Archive for the ‘Todays Dairy News’ Category

Help For Rural Californians Suffering From Drought

by Tom Vilsack, Ag Secretary
July 19, 2014 — This week, I visited the small town of Cameron Creek Colony in Tulare County, California and saw firsthand the challenges drought poses, particularly for those living in rural communities.

About 10 percent of Cameron Creek Colony residents have no access to water because their wells have run dry. Still others have only intermittent access to water. Many are in danger

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

of losing access to water permanently in the near future. One long-time resident told me that until this drought, she’d never worried about water. Now, worrying about having enough water is constantly on her mind.

Fortunately, USDA is able to help this community, and 73,000 residents living in other communities across California, through $9.7 million in grants to help other rural California communities that have experienced a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water due to an emergency. The nearby city of Farmersville, California is receiving a $500,000 USDA grant to construct pipelines connecting Cameron Creek Colony to the Farmersville water main and linking residents to the city water system. This will provide much-needed relief and the surety of a stable water supply for those living in Cameron Creek Colony.

These grants are triple the amount we committed to when President Obama and I visited California in February. I am proud of the work USDA Rural Development staff in California have done to get this funding to those in need and the work they have done with municipal leaders in these rural communities to help residents, businesses and agricultural producers.

This drought is devastating for those who live, work and raise their families in much of rural California and the western United States. It is threatening the survival of whole communities and livelihoods of folks throughout the state. A UC Davis study released earlier this week reported that the drought will cause losses of $880 million in crop revenue, $203 million in dairy and other livestock value and additional groundwater pumping costs of $454 million. The total statewide economic cost of the 2014 drought is estimated to be a staggering $2.2 billion, with a loss of more than 17,000 seasonal and part time jobs.

As the drought continues, let me assure you that the Obama Administration and USDA are committed to increasing investments in the nation’s water infrastructure to mitigate the impact of climate change and to ensure that all Americans have adequate, safe and reliable water supplies. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/drought.

June Milk Production Up 2%

July 18, 2014 — The Agriculture Department’s preliminary data issued this afternoon in its latest Milk Production report, shows June milk output in the top 23 producing states at 16.177 billion pounds, up 2 percent from cow_go2June 2013. The 50-state total, at 17.265 billion pounds, was up 1.9 percent from a year ago.

Revisions added 25 million pounds to the original May 23-state estimate, now reported at 16.9 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent from a year ago.    June cow numbers in the 23 states, at 8.57 million head, were up 11,000 from May. Year ago data was not available due to the Sequester.

June output per cow in the 23 states averaged 1,888 pounds, down from 1,976 pounds in May, but is the highest production per cow for the month of June since the 23 State series began in 2003. Again, year ago data was not available due to the Sequester.    The Second Quarter, April to June period, saw U.S. milk output hit 52.8 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent from the same period in 2013. The average number of milk cows during the quarter totaled 9.25 million head, up 39,000 from First Quarter, January to March, 2014.

Selected state data is posted below:

State          Cow #s             Milk lbs./Cow        State Change vs.’13

Arizona       193,000                       2,000                      +2.1%

California    1.779 mil                      1,995                     +1.7%

Colorado    145,000                        2,110                     +9.7%

Florida        123,000                        1,685                     +2.5%

Idaho          577,000                        2,045                     +2.1%

Illinois           95,000                        1,650                     +2.6%

Indiana       177,000                        1,830                     +1.6%

Iowa           207,000                        1,870                     +1.0%

Kansas       142,000                        1,845                     +7.4%

Mich.          386,000                        2,060                      +3.2%

Minn.          460,000                        1,655                      +0.1%

N Mex.        323,000                       2,130                      +1.3%

New York    615,000                       1,870                      +0.3%

Ohio            266,000                       1,695                      -1.5%

Oregon       125,000                        1,745                     +1.4%

Penn.          530,000                       1,665                      +0.2%

S Dakota       97,000                       1,825                     +5.4%

Texas          468,000                       1,850                     +8.3%

Utah              95,000                       1,890                     +4.0%

Vermont      131,000                       1,710                     +1.4%

Virginia          93,000                       1,600                    +4.2%

Wash.          274,000                       2,050                     +3.9%

Wisconsin    1.269 mil                     1,825                     +0.6%

We’re “Kinda Divorced” From World Market

July 18, 2014 — U.S. dairy product prices appear to amaze traders but clouds are appearing on the “price horizon.” Jerry Dryer’s recent Dairy and Food Market Analyst warned
that global milk production will overwhelm demand for the next five years, according to a recent analysis by Goldman Sachs.

