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Industry News

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

LATEST

Q. How did the Annual Business Conference get its start?

MAYER: The Annual Business Conference is our marquee event.

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In response to declining milk prices, dairy cooperatives and organizations are seeking congressional support for relief in a federal economic stimulus package. Letters have also been sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reignite some of its economic support programs.

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Dairy cooperatives across the country are doing what they can to provide services and benefits to their members. They are implementing different processing and marketing methods, cutting their own expenses and offering tools to members to improve their individual operations.

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In January, I sent an e-mail to contacts throughout the industry requesting comments about what dairymen are doing to effectively cope with the industry’s current difficult economic situation.

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Large quantities of wholesome, quality milk are the major goals of dairy producers. However, dairymen also contribute to the beef supply each year through elimination of market (cull) cows and bulls. Approximately one-third of the total non-fed beef production originates from dairy cows, and one-half of all cows processed for beef in the U.S. are dairy cattle.

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If you talk to most producers, they would love to repeat 2008 again this year. Even though inputs were high, income was also higher. Unfortunately, 2009 is going to be almost a polar opposite in many aspects. That’s the bad news. The good news is hay growers still retain the ability to harvest quality hay, price it according to their needs and market it freely to hay consumers. Hay producers are not tied directly to commodity markets that rise and fall on futures and speculation. Being in control has risks, but in a down market, control is one thing that remains a favorable condition.

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