As printed in our January 10, 2011 issue...

A GOVERNMENT-MANDATED "growth-management" program, higher fluid-milk standards, and a new, revenue-insurance program are among measures proposed by Dairy Industry Advisory Committee. Final report due out soon.

USDA'S CLASS III FORECAST for 2011 is between $14.45 and $15.25 per hundredweight, up from about $14.40 last year. Class III futures for 2011 by quarter at closing: first, $13.40; second, $14.38; third, $15.28; fourth, $15.45.

MILC PAYMENTS EXPECTED for most of 2011, based on milk and feed futures. Largest payments (70 cents to $1) likely to be during May, June, and July.

NOVEMBER MILK PRODUCTION UP 2.7 percent nationally. Up 3.1 in the top 23 states. U.S. dairy herd is 9.12 million cows, unchanged from October but 13,000 fewer than July. Milk per cow was up 2.3 percent from last November.

CALIFORNIA MILK OUTPUT in November was up 4.5 percent, while Wisconsin was up just 0.5 percent. California had 15,000 fewer cows than last year but milk per cow was up 5.4 percent. New York: +4.6; Pennsylvania, +3.2.

CHEDDAR BLOCKS AT THE CME were $1.32-1/2 per pound at closing, lowest price since last March and down from $1.50-3/4 a pound in early December.

U.S. DAIRY EXPORTS, through October, were $3.1 billion, up 67 percent from same period last year. Top buyers: Mexico, Canada, and China. U.S. dairy imports totaled $1.7 billion. Top suppliers: New Zealand, Italy, and France.

DUST-UP DEVELOPING over "higher-of" pricing. Would be discontinued under National Milk's omnibus plan. Basing Class I minimums on cheese-milk value only would cost producers $213 million a year, say critics of the change.

NEW TAX PACKAGE extends 45-cents-a-gallon ethanol blenders' tax credit and import tariffs but exempts first $5 million of estates from estate taxes.

BRIEFLY: Dean Foods agrees to $30-million settlement in Vermont-based anti-trust suit. Danone pays $21 million fines to Federal Trade Commission for claiming Activia yogurt "prevents colds and alleviates digestive problems." Centers for Disease Control has overstated annual impact of foodbourne illnesses by 37 percent for cases (now, 47.8 million), 60 percent for hospitalizations (127,000), and 35 percent for deaths (3,030). Dairy heifers exported during October totaled a record 4,000 head, according to National All-Jersey.

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