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

ALMONDS DO NOT LACTATE, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, indicating that the agency would crack down on the use of the term “milk” for nondairy products such as soy, almond, and other plant beverages.

OVER $155 MILLION IN MPP-DAIRY PAYMENTS were sent to the nation’s dairy farmers due to eroding margins. In all, 57 percent of the total for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy went to five states: Wisconsin ($36.8 million), New York ($15.4 million), Minnesota ($15.1 million), Pennsylvania ($13.1 million), and Michigan ($8.5 million).

A FAR MORE PESSIMISTIC FORECAST has developed for milk prices. In the past month, USDA economists shaved 70 cents off the 2018 prediction that now stands at a $16.10 All-Milk price; 45 cents came off the 2019 prediction that ranges from $16.25 to $17.25. In making this assessment, all product price forecasts dropped except butter.

AS TRADE DISPUTES CAST CLOUDS over the markets, dry whey continued to sell well. At times, dry whey has outpaced market demand. Even so, manufacturers have offered to share some of the cost of the tariffs with their customers to minimize any potential loss of market share.

DOMESTIC SALES, NOT EXPORTS, have been responsible for sluggish markets at the moment. Domestic use has been relatively weak in recent months. For the three months from March through May, domestic use was collectively down by 1.7 percent on a milk-fat basis.

JUNE MILK CLIMBED 1.2 PERCENT when compared to the same time last year. California inched up 0.5 percent; Wisconsin, 1.2 percent.

THE HIGH COST OF ALFALFA caused export sales to China to tumble 21 percent in the first five months. One importer shared that alfalfa hay has climbed from $390 to $440 per metric ton in recent weeks due to higher tariffs, causing Chinese farms to reformulate rations.

IN THE STATES, $189 PER TON was the average alfalfa price. For the upcoming year, corn was pegged at a $3.80 per bushel midpoint ($3.30 to $4.30 range), while soybean meal could range from $315 to $355 per ton.

CULLING ACTIVITY REMAINED 73,000 head above last year through June. However, the pace of dairy cows sent to slaughter has slowed.

DAIRY FARMLAND PRICES FELL 8.4 PERCENT in New Zealand over the past year. The average price was $31,818 per hectare (2.5 acres).

DIGESTER INITIATIVES RECEIVED $99 MILLION, on top of previous funding, from California’s state government. It’s anticipated that those funds, along with previous allocations, will bring 80 digesters on line. When that happens, the Golden State will have reduced methane emissions by three times as much as the next leading state.

In your next issue!

While more scientific research may be warranted, a growing number of consumers believe A2 milk protein has provided benefits.

Stensland Family Farms has invested in a creamery and created an agricultural hub, right on their dairy farm.

A survey of Midwestern farms compared rearing costs of individually-fed calves to those in group housing with automated-feeding systems.