2019 | May 3 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Referendum for Georgia Milk Producers is Underway!
Ballots for the Georgia Milk Producers' Referendum should reach farmers' mailboxes this week. 

Every three years, Georgia Milk must hold a producer referendum, as required by the Georgia Commodities Promotion Act, for the one-cent checkoff on all milk produced in Georgia. In order for Georgia Milk to continue as an organization, at least two-thirds majority (67%) of the Georgia dairymen voting must vote in favor for the continuation of Georgia Milk. 

Over the last several years, our organization has worked hard to improve your return on investment. Georgia Milk successfully ended mandatory state TB testing for dairymen, secured sales tax exemptions for dairy production through the GATE program and achieved more producer-friendly environmental regulations for dairymen. Georgia Milk was also instrumental in organizing and funding the Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation during its initial formation and we currently provide administrative oversight for GDYF and the Mobile Dairy Classroom. 

Georgia Milk encourages dairymen to participate in the referendum and to vote "YES" to keep us working for you. We believe that the investment made by each dairyman into our organization has been beneficial for their businesses. It is imperative that we continue to serve our industry and work to build a stronger dairy industry in Georgia and the Southeast. If you don't receive a ballot by May 15, please contact Andy Harrison at (404) 710-1196. Ballots must be postmarked by May 30 to be eligible.
USDA Launches Dairy Margin Coverage Decision Making Tool
by   ANNA-LISA LACA Farm Journal's MILK
USDA Tuesday announced the availability of a new web-based tool to help dairy producers evaluate participation in the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. 

“With sign-up for the DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program,” Secretary Perdue said. “Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry.”

The tool, developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist, was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net.  Full Story Here >>>
U.S. environment agency says glyphosate weed killer is not a carcinogen - By Tom Polansek , Reuters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday that glyphosate, a chemical in many popular weed killers, is not a carcinogen, contradicting decisions by U.S. juries that found it caused cancer in people.

The EPA’s announcement reaffirms its earlier findings about the safety of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup. The company faces thousands of lawsuits from Roundup users who allege it caused their cancer.

“EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in a statement.

Farmers spray glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture, on fields of soybeans and other crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, golf courses and elsewhere. Full Story Here>>>
Successfully Sprigging Bermudagrass in Georgia
By Erin Forte Churchill, Macon County CEC
Improved bermudagrass varieties are often accepted as one of the best grazing materials in the Southeast, but the thought of establishing these varieties through sprigging can send even the best cattle producers running for the hills. It doesn’t have to! By following the steps outlined here, you can set yourself up for success with your hybrid bermudagrass hayfield or pasture.
Before even contacting a sprig producer, consider the following steps.The first thing to consider when preparing to sprig bermudagrass is variety. Your soil type, terrain, and location within Georgia can all influence your decision.

  • Tifton 85 is considered the queen of hybrid varieties, with high yields and digestibility, but isn’t the perfect option for every circumstance.
  • Russell is a highly winter-hardy variety that makes it a prime option for the northern portion of Georgia while also having one of the best root systems of all hybrids. It is significantly less digestible or drought tolerant than Tifton 85.
  • Tifton 44 is also highly winter-hardy and well suited for North Georgia and into Kentucky and Virginia. It is usually in the middle of the pack as far as digestibility and is slow to establish.
  • Coastal is the first and most common hybrid bermudagrass. It has double the yields of common bermudagrass with similar quality to Alicia. It is not cold-tolerant and prone to winter-kill up toward the mountains.
  • Alicia, Callie, Coastcross I, Grazer, Midland, Tifton 68 and 78, and World Feeder are all varieties not recommended for Georgia. Full Story Here>>>
Our robots are becoming real
By Caitlin Rodgers, GA Dairy Farmer, Hoards.com
We are closer than ever to having robots ready to milk our cows.

Things are moving along on the farm. The concrete has been poured. All five of our robots have been set in place. The walls are beginning to go up on our building. It feels like not that long ago we were all sitting in the office looking at how a voluntary milking system (VMS) worked on YouTube and thinking that they would be really cool to own. At the same time, we were talking about building a new parlor. The talks about robots became more real after a few discussions about doing what was best for the farm.

We did everything we could to learn about the robots. We went to a lot of different dairies with robots, learned about cow flow, and tried to figure out what would work best for us. The blueprints were drawn up and crews were and are lined up to construct the project. As it has progressed, we have tweaked the blueprints along the way as our minds have changed here and there about things like where a gate should go or which way it should swing. Dad has also reached out to other dairymen on Facebook as questions have come to mind as the project has progressed. Read Full Blog Here>>>
Progressive Dairyman Editor Dave Natzke
U.S. dairy farmers moved more dairy cull cows to slaughter in March 2019 than in any month since December 1986.

