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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Researchers from the University of New Hampshire are leading a multi-state project that aims to help organic dairy farmers better produce and market their milk.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to 12 researchers from the universities of Maine, Vermont, Cornell and the USDA, as well as UNH, the research will explore how organic dairy farmers in the Northeast can enhance farm profitability by extending the grazing season and adding value to milk through flaxseed supplementation.

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About twenty Wisconsin producers met with Dr. Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 20, 2011, at the request of the DBA. Dr. Stephenson presented the results of his latest study, an analysis of the revised version of the Dairy Market Stabilization Program.

Dr. Stephenson's modeling showed that there would be a milk price reduction of $.80 to $1.63 per hundredweight for all size farms with only moderate milk price volatility improvement. Dr. Stephenson and Professor Nicholson at California Polytechnic State University created this systems dynamic economic model of U.S. dairy industry several years ago.

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In keeping with World Dairy Expo tradition, a press conference was held on the show grounds in Madison, Wisconsin, to announce a major industry initiative. This year, it was the introduction of the Dairy Security Act of 2011.

The National Milk Producers Federation hosted the event to discuss the legislation introduced on Sept. 23 in the House of Representatives by Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Mike Simpson (R-ID).

NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak outlined the changes incorporated in this act that were different from the originally proposed Foundation for the Future. (Click here to note these changes).

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Note: The following is an opinion commentary.

I am excited about being in a growing and prosperous dairy industry. Yes, I know, there are many that think our industry is in terrible shape, but they are dead wrong! Let’s think about it.

1. Sure, we have fewer dairy farms and cows today, but we have become much better farm managers and more efficient ones. In 1950, we had 22 million cows producing 5,134 pounds of milk per cow per year – totaling 116.6 billion pounds per year.

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With the short crop and volatile prices, end users are fussing with each other about their needs for corn. And the livestock industry has raised its ire with the ethanol industry about tax credits and other benefits.

While all of that may soon be moot because of the current deficit reduction discussions, the question remains if there is enough corn to go around for feed and feedstocks to satisfy the demand. There may still be need for more rationing.

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In a major win for member companies of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the state of Ohio agreed to drop its regulations for dairy product labels that exceeded federal guidelines for absence claims.

This action comes more than three years after IDFA filed a lawsuit against the state to protect members' rights to label truthfully. Ohio's labeling regulation, instituted in 2008 by executive order, limited label information provided to consumers and interfered with dairy companies' First Amendment right to commercial free speech.

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