In your April 25, 2019 issue . . .

ROLL OUT THE FARM BILL’S DAIRY PROGRAM NOW. That was the charge to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue from 38 Senators and 77 House members. “Given what’s facing farmers, USDA needs to get a move on implementing these dairy programs as soon as possible,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

USDA SHOULD FAST-TRACK CHANGES as times remain difficult and producers around the nation need more options,” added Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (D-Pa.). “The 2018 farm bill provides dairy farmers with better risk management tools, improved coverage, and more affordable options.”

THE NEW DMC, OR DAIRY MARGIN COVERAGE, program is the dairy provision Congressional leaders have been touting. Signed into law this past December, its being held up because FSA offices previously retained paper copies of past premium payments under the old Margin Protection Program. Those payments need to become electronic to deliver refunds.

THE NEW DMC DECISION TOOL should be available soon. The projected January payment of $1.51 per hundredweight (based on the maximum $9.50 coverage level) should pay for the entire year’s Tier 1 premium costs in just one month. February’s projected payment is $1.28 per cwt.

THE DECISION TOOL, still under development, is forecasting average payments over 50 cents per cwt. from March to August. “That would be well worth the 15-cent investment in premiums,” said UW’s Mark Stephenson.

DAIRY FARMERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SIGN UP for DMC at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices by the week of June 17. Coverage checks for January through May could be mailed beginning July 8.

CLASS III FUTURES CONTRACTS HAVE HELD STEADY at a $16.30 per cwt. average for June to December 2019. Strong global demand and slowed growth in milk output have put markets back in some balance.

AS MILK PRICE FORECASTS SHOW STRENGTH, some farmers shipping to co-ops have not realized all of the improved prices. That’s because co-ops overflowing with milk need to find a home for all of it. In those cases, some co-ops must sell the excess milk at steep discounts. Resulting blend prices then fall under monthly federal order minimums.

JANUARY EXPORTS TUMBLED due to retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. dairy products by China and Mexico. Overall, Chinese purchases plummeted 41 percent when compared to last January. Cheese sales to Mexico were off 20 percent. Overall, exports represented 12.5 percent of January’s U.S. milk production — the lowest in nearly three years.

GLOBAL PRODUCT PRICES SHOWED STRENGTH at the Global Dairy Trade based in New Zealand. Product prices climbed for the ninth straight every-other-week trading session dating back to December.

In your next issue . . .

Pesky and persistent flies desire cattle, and that’s why controlling them reduces incidence of mastitis and improves milk production.

Corkscrew claw syndrome is growing in prevalence, and it starts in the heifer barn.

Three seniors and one junior scored a 496 out of 500 points among the 12,500 entries submitted in the 89th annual Hoard’s Dairyman Cow Judging Contest.