Washington Dairygrams - March 10, 2014


As printed in our March 10, 2014 issue...

THE ICONIC “GOT MILK?” CAMPAIGN was shuttered by the national Milk Processor Education Program, or MilkPEP, as it launched a new tagline, “Milk Life.” First utilized by California processors in 1993, Got Milk? became one of the most recognized taglines in advertising history.

MILK LIFE WILL HAVE $50 MILLION poured into it by the nation’s dairy processors. In an attempt to revive slumping fluid sales, it will zero in on morning meals, which account for about 50 percent of milk consumption.

CONTINUED COLD WEATHER AND FORAGE ISSUES stymied milk flow in the Midwest. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri were off 2 to 5 percent on January milk. Ohio was down 1.3 percent.

NATIONALLY, MILK FLOW GREW 1 PERCENT. Only Colorado (5.8 percent) and Kansas (5.3 percent) outpaced California’s 4.7 percent growth.

THERE WAS A FURTHER DROP in pick-up tanker milk samples testing positive for antibiotics . . . 445 out of 3.2 million or 0.014 percent. That was down from last year’s 0.017 percent and represented an all-time low.

THE U.S. NEARLY TRIPLED AG EXPORTS between 2000 and 2013 to reach $140.9 billion last year, reported USDA. Fruit and nuts topped the ag product list at $31.4 billion; soybeans, $20.9 billion; livestock, $18.9 billion; and wheat, $10 billion. Dairy was $6.7 billion.

U.S. MILK OUTPUT COULD GROW 22 PERCENT over the next decade to reach 246 billion pounds, estimated USDA. Cow numbers pegged to hold steady. For more on 2013 production, turn to page 155.

THE WORST DROUGHT IN CALIFORNIA’S HISTORY continued as each of the past 12 months ranked as the driest on record since 1895.

HOWEVER, ALFALFA EXPORTS TO CHINA remained red hot. One Arizona College of Law professor estimated 100 billion gallons of water are being exported to China each year via alfalfa sales, reported the BBC. The professor suggested that was enough water for 1 million families.

FARM WAGES WOULD CLIMB from $10.80 to $26.57 an hour just to replace undocumented workers if the federal government followed an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform, reported a Farm Bureau study. Livestock production, including dairy, could fall 13 to 27 percent.

BRIEFLY: March-to-August Class III futures averaged $20.50 at the magazine’s close, up $2.55 since the new year. Livestock sent to packers fell 5.4 percent compared to last January. As a result, dairy cows now accounted for 10.2 percent of all sales. Beef prices set a new record for the fourth straight month. DHIA somatic cell counts averaged 199 last year, a new low. Butterfat levels reached 3.83 percent, up 0.19 since 2000 in the Northwest Federal Order. Protein climbed 0.17 to reach 3.19 percent.

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