2020 | March 20 GMP E Newsletter
Georgia Milk Producers Weekly Enews
Dairy is Critical Infrastructure

On March 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) updated their guidance clarifying what sectors are deemed “critical infrastructure”. Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for both public health and safety as well as community well-being. The dairy supply chain, from farm to fork, has been identified as essential critical infrastructure and as such, employees have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. T he full list of industries and DHS guidance can be accessed here>>>
Self-Certify as Critical Infrastructure Industry

There have been a handful of reports that local authorities in at least two states have stopped trucks carrying food products from entering or leaving quarantined zones. To ensure our dairy industry is able to do its job in service to the nation, IDFA (International Dairy Foods Association) suggests your company use the form attached to self-certify your employees or shipments as part of the nation's critical infrastructure. Print the form on official company letterhead (your own or that of your transportation provider), print a copy, sign the document where indicated, and ask the employee or driver to keep it on-hand to provide to authorities should they stop individuals or vehicles from carrying out their duties. Download form here>>>
NMPF's COVID19 Resource Page for the Dairy Industry

NMPF has established a COVID19 resource page for the dairy industry that includes information for producers and processors. Click here to visit their COVID19 Resource Page.

Farm Recovery Block Grant Applications Accepted Until April 8

T he Georgia Department of Agriculture is now accepting online applications from producers who experienced losses and expenses related to Hurricane Michael. All applications must be completed and submitted by  11:59 PM on April 8, 2020 . Only online applications will be accepted.

This block grant program is designed to compensate producers for losses and expenses in seven categories of assistance: beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable, pecan, poultry, timber, and uninsured infrastructure. On the application you will see these categories referred to as commodities. The assistance provided through the FRBG will address losses and expenses not already included in an existing USDA program. This means not all losses a producer experienced due to Hurricane Michael will be eligible. Eligible losses under this grant are:

Beef: Future income losses related to decreased conception rates and mature cow deaths, decreased production due to post-storm effects, and expenses due to increased disease occurrence
Dairy: Future income losses related to decreased conception rates and mature cow deaths
Fruit & Vegetable: Expenses related to damaged and destroyed production inputs of plasticulture and bareground production
Pecan : Future income loss from lost trees
Poultry : Damage and destruction of poultry houses (breeder, broiler, and pullet) and lost income due to interruption of business
Timber: Damaged and destroyed timberland
Uninsured Infrastructure: Expenses and losses related to general infrastructure and irrigation used in production of an agricultural commodity. This applies to any agricultural commodity that was in the structure or under the irrigation system at the time of the storm and suffered a loss to the commodity. Learn more about applying for the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant here:  http://agr.georgia.gov/farm-recovery.aspx
59th Annual Convention & Beef Expo Rescheduled for May
From GA Cattlemen's Association

The 59th Annual Georgia Cattlemen's Association Convention & Trade Show and the 22nd Annual Georgia Beef Expo has been rescheduled for May 28-30, 2020  at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA. All current registrations have been transferred for the new dates. Click here to learn more>>>
Four major dairy industry associations in China have formed a set of guidelines for dairy and dairy product consumption for local residents in hopes of strengthening public immune resistance to combat the recent COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.
By Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke
The judge presiding over the Dean Foods bankruptcy proceedings could hear a substantially different proposal when a scheduled hearing resumes today (March 19).

The bankruptcy hearing is being heard by Judge David Jones, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas. An initial hearing to consider a motion designating Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) as the stalking horse bidder and establishing guidelines and the timetable for a bidding process on Dean assets was held on March 12, and was scheduled to continue March 19.

During the past week, however, attorneys and advisers for all parties involved worked to modify the original proposal, in part to address objections from creditors and potential buyers of Dean assets, including other dairy cooperatives.

On March 18,  a docket (1167) posted on the hearing website  contained changes to the previous motion presented to the court.

In addition to withdrawing DFA as the stalking horse bidder, the proposal seeks to add additional transparency to the bidding process, laying out requirements related to making bid details public. The proposal also accelerates the proposed bidding and sale timeline to reflect a “shorter-than-anticipated liquidity runway.” Under the new proposed timeline, the deadline to submit bids is March 30 (moved up from April 13), with any objections filed by April 1 (up from April 22). A sale hearing would then be held April 3 (instead of April 27). Read more here>>>
The worst times can reveal something great
By Caitlin Rodgers, Georgia dairy farmer, Hoard's Dairyman
Among a lot of concern and unknowns, this is for certain: we will always need farmers .
Unless you live under a rock, you know that times are a little hectic and scary right now. How much affect has one virus caused? A pandemic, death, and a lot of sick people. I don’t think I have ever used so much hand sanitizer in my life. I saw a meme on Facebook saying roles had reversed, and now the younger generation was yelling at the older generation for going out.

