DMC would have performed had it been in effect in recent years. Figure 1 compares net benefits, i.e., program payments minus premiums from the new DMC $9.50 coverage level to the maximum $8 coverage level under MPP for Tier 1 coverage only. Read more here>>>
Midnight robot musings
By Mark Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman Blog
The robot construction on our farm is well underway, and there are not enough hours in a day for all that needs completing before the first cow is milked. I keep waking up in the middle of the night stewing on things I previously overlooked or items to reconsider.
If you are thinking about adding robots, here are a few more things to muse over:
  1. What will you do for wall/ceiling coverings in the robot room, milk house, office, mechanical room, and robot observation room?
  2. How will you finish floors? Will you leave concrete bare or use epoxy, tile, stain, or seal?
  3. Do you have room above the robots for storage? Do you plan to have an observation window looking down on the robot entrance and freestalls?
  4. Where will you house and milk fresh or treated cows? Will you keep the old parlor operational? Read more here >>>
By Nicole Heslip , Brownfield Ag News
A dairy economist says the last week of USDA reports confirms that farmers are keeping herd sizes low to improve prices.

“With production like this, I think $18 milk is surely there.” 

University of Wisconsin’s Bob Cropp says other countries are also experiencing low milk production because of drought which is good for world prices.

“With U.S. milk production growth under one percent, you have to look at stronger prices worldwide.”  

He says less production is also leading to reduced dairy products in cold storage compared to a year ago.

“The cheese markets in just the last week or so has had quite a rebound-both for barrels and blocks.”

Butter and powder prices have also been improving which Cropp says is spilling over into the futures market. Class III prices were less than $14 per hundredweight in January. '
America's Biggest Milk Processor Is Trading Under a Buck
By Lydia Mulvany and Katherine Doherty, B loomberg
The biggest U.S. milk processor is now a penny stock.

On Tuesday, Dean Foods Co. shares closed at less than $1 for the first time since they started trading more than two decades ago. The destruction of market value, which has whittled down to about $90 million, is as simple to explain as it is dramatic: Americans aren’t drinking as much milk.

Amid fierce competition to supply grocery stores’ own brands, Dean’s margins are razor thin -- averaging about 3.8% over the past five years. The company’s situation deteriorated further after Walmart Inc., a key customer, built its own milk processing plant last year. Read more here >>>
Dairy Innovation on the Global Stage
By Donna Berry, Berry on Dairy Blog
“Optimism in the midst of chaos.” That’s the current global dairy outlook according to Saskia van Battum, analyst-dairy, RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, who spoke at the 2019 Global Dairy Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 26, 2019. Seventeen of the 20 global dairy players are Rabobank’s clients, with whom the bank has committed € 22.5 billion, representing 22% of its food and agribusiness loan portfolio. The company believes there’s room for growth through innovation.

ICYMI: June 2019 GA Milk Review
This month's GA Milk Review covers:

  • Davis Family Receives Honor at Putnam Dairy Festival
  • Duvall Selected for AgL Leadership Program
  • GMP Referendum Approved by GA Dairy Families
  • Williams Selected for AFBF Committee and MilkPep Board
  • Preparing for Unexpected Farm Visitors
  • Dixie Dairy Report

How These Dairies Are Making Money, Even in a Down Market
The agriculture industry is in an elongated and disruptive economic downturn. While many segments of the industry are experiencing low margins, the dairy industry is the "poster child" for financial stress. However, over the past few months some dairy producers have quietly stated that they were making money and not all of these profitable producers have huge operations. One recent seminar attendee asked what other farmers were doing to stay in the black, particularly in the dairy industry. 

These dairy farms, ranging from 90 to 400 cows, were first and foremost very knowledgeable about their numbers. They frequently monitored production, income and expense figures. A keen sense of financial awareness is a common attribute amongst profitable producers across all sectors of agriculture.  Full Story Here>>>
USDA Confirms Silage Corn Can Be Planted On Prevent Plant Acres
By Anna-Lisa Laca, Dairy Herd Management
This week, farmers in much of the eastern Corn Belt will be eligible to plant cover crops as the late-plant period on prevent plant acres ends there on June 26. Following last week’s announcement about the potential to harvest cover crops on September 1 instead of November 1 many farmers, particularly in the upper Midwest, started to wonder if silage corn would be eligible. According to Richard Flournoy, deputy administrator of product management for the USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA), silage corn can be eligible for planting on prevent plant acres. 

“A cover crop for crop insurance purposes, we have a broad definition, and it's generally many things that any crop that can be planted for erosion control, soil improvement, or any other type of conservation practice,” he told AgriTalk host Chip Flory. Full Story Here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
UGA Advanced Grazing School
The 2019 Advanced Grazing School will be held on July 16 th  and 17 th  at the Livestock Instructional Arena in Athens, GA. This will be an intense two day hands on event that will overlap with the Deep South Stocker Conference on the second day. Registration will include coffee and snacks throughout the day, lunch for both days, a large notebook with handouts and supplemental information, and PLENTY of interactive presentations and hands on learning activities.
Tentative topics for the 2019 Advanced Grazing School will include:
Forage Systems for Stocker Cattle: Cool Season and Warm Season Systems
Economics of Forage Systems
Putting an Entire Forage System Together
Regenerative Grazing: Facts or Fiction?
Grassfed Livestock Production
Data Reviews
Supplementation Strategies
Producer Panel
Fencing and Water Systems Workshop - Click here for registration information>>>  
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

Registered Brown Swiss dairy cows(6) and heifers(3) for sale. 7 X 24 2004 Featherlight trailer with tack area and 2 cuts $12,000.00 and an Artic 22 semen tank (has a few straws of beef semen inside) $450. Please contact Beth Gearhart, Waynesboro, GA, 352-603-2629 text or call

For Sale: 2016 Tatoma Vertical Twin Screw Mixer. Equipped with Front Discharge and Side Discharge Extension - $35,000.00. Please contact Jim or Stephanie Waite 334-222-7957 for more information. 

Calves wanted:  Competitive pricing with a 6 day a week pick up. Will buy bulls and heifers of all ages. Peter's Cattle Co. 470-255-8515

Young Stock Supervisor wanted -  Hart Agriculture Waynesboro GA
Grazing 500-1000 animals,   Must be familiar with rotational grazing and breeding. Please contact Maggie 352-507-2042 or   maggie@hartagriculture.com
Dairy Manager wanted -  Hart Agriculture Waynesboro GA
300-700 milking cows,   60 bale rotary, New Zealand style grazing system. Please contact Maggie 352-507-2042 or   maggie@hartagriculture.com

Bull Calves WANTED:  Competitive pricing with 6 day a week pickup. Brandon Mason Cattle Company 912-632-4490

For HIRE: Southeast DHIA  has a position to fill in the  West Central Georgia area for a  FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIAN.   Responsibilities include data  collection on area dairy farms  during milking time. S chedule is somewhat flexible  but the hours are non-typical. S ome travel and out-of-town work likely.  Applicants should be comfortable  with computers and software and have good communication and  organizational skills as well as  reliable transportation. Pickup Truck required. I f interested send a resume to   brian.winters@dhicoop.com

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 Sale: 3000 gallon Surge/Westfalia milk tank and wash system. Three phase condensers. 2002 model. Excellent condition. John B Gay, 478-494-5107

For Sale:   Jersey cows, heifers and calves for sale. Registered with AJCA, all ages! Contact Matt Holton at 770-718-8271, call or text. Dawsonville, GA.

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   

Bullcalves Wanted :  Looking for Bullcalves to purchase - Barron Tench 864-844-2295 or  barron.tench@gmail.com