As printed in our January 10, 2012 issue...

TWO NEW CAFO RULES are proposed by the EPA. Proposal would step up reporting requirements for all CAFOs and ask for more information in watersheds with water quality concerns. Comments are due by January 19.

2010 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR CHEESE. On average, Americans consumed 33.29 pounds of cheese, besting 2007's 33.18-pound record. Mozzarella topped the list at 11.29 pounds followed closely by Cheddar at 10.44.

NOVEMBER MILK ROSE 1.8 percent across all 50 states. California grew 2.4 percent, while Wisconsin gained 1.6. Texas led all gainers, up 8.4 percent. Arizona, Florida, and New Mexico were up between 6 to 6.6 percent.

ONLY FIVE MAJOR STATES REPORTED a drop in milk when compared to last year. Pennsylvania and Minnesota have not posted gains for 10 and 16 months, respectively. Meanwhile, New York fell 1.3 percent.

THERE IS FLAT GROWTH in the national herd as cow numbers grew by just 8,000 head since this past June. Prior to that, the dairy herd expanded by 119,000 head from January 2010 through May 2011.

U.S. DAIRY EXPORTS had already reached record sales at $3.96 billion with two months left to go. The U.S. dairy trade surplus stands at $2 billion. Many economists expect that dairy exports may slow next year.

CLASS III FUTURES trading between $16.97 to $17.36 through November 2012 with a $17.13 average at closing. USDA projects a 2012 Class III price ranging from $16.90 to $17.70; All-Milk at $18.10 to $18.90.

THE SUPREME COURT WILL RULE on Arizona's immigration law. Current state statute supercedes federal law and requires police to arrest people they stop whom they suspect lack authorization to be in the U.S.

CONTINUED WEAKNESS in grain prices is expected despite the smallest American corn and soybean crops in three years. Global corn output sets a new record at 867.5 million tons despite a 3.5 million drop in the U.S.

CASH CORN IS NEAR $6 per bushel. USDA projects a season-average price ranging from $5.90 to $6.90, down 30 cents from last month's estimate. Soybeans projected at $10.70 to $12.70 per bushel, down 90 cents.

UNDER PROPOSED RULES, EU dairy producer organizations would be able to negotiate milk prices for farmers. However, total milk covered by these contracts could not be more than 3.5 percent of all EU production.

TURKEY HAS IMPORTED 42,000 heifers through October as the U.S. exports over 60,000-head so far. Mexico buys 10,000, Russia adds 5,000.

BRIEFLY: House passes HR 1633 which would prevent further regulations on farm dust; Senate is not expected to take up the measure. Two ethanol subsidies, the 46-cent-per-gallon blenders credit and the 54-cent tariff on ethanol imports, were expected to expire at year's end.

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