California Dairy Industry Headline News

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • West Petaluma duck ranch investigated after activists shoot secret video - - An animal rights group is accusing a longtime Petaluma duck ranch of animal cruelty after one of its members got a job at the farm and secretly videotaped what she believed was evidence of mistreatment. Sheriffs officials who investigated the groups allegations said Wednesday, however, they found no evidence of animal cruelty at Reichardt Duck Farm. The group, Mercy for Animals, brought the video to the Sonoma County Sheriffs Office, which launched an investigation into practices at the Middle Two Rock ranch. The investigation brought deputies, a detective, two veterinarians and an animal control officer to the property Wednesday. Sheriffs officials said the preliminary investigation found the farm followed industry practices and did not violate criminal law. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 The Press Democrat
  • Undercover duck farm video doesnt sway authorities - - An animal rights group that infiltrated one of Californias largest duck farms and shot undercover video of dead and dying birds is alleging widespread abuse at the Sonoma County plant. But an investigation by local authorities found no wrongdoing, just standard treatment of animals raised to become food. A team of animal experts, veterinarians and county sheriffs deputies visited Reichardt Duck Farm west of Petaluma on Thursday and concluded that the ranch, which houses more than 200,000 ducks, appeared to be in compliance with industry standards. There was absolutely no reason for us to be out there, said veterinarian David Rupiper, who was on the investigative team. These birds are very well cared for. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle article
  • Dairy producers continue FARM animal care practice adoption - - Dairy farmers nationwide continue to demonstrate widespread adoption of industry standards that assure high-quality care for their animals, according to a report released by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). The summary report, issued annually, quantifies practices by farmers participating in the industrys responsible care program, known as the National Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management). <more> Oct. 23, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • IDFA, NMPF urge states to keep restrictions on raw milk - - The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) joined with the National Milk Producers Federation to send letters opposing efforts in Illinois and New Hampshire that would make raw milk more accessible to consumers. Proposed regulations in Illinois would make legal the sale of raw milk to consumers in the state. The regulations, issued earlier this month by the Illinois Department of Public Health, would change the definition of milk available for sale to the public to include raw milk. A comment period ended on Oct. 20, and the Department of Public Health will issue its final rule after reviewing all comments. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Angst grows over Obamas plans for action on immigration - - Angst over President Obama's post-election plans on immigration is growing amid revelations that the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued a procurement request for as many as 34 million work permits and green cards. The solicitation, discovered by Breitbart News, says bidders must be able to produce at least 4 million cards annually over a five year contract and surge to provide as many as 9 million documents in the early years of the contract. That would far exceed current levels at which both documents are issued by the federal government, prompting Republicans to speculate the Obama administration is readying a sprawling executive order that could offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 The Hill
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Dairy producers grapple with persistent drought in the West - - As drought conditions persist in the Western United States, dairy farmers are getting creative in ways to conserve water and supplement feed, and the costs are starting to add up. Weve all been taking steps to minimize water usage, says Perry Tjaarda, owner of Tjaarda Dairy in Shafter, Calif., outside Bakersville and a board member of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). On the farm itself, were constantly scrutinizing what were using water for and if we need to, he says. Tjaarda, who currently milks about 3,200 cows on his farm, notes how important water is to a dairy operation. The girls need to drink, and we need water to keep things cleaned and sanitized, he says. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Cheese Market News
  • Dairy markets: Spot cheese plummets - - Class III markets got off to a stronger start on the heels of Wednesdays bullish Cold Storage report, but the Cheese spot market brought a big turnaround. Spot butter (-9¢) exacerbated the losses. Cheddar blocks pushed down a staggering 21.25¢, correcting the spread vs. barrels, which were down 8¢. As of settlement yesterday, the spot market equivalent would peg Class III near $21.75/cwt., a massive one-day decline of around $2.25 from the day prior. With the market just entering into November pricing due to the 5-week month in October, it allowed for a sharp decline on futures there. <more> Oct. 24, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • The Dairy Margin Protection Program Is It Right for Me? - - Many dairy producers have questions regarding the new government Margin Protection Program including if they should sign up for it and how it will work to protect their profitability in coming years. This paper seeks to answer some of those questions with facts about the mechanics of the program and how it may be incorporated by a dairy as part of a larger margin management plan in their operation. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Margin Manager

