As printed in our September 10, 2017 issue . . .

FDA APPROVED USING ULTRAFILTERED MILK to manufacture standardized cheeses. The approval process took nearly two decades for the product that has been filtered to remove some of the water and lactose. The higher protein ingredient enhances the efficiency of cheese production.

ENROLLMENT FOR 2018 MPP-DAIRY coverage started on September 1 and remains open through December 15. To sign up for USDA’s dairy insurance program, go to your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

CME CLASS III CONTRACTS AVERAGED $16.45 over the next six months. At $16.55, September was the high, January the low at $16.25.

SPOT BUTTER TRADED NEAR $2.60 PER POUND. Among the three major dairy exporters that was the lowest price, with New Zealand trading a dime higher and the European Union 50 cents above U.S. markets.

JULY MILK CLIMBED 1.8 PERCENT NATIONALLY. Of the top 23 dairy states, 15 posted gains while eight were down. Wisconsin climbed 0.7 percent while California fell 0.2. Texas led all gainers at 14.8 percent.

CHEESE AND BUTTER CONSUMPTION continued an upward trajectory through the first half of the year. U.S. consumers ate 3 percent more cheese when compared to last year and 1 percent more butter.

BUTTER INVENTORIES FELL 1 PERCENT from June to July with stocks down 8 percent from the same time last year. Cheese climbed 4 percent from the prior month and expanded 8 percent from a year ago.

FARM SIZE MATTERS MORE TO DAIRY than crop farmers, determined the University of Illinois’ Carl Zulauf. Whether you are farming 250 or 1,000-plus acres, production costs varied by a mere 10 cents per bushel for crop farmers throughout the Heartland of the U.S.

IN STARK CONTRAST, THE SECOND LARGEST DAIRY FARMS by size had 22 percent greater costs than the largest farms, 56 percent more than the midpoint, and 101 percent higher than the second smallest group.

NESTLE USA TOPPED ALL PROCESSORS with $12 billion in dairy product sales during 2016, according to Dairy Foods magazine’s annual list. The top five was rounded out by: Dean Foods, $7.7 billion; Saputo, $7.1 billion; DanoneWave, $6 billion; and KraftHeinz, $5.7 billion.

AN ADDITIONAL 59,000 DAIRY COWS have been sent to slaughter from January to July 2017 compared to the same time last year.

THERE WERE 4.2 MILLION HEIFERS in the U.S. (over 500 pounds) this July, down 2.4 percent from five years ago. A two-decade high of 9.4 million dairy cows were on U.S. dairy farms; 945,000 in Canada. Also, Canada had 454,300 heifers 1 year or older, up 6,900 from last year.

In your next issue!

Keeping calves growing during the weaning months presents both a challenge and a great opportunity.

In the right environment, fresh cow behavior can be optimized for cow health and production.

High-forage diets are a good fit for late-lactation cows, but take care to not push forage levels too high.