We talked about those clouds in Friday’s DairyLine with FC Stone dairy broker, Dave Kurzawski. Kurzawski explained the jump in butter to a “tight market” and said cheese was

Dave Kurzawski, FC Stone

Dave Kurzawski, FC Stone

“acquiescing to that.” He explained that cream is very tight in the country as ice cream sales are good.

“We’re pretty much divorced from the world market,” Kurzawski stated, “But we are still alive and well on the butter market and probably aiming at that $2.50 (per pound) mark.”    Regarding the prediction on milk production, Kurzawski argued that it’s hard enough to look three or four months ahead as to what will happen to milk supply and demand but “They’re (Goldman Sachs) probably not too far off in the fact that we should expect more milk production in 2015 and probably more still in 2016. Without question, that’s the trend that we’re going to be on,” he said, “But right now I still think we’re going to be hovering around 1 1/2 percent for the balance of the year.”

Kurzawski doesn’t see any big moves in the U.S. milk supply but globally, New Zealand coming back strong and will come back strong in the new season “so we have to expect that but more than that is the demand out of China.”

Kurzawski said “It’s hard to believe when you see butter over $2.40 per pound and cheese over $2, at sustaining levels, so it’s easy to become complacent but reality is that China is currently overstocked on powder and anhydrous milkfat and that will eventually make its way through the global market chain and it’s going to come back to roost here in the U.S. with probably lower prices some time by the Fourth Quarter.”

NMPF Endorses Animal Outbreak Plan

July 17, 2014 – The National Milk Producers Federation earlier this week endorsed a draft plan for allowing the U.S. and Canada to cope with an outbreak of a serious foreign nmpflogoanimal contagion, such as foot-and-mouth disease, suggesting the plan is a template for similar plans involving other important dairy export markets. The plan, drafted by the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, calls for the United States and Canada to recognize each other’s efforts to control an outbreak, while regionalizing how the outbreak is handled, so as to allow continued trade with disease-free areas of the country.

In comments filed with APHIS Monday, NMPF, the voice of 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, noted that Canada is the second-largest export market for U.S. dairy products, and that an outbreak of a highly contagious animal disease such as FMD in either country could be catastrophic for the U.S. dairy industry.

“We applaud the Agriculture Department for working with its Canadian counterparts to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s vice president for sustainability & scientific affairs. “We fully support the draft plan and see it as an effective tool for dealing with an outbreak.”

The plan, officially termed a framework, calls for the two countries to cooperate in establishing quarantine areas that would be the focus of disease eradication efforts in an outbreak. Trade could then resume or continue in areas considered free of disease.

“The framework will facilitate continued trade between disease-free areas, while safeguarding animal health in both countries,” said Jonker. “NMPF encourages USDA to use this approach as a template for other countries that are important U.S. dairy export markets.” These countries include Mexico, China, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

This is in contrast to another USDA proposal earlier this year, which NMPF determined had significant flaws, because it will allow imports of fresh beef from certain parts of Brazil which have a history of foot and mouth disease.

“We are happy to have Brazil export its enthusiasm for soccer,” said Jonker, “but the last thing we need is for that country to send us its FMD problems.”

Over the last decade, U.S. dairy exports have increased more than 20 percent annually and the United States is now a global leader in exports for products including cheese, skim milk powder, whey products and lactose.

Don’t ‘Set and Forget’

July 16, 2014  — Our guest today is Mike Rusch of Stewart-Peterson, Inc., who says producers  shouldn’t “set and forget” when locking in a price. As an example, there were producers who locked in what they thought was a good margin late last year only to see milk prices rise, and then they regretted it. Rusch elaborates in this months “At the Corner of Strategy and Discipline” podcast:

 

Oh Deer! Missouri Dairy Aid Vetoed

July 14, 2014 — Missouri’s 2,000 local dairy farmers and their 15 processing plants have been ‘left out in the cold’ with Governor Nixon’s veto of the two Omnibus Agriculture Bills, House Bill 1326 and Senate Bill 506. One of the reasons for the veto could be the flap over the farmed white tail deer.

