Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Industry News

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


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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The nation’s top public health organization needs to stand firm in the face of mounting pressures to further legalize the direct sale to consumers of a potentially dangerous product:raw milk, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said today, as it urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to waver in the face of pressure tactics from raw milk supporters.

Those supporters were out in force today at the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, urging FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to cease federal efforts to ban the trafficking in raw milk sales across state lines. Current FDA law prohibits the interstate sales of raw milk, although the majority of states allow some form of in-state sales and/or distribution of raw milk.

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Profit margins for dairy producers have remained relatively steady over the past few months since our last update in July. While the forward margins themselves have not changed much, movement in the individual markets has been significant.

From a historical standpoint, margins remain below average within the context of the past five years, although they are positive through Q3 of 2012. Given this outlook, it will be important for producers to carefully manage their forward profitability such that they preserve a positive margin without giving up the opportunity to participate in stronger returns should that materialize over time.

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Restaurant industry rallies consumers against rising dairy prices
Canadians believe they’re getting milked when it comes to the high cost of dairy in this country, with 73 percent reporting that the cost of the staple food is increasing.

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