As printed in our August 10, 2013 issue...
THE HOUSE PASSED A FARM-ONLY farm bill in mid-July by a 216 to 208 vote with only Republicans in favor of passage. It only included 11 of the traditional 12 titles with food assistance being the glaring omission.
OF THE $100 BILLION in annual farm bill spending, food programs account for $80 billion. Conservative House leaders continue to delay action on food assistance because they desire sharper cuts than the Senate.
ONLY EIGHT LEGISLATIVE DAYS REMAIN before the farm bill expires on September 30. While dairy will feel an immediate impact, food program spending will continue at current levels even without action.
FDA'S MILK RESIDUE STUDY could be released in August, reported American Association of Bovine Practitioners president, Nigel Cook, D.V.M. FDA sampled 1,918 farms and collected over 57,000 data points.
CALIFORNIA PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS may have reached a short-term price fix. It calls for a 46-cent bump in price for milk destined for cheese (4b). The whey scale would expand from 75 cents to $1 per cwt.
CLASS III FUTURES were off nearly 50 cents during July and settled near a $17.75 average for August-to-January contracts at the magazine's close. Projected stronger production and reduced feed costs are both at play.
FEED PRICE RELIEF appeared on the horizon as September-to-May corn contracts traded between $4.70 and $5 per bushel, the lowest point in 33 months. Soybeans followed suit trading near $12.25.
JUNE MILK OUTPUT rose 1.5 percent nationally. Among the leading 23 states, only two reduced production: California, -0.8 and Missouri, -4.2. Wisconsin grew 1.8 percent and Kansas led all gainers, up 9.4.
DAIRY COW CULLING stood at 1.567 million head or roughly 3 percent higher than last year's pace through June. Strong culling activity has reduced veterinary expenses and led to a younger national dairy herd.
SPOT BUTTER PRICES FELL 7 CENTS during July to settle at $1.43 per pound. June butter inventories were 324 million pounds, up 33 percent over last year. Cheese inventory held steady compared to May.
COMPONENTS AND MILK QUALITY IMPROVED for the Upper Midwest marketing order's 15,000-plus farms last year: SCC, 220 (2011, 245); butterfat, 3.76 (2011, 3.73); and protein, 3.09 (2011, 3.06).
BRIEFLY: New Zealand's 2012 to 2013 milk output fell 1 percent over the previous year's record. Dairy groups applauded Vice-President Joe Biden's call for expanded trade between India and the U.S. The EU delayed free trade agreements with some Central American nations in an attempt to expand the list of geographical indications for cheese.