“It’s shocking to us considering both bills were passed with strong bi-partisan support by the Missouri General Assembly,” says Larry Purdom, president of the Missouri Dairy Association (MDA). Listen to the entire DairyLine interview here:

“How the Governor could do this to Missouri’s agriculture industry is a mystery to me.  The flap over the oversight of farmed white tail deer shifting from the Missouri Conservation Commission to the Missouri Department of Agriculture was completely blown out of proportion.  The fact is the Missouri Department of Agriculture already does all of the testing for disease in farm deer.  In addition, these farm deer are the property of the farm owners, not the Conservation Commission,” says Purdom.

“These bills contained several important issues to all of Missouri’s farmers and ranchers including:Missouri

  • Enacts the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act, which is an innovative program that dovetails in with the new Dairy Title of the Federal Farm Bill;
  • Increases the hauling limits for livestock on Missouri highways;
  • Modifies provisions relating to evidence of financial responsibility for certified commercial pesticide applicators;
  • Enables Missouri cattle producers the opportunity to vote whether or not they want to increase their investment in the Missouri beef checkoff;
  • Extends the equine liability waiver to all livestock; and
  • Continues the large animal veterinarian student loan program.

“The pressure of finding local milk for our 15 dairy processing plants has reached a critical stage,” says Ted Barlows, president of the Missouri Dairy Products Association (MDPA).

“A University of Missouri study showed in 2011 that Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industry revenues translated into statewide total economic output worth $7.7 billion.  When you include the jobs, created at the farm level and with additional suppliers, a total of 23,297 jobs were supported providing $1.2 billion in labor income to Missourians in 2011.

“Missouri’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $2.0 billion larger due to the value added by

Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industries,” says Barlows.

Thirteen Missouri agriculture groups had urged Governor Nixon to “stand with Missouri agriculture” and sign these bills.  These organizations included FCS Financial, Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Dairy Products Association, Missouri Deer Association, Missouri Egg Council, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, Missouri Pork Producers Association, Missouri Poultry Federation and the Missouri Soybean Association.
Read more: http://dairybusiness.com/seo/headline.php?title=local-dairy-left-out-in-the-cold&date=2014-07-09&table=features#ixzz37UAB4mRJ

WASDE: 2015 Milk Output Estimate Raised; 2014 Lowered

July 11, 2014 — USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released July 11, lowered the milk production forecast for 2014 from last month as slower growth in output per cow more than offsets a more rapid expansion in cow numbers. The forecast for 2015 is raised as higher milk prices and lower feed costs are expected to support more rapid growth in cow numbers and output per cow.

Export forecasts for 2014 are lowered on a fat basis but raised on a skim-solids basis. High domestic butter prices are expected to limit export opportunities, but nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) exports are expected to remain strong. For 2015, no change is forecast to fat-basis exports, but strength in NDM/SMP sales will help support higher skim-solids exports.

Product prices are forecast higher for 2014 with strength in butter prices expected to carry into 2015. Despite increased production, robust domestic demand and stronger NDM/SMP exports will support prices.    Class III and Class IV prices for 2014 are raised on stronger component product prices and the Class IV price forecast for 2015 is raised reflecting strength in butter prices. The all milk price is forecast at $23.25 to $23.55 per cwt for 2014, and $19.75 to $20.75 per cwt for 2015.

• 2014 production and marketings were projected at 205.9 billion lbs. and 204.9 billion lbs., respectively. Both are down 200 million lbs. from last month’s projections. If realized, 2014 production and marketings would be up 2.3% from 2013.

• 2015 production and marketings were projected at 212.4 billion lbs. and 211.4 billion lbs., respectively. Both are up 300 million lbs. from a month ago. If realized, 2015 production and marketings would be up about 3.2% from 2014.     Fat-basis exports are forecast lower on increased competition from traditional exporters, primarily in butterfat markets. Continued strength in nonfat dry milk (NDM) will help limit declines in skim-solids exports. Fat-basis import forecasts are expected to be about the same as 2014 but skim-solids imports will be lower. With higher domestic production, cheese, butter, NDM, and whey prices are forecast lower. Both Class III and Class IV prices are forecast lower. The all milk price is forecast at $19.70 to $20.70 per cwt for 2015.

Fat basis imports are forecast lower while skimsolids imports are higher. Exports are raised on stronger sales of NDM, butterfat and cheese. Butter and whey prices are raised from last month while NDM is lower. Cheese is unchanged but the range is

narrowed. The Class III price is raised on higher whey prices. Class IV is up as higher prices for butter more than offset reduced prices for NDM. The all milk price is forecast to average $22.70 to $23.00 per cwt.

