As printed in our November 2011 issue...

FDA PLANS TO IMPLEMENT enhanced testing of bulk tank milk for antibiotics not typically screened in samples. Targeted operations would include those on USDA's violators' list for antibiotic residues in meat.

NMPF AND IDFA voice concerns over FDA's proposed collection methodology which may include obtaining samples from central milk laboratories.

REDUCED VOLATILITY, but a lower All-Milk Price, is predicted if the Dairy Security Act is implemented, suggests an analysis by University of Wisconsin's Mark Stephenson and Cal Poly's Charles Nicholson.

SOME ECONOMISTS POINT OUT that the newly released study does not factor in feed prices or export demand. Also, the model has not undergone the peer review process used for Congressional insight.

OVER 75 PERCENT of the corn crop was harvested by late October with nearly 90 percent of soybeans in the bin. Corn was at $5.92 in USDA's October Agricultural Prices report. That is $1.60 higher than last year.

FERTILIZER COSTS AND LAND RENTS projected 5 to 10 percent higher next year, predicts Purdue University specialists. Other variable costs could rise nearly 15 percent for corn and soybeans next year.

MEXICO IS SUSPENDING the remaining retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products now that the Department of Transportation has started approving Mexican trucking permits. Mexico is the U.S.'s top dairy export market.

STRONG SEPTEMBER MILK GROWTH continues in the West with all states posting gains. Texas reports a 10.1 percent growth. Overall, 50-state milk gains 1.7 percent; Wisconsin 1.8 percent; California, 0.6.

CHEESE SALES ARE SLOWING with June to August sales down 0.6 percent compared to a year earlier. American cheese off 3.5 percent. Inventories up 15 percent when compared to September's five-year average.

RISING DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL production leads USDA to reduce 2012 All-Milk Price prediction to $18.20. Growth in global output likely will present a stiffer challenge to those selling product for export.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR case on California's downer cow processing ban this month. At issue is whether or not a state can create its own laws which preempt federal laws regulating slaughterhouses.

COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED until December 1 for child labor regulations on farms. For more details, see page 674 in the October 25 issue.

BRIEFLY: Class III futures for November to April averaged just over $17 in early November trading. Large banks with portfolios over $25 million dropped nonreal estate farm interest rates to 3.6 percent, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Webcasts on proposed CAFO rules will be held on November 9 and 17 at Richard Stammer succeeds Paul Johnston as Agri-Mark CEO.

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