HD Notebook

2011 dairy outlook (don’t shoot the messenger)

Fri, 12/31/2010

What goes into a “next year’s outlook” prediction? Paying attention all year long this year, talking regularly to producers, studying the economic horizon outside the industry, tracking trends, and decades of experience watching the industry go through its up and downs. Then add a few hunches, a guess or two, and have the guts to say what it all looks like. So here goes: Read more

Dean Foods will pay $30 million after Northeast price-fixing lawsuit

Thu, 12/30/2010

Dean Foods Company will pay $30 million to settle allegations by a group of dairy farmers that it monopolized the Northeast milk market, reports attorneys representing the plaintiffs. The settlement fund will be shared between an estimated 5,000 and 10,000 dairy farmers in 11 Northeast states. After the U.S. Read more

Do your homework to prevent barn collapses in snowy weather

Wed, 12/29/2010

In recent weeks, we've sadly heard of several barn collapses in the upper Midwest. Each of the barns that failed was bearing an extreme snow load due to an overly white Christmas we had in this part of the country. Now, the eastern U.S. is being pummeled with snowstorms. For those with free stall barns especially, heavy snow can be a concern. Read more

History guides us

Tue, 12/28/2010

As 2010 comes to a close, we reflect on the past year and plan for a positive 2011. When I look ahead, I think about the future through a young person's eyes – full of hope and the belief that positive actions can change anything. The real world challenges faced by adults don’t weigh them down. Read more

Adding rollover protection would be a great winter shop project

Mon, 12/27/2010

Rollover protection systems (ROPS) save lives. When ROPS are used with seat belts, 99 percent of tractor drivers survive rollover accidents. And, even if the seat belt isn’t worn, 70 percent of drivers live to tell about the accident report researchers in a recent USA Today article titled, “Tractor upgrades cut deaths.” Read more

A bright spot in a gloomy outlook

Fri, 12/24/2010

Between a forecast for lower milk prices and the likelihood of higher feed costs, it’s hard to not have a gloomy financial outlook for U.S. milk producers in 2011. Sorry. Amid the dreariness, however, is the near-certainty of one very bright income light: cull cow prices. Read more

China, oil, and why feed prices may get worse

Thu, 12/23/2010

Rising corn prices mean higher feed bills for dairy producers, which is why a recent forecast about global oil demand points to the possibility of higher milk production costs in 2011. Connecting the dots between oil, corn prices, and dairy feed costs is a linkage that also includes China. Here’s how: Read more

Dairyland Initiative partners farmers, construction, and bankers

Wed, 12/22/2010

Building a new barn may seem like a glamorous idea. Eventually, you may end up with a sparkly, beautiful new barn, but not until going through countless stressful decisions. What size will the stalls be? What type of bedding will be used? What height do we want the curb to be? Should we pour cement brisket boards? Read more

Learning from the country cousin

Tue, 12/21/2010

The holidays are usually spent with family and friends,sharing stories and reminiscing about recent activities. If you have a small holiday gathering with just those you work with, you will likely learn very little on how others think and behave. Read more

Milk price forecast backed off slightly

Mon, 12/20/2010

Forecast milk production for 2010 and 2011 is little changed from last month, in last week's USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate. In November, the agency forecast 2011 milk production at 195.6 billion pounds. This month's estimate was 195.5 billion. The milk production estimate for 2010 remained unchanged at 192.8 billion pounds. Read more

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