 

Dairy price forecasts 

Estimated Forecast

Product 2013 2014 2015    

Class III ($/cwt) 17.99 21.00-21.30 16.95-17.95

Class IV ($/cwt) 19.05 21.95-22.35 18.70-19.80

All milk ($/cwt) 20.05 23.25-23.55 19.75-20.75

Cheese ($/lb.) 1.7683 2.0300-2.0600 1.6700-1.7700

Butter ($/lb.) 1.5451 1.9650-2.0250 1.6500-1.7800

NFDM ($/lb.) 1.7066 1.8350-1.8650 1.6050-1.6750

Dry whey (¢/lb.) 0.5902 0.6350-0.6550 0.5500-0.5800

WASDE Crop Update    Projected 2014/15 U.S. feed grain supplies in today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE) are raised with increases for corn and sorghum beginning stocks and higher expected sorghum production. Corn production is projected 75 million bushels lower based on harvested acres from the June 30 Acreage report. The national average corn yield remains projected at a record 165.3 bushels per acre.       Favorable early July crop conditions and weather support an outlook for record yields across most of the Corn Belt, however, for much of the crop, the critical pollination period will be during middle and late July. At the projected 13,860 million bushels, this year’s crop remains just 65 million bushels below last year’s record.

Corn use changes for 2014/15 are limited to a 50-million-bushel reduction in expected feed and residual use based on the lower production projection and higher projected sorghum feed and residual use. Sorghum food, seed, and industrial use, exports, and ending stocks are also raised for 2014/15 with sorghum production projected up 50 million bushels on the higher area reported in the Acreage report. Corn ending stocks are projected up 75 million bushels with a higher carryin and lower feed and residual use more than offsetting the small acreage-driven decline in production. The projected range for the season-average corn price is lowered 20 cents on each end to $3.65 to $4.35 per bushel.

Lower farm prices are also projected for sorghum, barley, and oats. A number of 2013/14 feed grain supply and use changes are made this month reflecting June 1 stocks estimates from the June 30 Grain Stocks and based on final marketing-year barley and oats trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Projected corn feed and residual use is lowered 125 million bushels based on lower-than-expected March-May disappearance as indicated by the June 1 stocks.

Corn used to produce ethanol is projected 25 million bushels higher based on the pace of ethanol production to date and lower projected sorghum food, seed, and industrial use, most of which is for ethanol.

Sorghum exports are projected up 10 million bushels reflecting continued steady export sales and the large 2013/14 outstanding sales balance. Projected 2013/14 farm prices for corn and sorghum are lowered this month as favorable weather for developing 2014 crops reduce summer price prospects.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2014/15 are projected 7.0 million tons higher with larger beginning stocks for the United States, Brazil, and China and larger production for China, the EU, Ukraine, Russia, and Serbia. Lower corn production for the United States and lower corn, barley, and oats production for Canada partly offset this month’s increases in world coarse grain output. World barley production is higher with larger crops expected in Ukraine and Russia.

Foreign corn production for 2014/15 is raised 1.7 million tons. China corn production is up 2.0 million tons on higher expected area. China 2013/14 corn production is also raised, up 0.8 million tons based on the latest government estimates that include higher area. EU 2014/15 corn production is raised 0.4 million with larger crops expected in Germany and France. Serbia corn production is also raised 0.3 million tons. Partly

offsetting is a 0.9-million-ton reduction in Canada corn reflecting the lower planted area recently reported by Statistics Canada. Brazil corn production is unchanged for 2014/15, but raised 2.0 million tons for 2013/14 based on higher area indications for second crop corn. Global 2014/15 corn trade is nearly unchanged with a reduction for Canada exports partly offset by an increase for Serbia. For 2013/14, world corn trade is raised with higher imports for the EU and South Korea more than offsetting a reduction for China. Corn exports for 2013/14 are raised for Canada, the EU, and Russia. Global corn consumption is lowered slightly for both 2013/14 and 2014/15 mostly reflecting the lower U.S. feed and residual use projections.

Global 2014/15 corn ending stocks are projected 5.4 million tons higher with increases for China, Brazil, and the United States more than offsetting the Canada reduction.

