Dairy Strong preparing for its fifth year

Hundreds of dedicated members of the U.S. dairy community will gather Jan. 23-24, 2019, at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, in Madison, Wis., for the fifth annual Dairy Strong conference.
Dairy Strong organizers work hard to build content that is relevant to opportunities and challenges faced by today’s dairy farmers.

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Edge praises passage of NAFTA replacement

GREEN BAY — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative representatives praised Friday’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a replacement for NAFTA — but said more needs to be done to resolve tariff issues that continue to hurt farmers. The Co-op represents dairy farmers not only in Wisconsin, but across the Midwest.
According to Edge President Brody Stapel, USMCA includes important provisions for dairy, including retaining market certainty with Mexico, protecting common cheese names in the Mexican market, adding transparency provisions for oversight of Canada’s internal pricing structure and placing limits on certain Canadian exports. The deal still needs to be approved by Congress, a process that will likely push into 2019.

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Turning manure into fuel

Crews broke ground this past summer on a new project that would allow Pagel’s Ponderosa in Kewaunee County, Wis., to produce biogas that can be used as natural gas fuel for buses and trucks.

By Jesse Cameron
By early 2019, cow manure from several dairy farms in northeastern Wisconsin will be turned into fuel for trucks and buses on the West Coast.
DTE Biomass Energy, based in Detroit, is bringing the effort to life as part of a renewable energy initiative. Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, a Dairy Business Association member, is the first partner. Ground was broken for a processing facility earlier this fall at the farm.
It’s seen as a win-win. The farm will reduce its environmental impact, and DTE will do the same by creating renewable natural gas, which burns more cleanly than gasoline or diesel.

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New Dairy Revenue Protection plan aids farmers

By Aaron Gransee
Investors Community Bank

A subsidized, pooled, put option is one way to think of the new Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) plan of insurance. To put it simply, insureds choose when to insure their milk, how much milk to insure, how to price their milk and whether to add a multiplier to increase any indemnity paid. That’s it.
Sales take place every business day beginning at approximately 4 p.m. and end at 9 a.m. the following day. Coverage is available on a quarterly basis and can be purchased up to five quarters out. That being said, insureds who want to insure milk during the first quarter of 2019 would be insuring January, February and March milk, meaning a three-month pool of milk is insured together, per policy written. Continue reading “New Dairy Revenue Protection plan aids farmers”

Stapel adjusts to Edge Co-op presidency

Wisconsin farmer balances role with running dairy

By Jesse Cameron
It is hard to imagine, but 10 years ago Brody Stapel, the current president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, was not involved in the dairy industry.
Like many kids, Stapel admitted he could not wait to get off his family’s farm near Howards Grove, Wis., and head off to college and beyond – including living in New Zealand. “I wanted nothing to do with the family farm,” he said.
But times – and opinions – change and Stapel told his wife, who was pregnant with their first child, that he wanted to bring his children up on a farm. In 2009, he started working with his father, Rudy, on the family’s farm, which milked 80 cows.
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Dairy Revenue Protection plan makes its debut

By Leah Call
There’s a new federal crop insurance product that helps protect dairy farms from unexpected declines in milk prices.
The Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) insurance plan debuted Oct. 9. The new federal crop-insurance offering is the result of a two-year effort spearheaded by the American Farm Bureau Federation, in collaboration with the Risk Management Association of the USDA.
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2018 World Dairy Expo winners celebrated

MADISON, Wis. — For only the second time in World Dairy Expo’s 52-year history, the Supreme Champion of the Junior Show and the Supreme Champion of World Dairy Expo are the same cow: Cutting Edge T Delilah. She was exhibited by Kyle Barton of Copake, N.Y., and is the Grand Champion Brown Swiss and the 2018 Supreme Champion of both the junior and open shows.

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Farmer-led groups focus on conservation

“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.” — Daniel Webster

Farmers gather at a Yahara Pride Farms presentation near Madison, Wis.

By Tim Froberg
No one knows the struggles, hardships and challenges that crop up daily on the farm better than farmers.
That’s why state farmers are working together on an action plan to improve agricultural and conservation practices. While there are multiple farmer-led conservation groups in Wisconsin, they all share a common goal – to protect the precious soil and water in the Badger State for themselves and future generations.
Among those who have made the most progress are Yahara Pride Farms, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, the Western Wisconsin Conservation Council and Peninsula Pride Farms.
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ADC: New trade deal good for dairy

By American Dairy Coalition
After 13 months of negotiations, which included nine rounds of negotiation discussing 34 separate policy chapters, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) finally was agreed upon by all three countries and, if approved by Congress, will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
However, the USMCA recently has received criticism from the U.S. dairy industry that it doesn’t do enough for farmers. Some felt this agreement was going to save the sector. Let’s look into this deal a bit more …
A key feature of the USMCA was removing Canada’s Class 7 pricing formula and expanding Canadian dairy markets to U.S. exports. Class 7 pricing was a huge concern in drafting this agreement because the U.S. dairy industry believed this new class pricing saturated the international markets. A win for U.S. producers in USMCA is preventing long-term expansion of Canada’s dairy ingredient pricing strategy.
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ADC shines spotlight on Dairy Revenue Protection program

The current level of risk protection on milk price is obvious with the severe loss of financial stability in the dairy industry. Now, a new program called the Dairy Revenue Protection soon will be available to protect dairy farmers from from low milk prices.
The American Dairy Coalition will discuss the new program during its dairy outlook forum held during the World Dairy Expo from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.
John Newton, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Foundation, will explain how the Dairy Revenue Protection program works and what farmers need to know. Sign up for the program begins Oct. 9.
Other key topics to be discussed during the forum include:
AG and Legal Workforce Act update: ADC CEO Laurie Fischer will discuss how wage inflation and lack of workers mean the industry can no longer wait for a new H-2C visa program. The AG and Legal Workforce Act would create a way to allow workers already in the U.S. and new workers to use a viable guest-worker program on dairy operations.
The Integrity of Milk: Kim Bremmer, a member of the ADC Executive Advisory Committee and owner of Ag Inspiration, will discuss how plant-based manufacturers continue to tap in to the reputation and nutritional value the dairy industry has built around the word “milk.” She’ll look at whether these manufacturers will be allowed to continue confusing consumers.
To RSVP for the presentation, click here. Seats are limited.