The last few weeks, I’ve kept myself pretty much at the farm or home. I haven’t done a lot of errands or gone out with friends . . . until yesterday. Both sets of grandparents needed groceries, and I wasn’t about to let them out into those madhouses. So, I left work and headed to the nearest store. It wasn’t quite as busy as I expected but definitely more busy than normal.

They needed bread, which all that was left were two unsliced loaves of Italian bread. As I went down the aisles, it didn’t seem as bad as I thought it would be. Then I got to the toilet paper aisle.

I stood there a minute, watching people swarm the aisle one after the other walking past the vacant shelves, uttering “Good grief,” or “I guess we will have to try again somewhere else,” or “Man, no one has toilet paper!”

I grabbed my buggy and headed toward the end of the aisle where the shelves were completely packed with napkins and tissue. I’m still wondering why people haven’t thought of those alternatives.

I finally made it to the refrigerated section. I looked down and all I could do was smile. There wasn’t but a couple of gallons of milk left. There was plenty of “fake milk” left, though. Although I didn’t need milk I sat there, and within just a minute those last few gallons were grabbed up. I wanted to high five the person who picked up the last gallon but we are social distancing . . .

In this life, at some point you will most likely need a doctor and a lawyer, but you will always need a farmer. I encourage all people to stay healthy as best as possible, wash your hands, eat a lot of meat, and drink plenty of milk. Get your essential vitamins!
Certified Nutrient Planner/ Waste Operator Training Postponed Until Further Notice
Due to the COVID virus spread into Athens, UGA and The GA Dept. of Agriculture have postponed the Certified Planner/ Waste Operator training on March 25-26, 2020. Once a new meeting date is set, Georgia Milk Producers will share the information with producers and industry affiliates.
Join us on May 8th as a sponsor or player at the 2020 GDYF Golf Tournament!! All proceeds support our 4-H and FFA dairy programs! For more information click here>>>
February Milk Production Up 1.7 Percent
The United States Department of Agriculture's February milk production report numbers look stunning, until you remember that this year is a Leap Year and February is the month we add an extra leap day to keep calendars from sliding out of whack.

Adjusted for the leap day means milk was up 1.7% both in the 24 major reporting states and across all states as well.

The bigger news, however, is that cow numbers continue to rebound. In the U.S., cow numbers were up an estimated 9,000 head over January (almost 1 percent) and up 18,000 head over last year (almost 2 percent).

State production numbers are skewed as well by Leap Year. Using 3.6% as the adjuster, the usual suspects are nevertheless again up in production. Most notable are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas and Texas. These states are up in cow numbers as well, with Texas milking 32,000 more head than a year ago.

Other top states are reporting milk cow declines: California, -3,000; Pennsylvania, -17,000, and Wisconsin, -10,000.

Farmers and Ranchers Rise to the Call
From Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation
Things are far from business as usual in cities and towns across America this week. Millions of us are being called to serve our neighbors by staying home. Our American Farm Bureau offices in DC have closed for the time being to follow this guidance and to help our employees and their families and neighbors stay safe and healthy. But staying home doesn’t mean that our work stops, and we know that it sure doesn’t mean work on the farm stops. There is a lot beyond our control and still unknown as we face this crisis, but we can focus on and be faithful with the tasks at hand. For farmers and ranchers our calling hasn’t changed, though its importance hits closer to home in times like these: we are committed to rising every day to grow and harvest the food we all depend on.

We can’t do that work alone, however. In the days, weeks and months ahead, agriculture will continue to depend on access to a skilled workforce to help with the work of planting, cultivating and harvesting our crops. For this reason, Farm Bureau is urging our nation’s leaders to classify farm workers as emergency workers on H2A guest-worker visa applications. We understand the Administration’s responsibility to act on behalf of our public health, and we must all do our part to protect the health of our families and communities. We can—and we must—find a way to safely secure access to the workforce agriculture needs to continue our critical work of providing a healthy, affordable food supply for our nation. Read more here>>>
Other Stories to Check Out This Week >>>
Call for 2021 GA Dairy Conference Presenters
The planning committee for the 2021 Georgia Dairy Conference is seeking relevant, innovative and valuable topics/speakers.  Individuals, companies, universities, organizations and government agencies may submit proposals for consideration by  March 27, 2020 . Click Here to Download Submission Form and Instructions
Upcoming Events >>>
GA Dairy Classifieds

UPDATED 3/6/20

For Sale: DAIRY HERD FOR SALE IN WAYNESBORO: AI sired and bred, 50% in first lactation, milking 75+ lbs 2x, 3.9 BF, SSC 150,000, free stall. For more information contact Kent Hege - (706) 871-3821.

For Sale: Corn Silage - For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

FOR Sale: Stretch-O-Matic Bale Wrapper and Mover. For more information contact Carlin Giesbrecht at 478-494-4007

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