(1/26/12) Dr. Ray Nebel from Select Sires answers the question: ”What’s a good age for first calving for heifers?”
Archive for January, 2012
(February 1, 2012) Eric Hillan, PDPW board president and dairy manager, talks about staying competitive as a dairy producer.
Dr. Bob Charley addresses inhibiting yeast growth. Segment aired 1/24/12.
(January 27, 2012) Most American’s are probably collecting the information to fill out their federal and state tax forms, and they’ll be comparing their 2011 income to the year before. Dairy Profit Weekly editor Dave Natzke provided to DairyLine how much income the nation’s nine million dairy cows made last year.
Every year about this time Natzke calculates what the ”average” dairy cow earned the year before, based on the simple average annual milk price and milk production per cow. Based on gross income, at least, our dairy cows had more earning power in 2011.
According to preliminary estimates from USDA, annual gross income per cow improved for a second straight year. Milk production per cow was up about 186 lbs. from the year before, to about 21,335 lbs. And, even more importantly, the 2011 U.S. milk price was up about $3.88 per hundred pounds from the year before, averaging $20.14 per hundredweight.
Multiplying the increased milk production and price, each cow brought home nearly $4,300 in milk sales in 2011, up $859 per cow from the year before. Even more startling, gross income per cow was up more than $1,650 from 2009, the year of devastatingly low milk prices.
The 2011 estimate gross income per cow is the highest on record, and when you add the increase for all 9 million cows, U.S. dairy farmers saw their gross income increase by about $7.7 billion from 2010.
Of course, that’s gross income, and the nation’s dairy cows will be declaring a few “deductions.” USDA updates its cost estimates to produce milk next week, but through November, feed and operating costs were running about $1.75 per hundredweight more than 2010, and even with the previous high-cost year of 2008. Adding in those higher costs will reduce the earning power of each cow by about 43%.
The bottom line, our cows made more, but they cost more, too.
(January 27, 2012) Butter prices received for 25 kilogram and 68 pound boxes meeting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grade AA standards averaged $1.59 per pound for the week ending January 21, 2012. The United States (US) price per pound increased 1.0 cent from the previous week.
Cheddar Cheese prices received for US 40 pound blocks averaged $1.59 per pound for the week ending January 21, 2012. The price per pound increased 1.8 cents from the previous week. The price for US 500 pound barrels adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $1.61 per pound, down 0.3 cent from the previous week.
Dry Whey prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade standards averaged 71.1 cents per pound for the week ending January 21, 2012. The US price per pound increased 0.9 cent from the previous week.
Nonfat Dry Milk prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Grade A standards averaged $1.37 per pound for the week ending January 21, 2012. The US price per pound decreased 5.0 cents from the previous week.
Olympian Rulon Gardner has faced many challenges in his life, but one of his biggest was growing up on a dairy farm.
(January 26, 2012) he National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) praised USDA’s updated school meal standards that continue to stress the nutritional benefits of low-fat and fat-free milk and dairy products.
A final version of those standards was released Jan. 25 by USDA, following more than a year of public comment and review. NMPF submitted comments to USDA last April focusing on the nutrient package of milk and dairy foods, which will continue to be a core component of school meals, with fluid milk being offered at all meals.
“The updated nutrition standards require that low-fat or fat-free milk remain a part of every school meal,” said NMPF president and CEO Jerry Kozak. “That’s essential, given that milk is the single largest contributor of nutrients in kids’ diets. A single glass of milk delivers a very affordable package of nine essential nutrients important to good health, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein and vitamins A, D and B12.”
In addition, Kozak said, including both plain and flavored milk in school meals is a sure-fire way to make diets more nutritious. “Milk, including chocolate milk, is the No. 1 source of three out of four nutrients cited by the U.S Dietary guidelines as lacking in children’s diets,” he said, “and chocolate milk is the drink-of-choice in school meal lines. Research shows that milk consumption can drop 35% or more when flavored milk is removed.” While Kozak said NMPF would have preferred if USDA allowed low-fat flavored milk in school meals along with fat-free flavored milk, “it’s essential that chocolate milk, in particular, remain available in school cafeterias to assure children are getting the nutrients milk provides.”
Kozak noted that, since 2006, the dairy industry has proactively reduced the sugar in flavored milk by nearly 40%, and flavored milk contributes only three percent of the added sugar in children’s diets.
“By comparison, fruit drinks and soft drinks contribute 45% of added sugar in kids’ diets,” Kozak said, “and many of these beverages provide few or no nutritional benefits.”
Kozak also praised USDA for keeping low-fat and fat-free yogurt and cheese on school breakfast and lunch menus. “Yogurt and cheese are kid-friendly solutions to help meet protein requirements,” he said. “They are favorites at home so it’s only natural that schools also should offer these products.”
Kozak noted that nearly two-thirds of the cheese distributed to schools by USDA in the last school year was lower-fat varieties, and now nearly all the processed American and blended cheese USDA has available for schools will contain at least 25% less sodium.
“This also reflects the commitment of both USDA and the dairy industry to the address the problem of childhood obesity,” Kozak said.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 31 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information
(January 23, 2012) Milk production in the 23 major States during December totaled 15.4 billion pounds, up 2.7 percent from December 2010. November revised production at 14.7 billion pounds, was up 2.2 percent from November 2010. The November revision represented an increase of 3 million pounds or less than 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.
Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,818 pounds for December, 27 pounds above December 2010.
The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.49 million head, 99,000 head more than December 2010, and 12,000 head more than November 2011.
October – December Milk Production up 2.3 Percent
Milk production in the U.S. during the October – December quarter totaled 48.7 billion pounds, up 2.3 percent from the October – December quarter last year. The average number of milk cows in the U.S. during the quarter was 9.22 million head, 86,000 head more than the same period last year.
(January 20, 2012) Dr.Mike Hutjens, dairy extension specialist at the University of Illinois, discusses by-product feeds.
(January 19, 2012) Dr. Ray Nebel, Select Sires reproductive management specialist, continues his series on semen handling techniques. This week he discusses how many straws you should thaw at one time.