As printed in our January 10, 2018 issue . . .

THE 2018 ALL-MILK PRICE COULD AVERAGE $16.50 per cwt., down $1.15 from 2017 and only 20 cents better than 2016, predicted NMPF’s Peter Vitaliano in his Milk Check Outlook column on page 2 of this issue. USDA’s projection was slightly more optimistic at $17.05 for 2018.

WITH HIGH WORLDWIDE INVENTORIES, forecasts for Class III and Class IV prices, key components in the All-Milk price, have slipped as well. Jerry Dryer of JDG Consulting pegged 2018’s first quarter Class III forecast at $14.57, down $1 in the past month. He reduced Class IV projections to $13.49, off 43 cents per cwt. since November.

NOVEMBER MILK OUTPUT CLIMBED 1 PERCENT nationally compared to the same time last year. Only California, Idaho, New York, Vermont, and Washington reduced milk flow among major dairy states.

THE COMPROMISE TAX REFORM BILL raises the estate tax exemption from $5.49 million to $11 million. The Section 179 deduction for new assets such as tractors would go from $500,000 to $1 million. The Senate and House compromise also keeps in place interest deductions for small businesses earning less than $25 million in gross receipts per year.

WHILE THE BILL REPEALED SECTION 199 DEDUCTIONS for farmer-owned businesses such as co-ops, the legislation allows cooperative members to claim a new 20-percent deduction on payments from co-ops. On the co-op side of the ledger, the same can take place.

BETWEEN $61 AND $75 MILLION will be allocated to reduce methane emissions by California through its Dairy Digester and Development Program. Individual farms are eligible for up to $3 million in grants.

CALIFORNIA’S TULARE COUNTY overhauled its dairy plan for permitting farms that want to expand, modernize, or build on a green site. Unanimously approved by county supervisors, the plan harmonizes local rules with regional and state efforts in the country’s largest dairy county.

CHINA’S APPETITE FOR ALFALFA has grown rapidly. In 2013, U.S. dairy product exports were more than twice those of alfalfa. In 2016, those values converged as China purchased nearly $400 million of each. U.S. companies also have become the leading exporters of semen and vaccines.

KOEPON AND CRI REACHED A NONBINDING AGREEMENT to merge their organizations. Holland’s Koepon Holdings owns Alta Genetics, Valley Ag Software (Dairy Comp 305), and SCCL (premium calf nutrition products), while CRI owns Genex and AgSource, among other entities.

PRICES FOR VITAMINS A AND E have soared as much as 400 percent following a fire at a German manufacturing plant. As a result, these vitamins and several carotenoid products will be in tight supply.

In your next issue

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