As printed in our February 10, 2015 issue...
A $17.04 ALL-MILK PRICE FOR 2015 was the latest projection by the University of Wisconsin's Bob Cropp. That would be $6.93 per cwt. lower than 2014. He further forecast a $15.34 Class III, down $7, and a $14.67 Class IV, off $7.42 from last year. He cautioned the outlook may still be too high.
TWO PERCENT GROWTH IN MILK PRODUCTION would keep up with collective domestic and export demand for dairy products. In 2015, the milk supply could expand by 2.6 percent with 2 percent growth in milk per cow and 0.6 percent expansion in cow numbers, suggested Cropp.
TWO TRENDS TOOK PLACE IN SIGN-UPS for Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). More larger-than-average herds signed up for the new program. However, small dairy farms bought up more coverage by paying additional premiums above the $4 catastrophic protection.
THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) could receive "fast track" status this year or early next year. Both President Obama and Congressional Republicans have been supportive of the trade pact. Dairy has remained a sticking point for Japan and Canada, which both have quotas.
CROP FARMERS COULD PLANT MORE HAY over the next five years as margins diminish in grains and oilseeds, projected Texas A&M's Joe Outlaw. Land previously in wheat and CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) may be the most likely source of new alfalfa and hay acreage.
MANURE CAN BE CONSIDERED A SOLID WASTE when not used as a beneficial fertilizer or soil conditioner, ruled a U.S. District Judge in Washington state. This flew against the 1976 federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). See page 90 for more details.
THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT ruled that manure can be considered a pollutant after it enters a groundwater well (in a separate case). In making that determination, it absolved the insurance carrier from standing behind its policy issued to a Washington County, Wis., dairy farmer.
TUBERCULOSIS WAS CONFIRMED on two Texas Panhandle dairy farms. Heifer raising operations in Texas and herds in other states with links to these farms will also be tested. Texas had been TB-free since 2006.
BRIEFLY: The All-Milk price averaged a record $23.97 per cwt. last year, which was 19.6 percent higher than 2013's $20.05. New Zealand's Global Dairy Trade posted its third-straight positive biweekly trading session after an 11-month market downturn. A group of genetically engineered dairy cattle could help fight Ebola. The 50 Holstein-Jersey crosses have been genetically engineered with human DNA so that their bodies produce human antibodies against the disease. Dressed steer weights reached a record 903 pounds in 2014, reported USDA. China's economic growth was projected to slow from 2014's 7.4 percent to 6.5 percent in 2015, which would reduce dairy imports