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Industry News

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

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Strengthening cheese prices have been helping boost U.S. dairy farmer milk prices, and at least part of that support can be attributed to stronger cheese export sales, based on latest estimates from the USDA and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). Also, the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates small gains in market access for the U.S. dairy sector as a result of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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You’re busy – milking cows, managing employees and making 2019 cropping preparations. With that in mind, Progressive Dairyman looks at issues in the news impacting you and your dairy business.

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Even though the 2018 Farm Bill provided dairy safety net program changes for the next five years, Congress will debate issues directly impacting dairy farmers. Immigration, trade and environmental policies are chief among those, and grassroots efforts are already underway to reform other dairy policies. The New Green Deal looms.

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The Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) program is hitting a milestone date in its six-month existence: On April 22, the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) will announce average prices used to calculate potential indemnity payments for milk revenue covered during the first quarter of 2019, according to Robin Schmahl with AgDairy LLC.

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Initially, smaller farms installed robotic milking systems because they wanted improved lifestyle and labor flexibility. It also allowed them to milk more cows without hiring labor. More recently, larger farms are considering robots because of the challenge of finding hired labor. We continue to get questions about actual labor savings, expected robot lifespan and repair costs. The true experts on these topics are the robot users.

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