U.S. oilseed production for 2014/15 is projected at 113.1 million tons, up 5.0 million tons with higher soybean production accounting for most of the change. Soybean production is projected at a record 3,800 million bushels, up 165 million due to increased harvested area. Harvested area, forecast at 84.1 million acres in the June 30 Acreage report, is 3.6 million above the June forecast. The soybean yield is projected at 45.2 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month. Soybean supplies are 180 million bushels above last month’s forecast due to higher beginning stocks and production.

Soybean crush is projected at 1,755 million bushels, up 40 million reflecting increased domestic soybean meal disappearance in line with adjustments for 2013/14 and higher U.S. soybean meal exports that offset lower projected exports for India. Soybean exports for 2014/15 are raised 50 million bushels to 1,675 million reflecting record U.S. supplies and lower prices.

U.S. soybean ending stocks are projected at 415 million bushels, up 90 million. If realized, projected stocks would be the highest since 2006/07.

Prices for soybeans and products for 2014/15 are all reduced. The U.S. season-average soybean price is projected at $9.50 to $11.50 per bushel, down 25 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $350 to $390 per short ton, down 5 dollars on both ends. The soybean oil price range is projected at 36 to 40 cents per pound, down 1 cent on both ends.

Global oilseed production for 2014/15 is projected at a record 521.9 million tons, up 5.8 million from last month with soybeans and rapeseed accounting for most of the change. Global soybean production is projected at 304.8 million tons, up 4.8 million mostly due to higher production in the United States. Higher soybean production is also projected for Russia and Ukraine, both reflecting higher harvested area. Lower soybean production for India resulting from reduced harvested area partly offsets these gains. Harvested area is reduced based on planting delays resulting from the slow development of the monsoon in the main soybean producing states.

Read the complete WASDE at: http://www.usda.gov.oce/commodity/wasde/latest.pdf.

Source:?USDA WASDE report, July 11, 2014

Commercial Demand Still Pretty Good

July 11, 2014 — Jerry Dryer, editor of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst, was back on Friday’s DairyLine to report his commercial disappearance data after factoring in USDA’s

Jerry Dryer Dairy Market Analyst

Jerry Dryer
Dairy Market Analyst

latest Dairy Products report last Friday. Dryer prefers to examine the data in three month averages rather than monthly data. He reported that demand was still pretty good through May, adding the caveat that it may have since hit the wall in some respects or at least slowed down.

March, April, May American cheese sales were up about 2 percent, other cheese was up almost 3 percent so the cheese category was holding despite the higher prices at retail.    Butter disappearance was up almost 8 percent, although a lot of that was driven by exports, which have now softened because of the high prices. The other side of that, according to Dryer, is that butter stocks are very low, due to that strong demand.

“Typically at the end of May, we have 51 days worth of butter in the cooler, getting ready for the holiday season,” Dryer warned, “And this year we have 35 and a half days worth of product in the cooler so it’s bullish on the butter side of the business.”

The milk powder business, which includes milk protein concentrate, skim milk powder and nonfat dry milk, has slowed down and is below a year ago, he said, by about 0.3 percent for that three month period, but that’s actually a recovery from early in the year.

The whey business “stays in the dumper,” according to Dryer, down 10 percent in that three month period.    “The key products driving milk prices, cheese and butter have good sales, good disappearance through the end of May,” he concluded, but “They’re slowing some now as the import orders back off a little bit because of prices and retail sales back off because of higher prices.”

EPA’s Guidance Hits Rough Water

July 10, 2014 — The National Milk Producers Federation has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw recent guidance concerning when farmers must seek Clean Water Act permits for a long list of normal farming activities near wetlands.

NMPF, the voice of more than 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, D.C., said the EPA’s proposal could have the perverse effect of discouraging water conservation, by changing the long-standing relationship between farmers and the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NMPF said the guidance changes NRCS’s role from that of a conservation partner to an enforcer of the Clean Water Act on EPA’s behalf.

“Our concern is if this EPA guidance were to stand the way it’s been proposed, the NRCS would no longer be a place where dairy farmers and others could go for conservation

Chris Galen, NMPF

Chris Galen, NMPF

advice,” NMPF’s Chris Galen reported on a recent DairyLine Radio program. “NRCS would instead become an enforcer for the EPA and would ultimately set back conservation efforts.”

