September 2009

Robotic Milking

Augie and Mike Baumann of Buffalo Center, IA manage their 240-cow dairy herd a little differently than most producers. The majority of their Holsteins roam freely in one of four large pens in their 160x300’ cross-ventilation barn. Most of their time is spent either munching feed from concrete bunks or resting in individual free stalls complete with dual-bladder waterbeds.

Alltech’s Young Scientist Program Hopes to Attract 50,000

We here at the American Dairymen like to keep our reader infomed. News release from Alltech. Lexington, KENTUCKY]- With a growing need for natural animal health solutions, global animal health company, Alltech announced the launch of its annual Young Scientist Program today. Growing by leaps and bounds, past programs featured only undergraduate students, but expanded last year to include graduate students. This year the program is expanding once again as Africa and the Middle East will have their own local competition as well as adding an additional phase to the program.

CWT Completes Eighth Herd Retirement Round

Farm audits for the second herd retirement implemented by Cooperatives
Working Together in 2009 have been completed, and the majority of the 74,114 cows that
produced 1.5 billion pounds of milk have been sent to processing plants. In addition, 2,958
bred heifers also were removed through CWT’s eighth herd retirement round.
In this most recent round, CWT removed 274 herds in 38 states. When combined with the herd
retirements completed last winter and earlier this spring, CWT has removed 225,783 cows that
produced 4.5 billion pounds of milk.

NMPF Strategic Planning Task Force Recommendations

The National Milk Producers Federation’s Strategic Planning Task Force agreed last Friday to pursue a four‐part approach to implementing sweeping changes as to how federal dairy policies protect producers and how farm‐level milk prices are established.  For the full story click here.

Proposed Amendment to Ag Bill Sparks Industry Debate

Congress returned from its August recess this week to a slew of unresolved items on
its agenda including a controversial amendment to the fiscal year 2010 agriculture appropriations bill. The
bill currently is in conference committee.
The Senate-passed amendment, offered by Sen.

Oct. Class I Mover Announced


October Advanced Class I price
was released this morning by USDA. The value of $12.35 represents a $1.42 increase over the Sep. value. This higher value with associated lower feed costs implies that the MILC payments for Oct. will be less than the September payment. After incorporating the Oct. mover into our MILC forecasting model we have an estimated MILC payment for October of $0.60 . This compares to estimated payments of $1.64 in August and $1.24 for September milk.

Retail Dairy Prices Continue to Drop

August’s retail dairy prices represented the lowest level in more than two years. The

Milk CPI
dropped for the 9th straight month to 124.7, down 18% from 2008 .   The August city-average

retail price of whole milk
was $2.98/gallon, down 91¢
from Aug. 2008.  The


US Farmers on Verge of Giant Corn Harvest

Favorable weather has helped farmers produce what could be a huge harvest, with projections calling for 13 billion bushels. That would be just shy of the 13.04 billion bushels harvested in 2007.

The giant crop is good news for farmers and livestock producers, who should benefit from lower feed costs, but it probably won’t make a big difference to the cost of groceries.

2009 World Dairy Expo

The golden anniversary of the World Dairy Expo is just seven years away…and Expo manager Mark Clarke is planning for it. “We’re already trying to make plans for the 50th year,” says Clarke. “We’ve got the artwork and the theme done for the 2011 show. So you’re always well over a year out in advance, looking for the next show.”

Highest All-Milk Price of the Year in Aug.

A slight increase in the

All-Milk price
and declining feed costs moved the

Aug. milk-feed ratio
to its highest level of th year. With likely MILC payment we may see the highest ratio since Nov 08 and only the second time the ratio has been over 2.00 since Mar 08.