As printed in our September 10, 2015 issue...

A U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE BLOCKED implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) stepped-up "Clean Water Act" rules. "The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely," stated the judge when ruling in favor of 13 state attorneys general.

EVEN WITH THIS RULING, THE EPA planned to move forward with the farther-reaching rules on navigable waterways and wetlands in the remaining 37 states that had not filed a lawsuit against the federal government.

SEPTEMBER 30 WILL BE THE LAST DAY to sign up for 2016 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy). To enroll, complete the appropriate paperwork at the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

CLASS III FUTURE CONTRACTS SLUMPED $1.40, on average, in the past 90 days. September-to-February contracts ranged from $15.45 to $16.40 with a $15.95 midpoint one week before Labor Day.

AT 0.9 AND 1.2 PERCENT, JUNE AND JULY posted the slowest month-over-month growth in milk production this year. With tighter margins in the West, New Mexico (-4.2 percent), California (-3.3), Oregon (-2.3) and Texas (-1.2) all eased milk flow. Pennsylvania also fell 2.3 percent.

LIKE BUTTER, WHOLE MILK SALES have rebounded with positive research on dairy fats. June whole milk rose 7.1 percent and lifted the entire fluid category even though skim, 1 percent and 2 percent all fell.

THE HEARING ON A PROPOSED California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) will convene on September 22 in Clovis, Calif. To learn more about its potential impact, read Scott Brown's analysis on page 565.

HEIFER INVENTORIES CREPT UP by 100,000 to 4.2 million head (500 pounds or greater) this July compared to a year earlier. That represented a ratio of 45 heifers for every 100 cows, the highest point in five years.

CANADIAN HEIFER INVENTORY (1 year or older) was 438,000, down 8 percent or 37,000 from five years ago. Numbers were off 13,000 from 2014.

WITH $9.7 BILLION IN U.S. SALES, Nestle held down its first-place ranking nationally among dairy processors, reported Dairy Foods. Dean Foods recaptured second place. Next were Saputo, Land O'Lakes and DFA.

GLOBALLY, DFA WAS THE ONLY U.S. COMPANY that ranked among the top five, reported Rabobank. The top group included: Nestle (Switzerland), Lactalis (France), Danone (France) and Fonterra (New Zealand).

BRIEFLY: Monsanto withdrew its bid to purchase European farm chemical giant, Syngenta. The company had met resistance from Syngenta's board of directors. Low milk prices have caused New Zealand dairy producers to step up dairy cow culling by 19 percent over last year.
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