The EPA guidance, officially called an Interpretive Rule, was issued in March. It says producers are only exempt from needing Clean Water Act permits for more than 50 routine farming practices if they comply with detailed NRCS technical conservation standards. Until now, these standards have been voluntary, and the farming practices exempt from the permit process.

“Until now, NRCS has been the place producers could go for conservation advice, while EPA was charged with ensuring compliance with the Clean Water Act,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s Vice President for Sustainability & Scientific Affairs. “The cooperative relationship with NRCS made it more likely farmers would adopt water conservation practices.

“Unfortunately,” Jonker said, “the interpretive rule moves NRCS into an enforcement role and, in the process, could set back conservation efforts.”

In its comments, NMPF used harvesting hay as an example. Under the Interpretive Rule, farmers harvesting hay may be exempt from needing a CWA permit only if they follow NRCS Conservation Practice Standard No. 511:  four pages of criteria covering timing of the harvest, moisture content of the hay, length of the cut hay, stubble height and much more.

“Many dairy farmers harvest hay without any reference to NRCS standards,” said Jonker.  “Will these farmers now be forced to comply with Standard No. 511? If so, many will simply choose not to work with the NRCS. As a result, there will be less water conservation on farms, not more.”

Jonker noted that NMPF has drawn up a detailed environmental handbook based on NRCS standards but tailored specifically to dairy farmers. “Under the IR, producers who follow the handbook apparently will not qualify for a permit exemption,” Jonker said. “Having invested time and money in producing the handbook, NMPF is now forced to ask if it was worth it to try to do the right thing.”

Additional points in the NMPF comments:

• While EPA argues that meeting the NRCS standards is still voluntary, in practice it is mandatory, since failure to comply may expose farmers to legal liability.
• More than 100 farming practices covered by NRCS standards but not listed the IR are left under a “cloud of suspicion” and further expose farmer to legal liability.
• As a major policy change, the IR should have been issued as a proposed regulation, with public comments in advance of approval, rather than as guidance that is immediately applicable.

“NMPF and its members are committed to protecting U.S. waterways through voluntary efforts and regulatory compliance with the Clean Water Act,” NMPF said. “(But) the IR will have the perverse impact of harming the longstanding trust and cooperative relationship between producers and NRCS.  Consequently, water quality improvements will be adversely impacted.”

Established initially the 1930s, the NRCS provides voluntary help to farmers who want to conserve the resources on their farms.

In May, NMPF urged the Environmental Protection Agency to allow more time to examine a controversial draft regulation expanding the waterways subject to regulation under the federal Clean Water Act. That request was granted on June 10th.

The Benefits of Whey

July 8, 2014 — There is some exciting new research on the health benefits of whey. Whey is, in fact, one of America’s top export products, according to Alan Levitt of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

“We shipped more than a billion dollars’ worth of whey products overseas last year,” he said. “So we see that consumer interest in protein – both in the United States and overseas – has never been higher, particularly from the diet and fitness community.”

He says one of the behind-the-scenes projects USDEC is involved with is getting whey into the diets of vulnerable populations – such as people suffering from HIV or chronic malnutrition in developing countries.

The British Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a four-year study that found people living with HIV who are starting anti-retro-viral therapy have a better prognosis when they take food supplements that contain whey.

“Now that we have the science to prove it, we can communicate these findings to policy makers so this becomes the standard of care,” Levitt said.USDEC

The study was conducted by independent third-party researchers in Ethiopia using WPC 80 from the United States. But the U.S. dairy industry funded the study through USDEC and the Dairy Research Institute.

USAID, which is the lead government agency that provides foreign aid to poor countries, just announced a new strategy with an increased emphasis on nutrition for the food it distributes. This new strategy means they’ll want to use more dairy ingredients in the products they buy and distribute for food aid.

USDEC is also encouraged that the new strategy recognizes the importance of improving nutrition in the 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday.

“We know this is a critical time for cognitive and physical development and dairy can play an important role in preventing malnutrition,” Levitt reported. “This, too, has been a long-time USDEC priority, and we’ve done a lot of work over the last few years, working with scientists and government officials to help make this happen.”

Besides the altruistic goal of helping feed sick and hungry people, Levitt says there is also a commercial benefit to these programs.

“Of course it’s great to feed the sick and hungry, but we think that ultimately better child nutrition results in healthier, more active members of society,” he said.

And that leads to economic growth and increased dairy demand in developing countries, which are important customers for U.S. dairy products.

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