As printed in our December 2011 issue...

U.S. PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS must demonstrate they can meet European Union health certificate specs. USDA program begins in January and requires SCCs under 400,000 on a three-month rolling average.

EU MEASURE ALSO REQUIRES that farm-level milk is tested to document compliance. Suppliers and processors must maintain records one-step back in the supply chain. Standard plate counts to be tracked, too.

FDA TO MOVE FORWARD with enhanced testing of milk in January. Targeted operations to include those on USDA's violators list for antibiotic residues, plus another 900 random herds. Sample origin to be unknown.

RATION COSTS SENT November Milk-Feed Price Ratio down to 1.80 which is the lowest point since July. Income over feed costs now at $8.84.

NET INCOME OF $1.32 TO $4.60 per cwt. during first half of 2011 for western herds in a seven-state region tracked by Frazer accountants. Feed costs range from $8.41 to $10.43 with total costs at $14.24 to $17.87.

SUPERCOMMITTEE FAILS to resolve U.S. debt issue. Debate reopens on next farm bill. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) urges lawmakers to build farm bill from the supercommittee framework.

NOVEMBER CLASS III rebounds $1.04 to match September's $19.07. USDA projects a $17.15 Class III and an $18.50 All-Milk price next year.

DECEMBER CLASS III FUTURES were at $18.49. January through September contracts are trading between $16.88 and $17.22 at closing.

OCTOBER MILK PRODUCTION was up 2.1 percent among all 50 states. California grew 2.4 percent, while Wisconsin rose 1.7. Growth continues out West with the all 10 major states posting gain of 1 to 9.8 percent.

NINE COUNTRIES MEET to discuss Trans-Pacific Partnership that is intended to enhance trade and investment among partner countries. National Milk Producer's Federation wants New Zealand's dairy excluded.

LAND PRICES CLIMB 25 percent in a 12-state Midwest region when compared to last year. For Chicago's Federal Reserve Bank's six-state district, it was the largest gain since 1977's 31 percent jump in ag land values.

CANADA'S HIGH COURT declined to hear Kraft Canada's and Saputo's appeal of a lower court ruling on Canadian cheese standards.

BRIEFLY: Cow numbers are up 96,000 head since last October. New Zealand's Fonterra reduces milk payout by nearly 7 percent, citing softer commodity prices. U.S. country-of-origin labeling violates global trade rules and unjustly harms agricultural commerce, states WTO judge. Farm dust legislation passes key house committee. It would prohibit EPA from regulating farm dust. Dane County forms a task force to explore expansion of Alliant Energy Center, home to World Dairy Expo.

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