As printed in our August 25, 2015 issue...

DAIRY STALLED the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations focused on developing a free trade zone between the U.S., Canada, Japan, New Zealand and eight other Pacific Rim countries. Unable to reach a compromise, it appeared doubtful that a deal could be reached this year.

HEARINGS ON A PROPOSED CALIFORNIA ORDER will begin September 22 in Clovis, Calif. Expected to last several weeks, USDA will hear testimony on the four proposals that could create a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) to price and move milk in the Golden State.

AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE will oversee the formal federal gathering to ensure testimony and evidence presented falls within the scope of the "Notice of Hearing" published in the Federal Register. The four FMMO proposals can be viewed at

IDAHO'S ANTI-SPYING OR "AG-GAG" LAW was struck down by a U.S. federal court judge in early August. Citing the First Amendment, the judge ruled, "Audio and visual evidence is a uniquely persuasive means of conveying a message, and it can vindicate an undercover investigator or whistle-blower who is otherwise disbelieved or ignored."

CLASS III FUTURES FELL nearly $1.30 for August to December 2015 contracts since late May and hovered near $16.40 per cwt. Reports of growing worldwide dairy product inventories have been the greatest concern.

A 5.1-BILLION-POUND GLOBAL MILK SURPLUS has been pegged for the first five months of the year by Nate Donnay of Informa Economics. "That puts us on track for a global surplus of 6 to 9 billion pounds for the year. We estimated that the surplus in 2009 was only 5.6 billion pounds," said Donnay, referencing the last major downturn in milk prices.

FONTERRA REDUCED MILK PRICES 27 PERCENT for New Zealand's upcoming production season. That payout of $3.85 per kilogram of milk solids ($8.27 to $8.45 per hundredweight) would be well below the cost of production for the world's leading dairy exporter.

STRONG DAIRY COW CULLING could cause New Zealand to max out its quota of beef exports to the U.S. for the first time since 2004. At the end of June, 69 percent of its quota had been filled, up 9 percent from the prior year, reported Martin Coup, chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

$1.05 HAS BEEN SHAVED OFF of USDA's All-Milk price projection for 2016 during the past 90 days over concerns of growing global milk supplies.

BRIEFLY: At $2,030 each, replacement prices were $60 higher than last July. If realized, this year's corn crop could be the third largest on record, soybeans second highest, projected USDA. Total cash milk sales by dairy farmers rose to $49.4 billion in 2014, up 22.5 percent from 2013's $40.3 billion. That collective 2014 payout climbed 33 percent over 2012.
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