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Chris Galen is the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Milk Producers Federation .
I’ve spent this past week in Dallas at the 2009 NMPF annual meeting. One of our speakers was the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services, Jim Miller. We were curious as to whether he would make some news about the timing and nature of the $350 million dairy aid package that Congress approved about a month ago. His answer: stay tuned.
Remember that Congress decided that $60 million of that sum would go to product purchases, i.e. cheese, while the remaining $290 million would be paid directly to producers. Miller said that while USDA wants to get the money out to farmers “as quickly as possible,” there’s what amounts to a bureaucratic process they have to follow. In fact, the Office of Management and Budget has to approve of the payment formula first, after USDA develops it.
Also, since it’s not likely they will use the same MILC formula that currently exists – owing to the controversy over MILC caps that’s long existed – the payment system will be somewhat different than what they’ve used in the past.
The other question we’re waiting on is when and how the cheese purchases will start, what types they’ll buy, and how they’ll then distribute it to needy citizens.
So the take-away is that the checks will be in the mail…but not until the Christmas cards are also joining them.
Hi all, went to a New York State Agriculture Senate hearing here in Watertown yesterday it was hosted by Senator Darrel Aubertine he was the only senator or assembly person there, you make what you want to of that he heard testimony from a group representing the concerns of both dairy farmers and dairy farmer processor and dairy farmer Dairylea board member and the deputy ag commissionar along with Doug Shelmadine and Bryan Gotham Senator Aubertine has introduced a bill into New York Senate that would make hauling milk to the plant the responsbilty of the processor The dairylea man couldnt support that or make a coment on that as a dairylea represenitive but as a farmer he could not support such a bill his concern was that the processor might not find it profitable to pickup some small farms and it would give other state that did not have such legeslation an unfair advantage in the market place The Deputy Ag commissionar was asked what he thought about it and simply said that we would not be having this discussion he farmers were paid what they need to cover costs it should be mentioned that other states have already passed simalr legeslation and the trigger is New York passing it also it been introduced in the House of Represenatives to get it going Nationaly But I heard no discussion on fixing the problem of the only way to make money in this buisness is to produce all the milk you can all the time It seems we pull our selfs up by the boot starps just to shoot ourselfs in the foot again Another CWT herd byout and the price of leather boots should start to come down
I have a registered herd - and on the money side of it, I usually sell around 10% of my heifers annually - and I get on about $300/hd more than grades, at least. This is kind of small: but I bred for type, so my cows are bigger, - so they bring more when I cull them. But I also get on average 4-5 lactations out of each cow - where the average in the entire Holstein breed (including grades) is 2. So I bred longevity into the herd - and I get a lot more milk, and money cause of it. I am currently milking a handfull of cows with lifetime productions of over 200,000 lbs - one of which is approaching 300,000. About 12 of my cows are over 100,000 lbs lifetime - in a 50 cow herd. My cull rate is 22%. So I think the point is that I get more out of my cows than most people - whether its milk, money from selling, or just being able to enjoy working with them. Farming is a tough job, and you need something to look forward to: so when my best cow calves and gives you a heifer, it makes life a little more fun. Things like that. Grade herds don't care about individual cows - they just care about the paycheck. I think that makes these downturns that much harder.
Your milk hauler brings you your milk check? Thats different, and probably more effcient. Not sure if I would want our milk hauler doing that though... $13.94 this month.