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Penny-less: Can anyone give me their two cents?

Published on 23 December 2009

In this first issue of a new decade, we’re introducing a new way to review, even perhaps debate, issues we believe are necessary to rethink our industry and its competitiveness. Here’s how you will be reading these discussions this year as they unfold.

First, we will ask a timely industry question and ask experts on either side of the issue to write an argument in support of their opinion. For example, in this issue we’re talking about supply management. Do you agree with supply management? If you do, how do you think producers who are expanding should be “taxed” or assessed a marketing fee?

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Read the opinions found here and then tell us your comments on the issue via e-mail, phone or fax. Comments may be anonymous. Then, we’ll print your comments and an overall vote count in upcoming issues. Next issue, read the opinion in defense of killing any supply management program. If you have an issue you would like to see debated, call or e-mail me.

The milk markets are still doing funny things to end 2009 and begin a new year. Read on page 15 about how aberrations from normal block and barrel spreads in pricing are affecting milk checks for producers under Federal Milk Marketing Order pricing.

You’ll also find more 2010 milk price predictions in this issue. Click here.These predictions are a bit more pessimistic than has been reported by others.

You’ll also want to review what Bruce Dehm says every producer should learn from 2009. It seems more dairies than originally planned survived last year’s prices. However, we won’t know for sure until February.

In this issue, we’re running two producer-written articles – one by Kimberly Clauss and another Mike Richter.2009 got many thinking, speaking, and obviously writing, about the industry. I welcome your continued comments. Please send them on.

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As a final note, this issue contains lots of great manure management ideas. You may have noticed that they didn’t come inserted as a separate magazine. Effective in 2010, our manure management articles will appear on the pages of your Progressive Dairyman. The content will be exclusively about dairy manure handling and will be printed every nine weeks inside the magazine. We feel this change will provide you with more focused, realistic ideas for handling just dairy manure, which is unique from beef manure handling or other animal ag byproducts.

I’m glad 2010 is finally here. Thank goodness for a New Year! I hope it’s better for everyone. PD

Walt Cooley
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