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This month’s VAS tip is on feed management. Feed accounts for more than 50 percent of the cost of milk production – even the slightest variation in the process can swing milk production if inconsistencies and inefficiencies are not addressed.

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Dairy farmers may find glimmers of sunshine in an otherwise dreary outlook, but they’ll have to weather the storm before seeing much price recovery.

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November 2017 U.S. dairy exports were the highest monthly total in more than a year, paced by record shipments of whey products, strong sales of cheese and milk powder, and improved volumes of butterfat, according to Alan Levitt, USDEC vice president of communications and market analysis.

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With the U.S. dairy herd stubbornly near a two-decade high, cow numbers are frequently cited as a reason for excess milk production stretching processing capacity. While latest information from the USDA shows dairy cow slaughter is outpacing year-ago levels and stabilizing cow numbers, there’s also been renewed demand for dairy replacement heifers in foreign markets.

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Digest Highlights: California producers approve quota plan. NMPF targets "almond milk yogurt" as doubly deceptive. Holstein Association USA had a record year. December margins weaken as milk class prices decline. Find a summary of this and other news here.

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