Federally inspected milk cow slaughter was estimated at 302,400 head in March 2019, 15,500 head more than March 2018 and 23,500 head more than February 2019, according to the USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report. At 879,800 head, January-March 2019 slaughter is already nearly 42,500 ahead of the same period a year ago. So far this year, dairy cull cow slaughter has averaged about 11,500 per day (weekdays and Saturdays), 400 head more per day than for all of 2018.

The heavy culling is having an impact on the size of the U.S. dairy herd. The USDA’s Milk Production report estimated U.S. dairy cow numbers at 9.344 million head in March 2019, down 86,000 head from the year before.  Full Story Here>>>
Farmers Discuss State of the Dairy Economy in Washington
From Anna-Lisa Laca, Dairy Herd Management
During a two-hour public hearing on the state of the dairy economy, dairy farmers and industry leaders alike shared testimony on the dire straits of the dairy industry. Concerns over trade and labor dominated the conversation. 

“While it’s not this committee's jurisdiction, immigrant labor is absolutely critical to my operation,” said New York dairy farmer Mike McMahon. “Regardless of the unemployment rate in our county, local labor doesn't want to work on a dairy. A 2017 Texas A&M study found that 79% of the U.S. milk supply is harvested by Hispanic workers. Agriculture needs a way to secure American workforce that is willing, able and legal. I realize that immigration from top is a difficult topic, but agriculture’s need for immigrant labor is undeniable. America needs a safe, affordable and abundant food supply produced within its borders. Food security is part of Homeland Security.”
From Progressive Dairyman
A webinar, hosted by I-29 Moo University, will highlight DMC and another risk management program, the Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) program, on May 17 beginning at noon (Central).

Presenters will included Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota, and Josh Newton and Cassandra Monger, Compeer.

Bozic will outline developments in the Dairy-RP program and provide forecasts for the next year.

Compeer’s Newton, a crop insurance team leader, and Monger, a dairy industry specialist, will focus on Dairy-RP from a lender’s perspective. They’ll provide program results from the first quarter of 2019 and discuss how Dairy-RP can fit into an overall dairy risk management plan.
There is no registration.  Access the webinar , or contact  Jim Salfer  (320) 203-6093 or  Fred Hall  (712) 737-4230 for more details.
Avoid Becoming A Victim Of An Undercover Activist Video
From Mike Opperman , MILKBusiness
An undercover video showing scenes of animal abuse was taken at Larson Dairy, near Okechobee, Florida. Jacob Larson, who manages the dairy, had no warning, and was caught completely off guard when a phone call from a television reporter alerted him of the video when it appeared online. 

Looking back on the incident, Larson says while there were red flags that should have alerted him to the employee's true intentions, at the time those indicators went unnoticed. 

While it is difficult to avoid becoming the victim of an activist with a strong desire to paint the practices on your dairy in a negative light, there are areas of the dairy you can closely monitor that may identify some of the red flags that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. When it comes to trying to avoid being the victim of an undercover video like Larson Dairy, Jamie Jonker, vice president of sustainability and scientific affairs with the National Milk Producers Federation, says there are two critical focus areas: Full Story Here>>>
Milk breakthrough that can keep it fresh in the fridge for 60 days offers lifeline to dairy farmers
By  Jennifer Nichols , ABC News
A Queensland food technology company has patented a process it claims can keep 100 per cent natural milk fresh in the fridge for at least 60 days without additives or preservatives.

Naturo CEO Jeff Hastings has  already developed technology to stop processed avocado turning brown  using air pressure treatment.

Now the company has made what Mr Hastings described as the biggest breakthrough in the $413 billion global dairy industry since pasteurisation in 1864.

Naturo is targeting export markets with a process that produces fresh milk which remains safe to drink for two months without 'cooking it'. Full Story Here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
UGA/UF Corn Silage and Forage Field Day
The 2019  UGA and UF Corn Silage and Forage Field Day  will be held in Tifton, Georgia on June 20. The program starts at 8 AM and concludes with field demonstrations after lunch. The event includes a test plot tour along with educational stops that cover topics like pest control, grazing management and forage quality. A discussion concerning best management practices for making corn silage will also be held. The event will be held at the UGA Tifton Conference Center in Tifton. To register click here - there is no charge to attend, registration is needed for refreshments and lunch . View Brochure and Agenda Here>>>
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 - $37,500.00. 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

WANTED : DeLaval Westfalia  Neck Transponders: TN Dairy seeking used Westfalia neck band transponders.  Please contact Bill or Peggy Howell if interested at 423-972-9254 or 423-371-3032.

WANTED:  Looking for used pasteurizing and bottling equipment in working condition; Linda and Darrell Rankins, Jr.;  334-745-2357  (best times: mid-day and after 8 p.m.)

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