As printed in our October 25, 2012 issue...

GENETIC EVALUATIONS WILL MOVE from USDA to a private sector consortium, based on an early October vote by the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). A definitive timeline has not been set.

TWO KEY DOCUMENTS PASSED BY A SUPER MAJORITY with an equal number of ballots cast by three CDCB groups: A.I., dairy record providers and the breeds. Follow-up meetings are planned to iron out more details.

NOT WANTING A PRE-ELECTION BATTLE on the House floor, Republican leadership held off debate on the farm bill. Many analysts expect a new farm bill will be approved late in the year, during the lame-duck session.

MOST DAIRY PRODUCERS, led by the National Milk Producers Federation, have urged Congress to pass the farm bill with the Dairy Security Act serving as the dairy title. Both NMPF and groups opposed to DSA lobbied their positions at World Dairy Expo.

THE OPPOSITION SOUGHT SUPPORT for the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment to the DSA. Wisconsin's Dairy Business Association and a few producers from other states back the amendment that alters the margin insurance portion of DSA to remove the stabilization program.

FORWARD PRICING CONTRACTS signed between dairy producers and proprietary plants after October 1 must pay minimum federal order prices now that the farm bill has expired. Previously established contracts signed prior to October in USDA's Forward Pricing Program are exempt.

THE DAIRY CHECKOFF HAS GIVEN FLUID MILK an added focus through a $14 million special initiative. A three-prong effort has funded proposals in these areas: lactose free, value added and core sales.

LIKE OTHER DMI PROJECTS, partnering vendors are expected to invest $5 to $7 for every $1 of dairy-farmer checkoff money. In the first round of proposals, six of 27 short-term, fluid-boosting ideas received grants.

CORN AND SOYBEAN PRICES HAVE EASED a little over 10 percent compared to recent market highs. December corn has declined by about $1 while November soybeans have fallen nearly $2.50 per bushel.

BRIEFLY: Canada joined 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, which include the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. Canada has maintained supply management following agreements such as NAFTA and several bi-lateral pacts. Record 46.7 million Americans received food stamps in July, up 2.9 percent from last year. Ban on sugar-sweetened beverages larger than a pint approved by New York City Board of Health. Vending machines would list calorie counts in an initiative supported by some major soda companies.

Click here to see the previous months Washington Dairygrams