Environmental News

  • Senators: Obama misleading country on EPAs water rule - - A group of 25 Republican senators accused the Obama administration Thursday of misleading Americans about the scope of the Environmental Protection Agencys forthcoming Waters of the United States rule. The EPA, which promptly pushed back against the assertions, says its so-called WOTUS rule will merely clarify the agencys regulation over streams and smaller bodies of water, granted by the Clean Water Act. But the lawmakers, led by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and David Vitter (R-La.), say the administration is intentionally concealing the breadth of the regulation. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 The Hill
  • Dow Herbicide Approval Challenged by Farmers, Environmentalists - - U.S. approval of Dow Chemical Co.s Enlist Duo weed killer for treating genetically modified crops should be reversed because the government failed to adequately review its effects on human health, farmers and environmental groups said in a lawsuit. The approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also violated the Endangered Species Act because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wasnt consulted about environmental affects on wildlife, the Center for Food Safety said in a complaint yesterday in a federal appeals court in San Francisco. <more> Oct. 24, 2014 Ag Web
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest

  • Petition asks Ben & Jerrys to make nondairy ice cream - - More than 3,000 people would scream for dairy-free ice cream. Jenny Foy and Doug Reed have started a Change.org petition calling for Ben & Jerrys to start churning out vegan, nondairy ice cream options, Eater reported. The pair from Charlottesville, Va., expressed their surprise that a company that has a socially progressive nature like Ben & Jerrys does would not offer dairy-free ice cream. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 New York Daily News
  • Most U.S. farmers worried about data privacy -Farm Bureau survey - - Three out of four U.S. farmers fear data they share with companies offering big data services may fall into the wrong hands or be used without their consent, including for commodity market speculation, according to a survey published this week. The American Farm Bureau Federation said in the survey of 3,380 farmers from late July to September that more than 82 percent of farmers are unsure how companies selling data-mining tools aimed at boosting yields and efficiency plan to use their data. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 Reuters
  • World Ag Expo Offers $3,000 Grand Prize for Video Contest - - World Ag Expo is calling for video submissions to tell the story of agriculture for a chance to win $3,000. The contest will focus on the theme, "Where Would We Be Without Farmers?" Entrants are asked to tell the story of agriculture and the people who work to provide the products we enjoy. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The top videos will be posted at www.WorldAgExpo.org and the public will vote for their favorites beginning in December 2014. The winner will be announced on January 30, 2015 and awarded the $3,000 cash prize. The top video will be posted on World Ag Expo's website; will play during the show, February 10-12, 2015 in Tulare, California and the winner will be recognized at World Ag Expo. To enter, upload your video to your own YouTube or Vimeo account and complete the online entry form on the World Ag Expo website. Videos must be at least 30 seconds long and may not exceed six minutes. Anyone of any age is eligible to enter. All videos must be submitted by December 1, 2014. Visit www.worldagexpo.org/video-contest for full rules and online entry form. Oct. 24, 2014 World Ag Expo press release

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30, Tuesday, November 6 (note the change from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, and one class) and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • California to Host Listening Session on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA. The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Led by GMO labeling, Oregon ranks 3rd in TV ad spending for ballot measures - - The fight over whether to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in Oregon is on track to become the most expensive ballot measure in state history. And, as one would expect, much of that money has gone toward bludgeoning television viewers with commercials. An analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows more than $5 million spent on television ads through Monday. The No on 92 Coalition, funded by Monsanto, Pepsi and other food companies, has spent $3 million while the Yes campaign, largely funded by organic food companies, spent $2.1 million. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 AP
  • White House Says Immigration Plans Not Final Yet - - The White House on Wednesday cautioned against making assumptions about President Barack Obama's changes to immigration rules based on a new federal contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department to buy enough supplies to make as many as 34 million immigrant work permits and residency cards over the next five years. The Associated Press reported earlier in the day the contract proposal suggested that the Obama administration appeared to be preparing for an increase in the number work permit applications form of immigrants living illegally in the country. The U.S. government produces about 3 million work permits and residency identification, known as green cards, annually. The new contract for at least 5 million cards a year would provide the administration with the flexibility to issue far more work permits or green cards even if it chose not to exercise that option. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 AP
     

Water News

  • Sacramento Valley water transfer idea leaves locals fuming - - There's a plan for water transfers could move up to 511,000 acre-feet of water each year for the next 10 years from the Sacramento Valley to the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area. The Bureau of Reclamation received a very clear message Tuesday night that people in the Sacramento Valley don't like that. Speakers said water transfers rob the livelihood of Northern California residents, will make more wells go dry and are caused by greed. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 Chico Chico Enterprise-Record
  • A First: Drought Tops List of Californians Worries - - The drought has moved to the top of Californians worry list. And thats a first. Asked to name the most important issue facing the state, 26 percent of respondents to a statewide survey earlier this month said water and drought. Thats a statistical tie with those who said jobs and the economy (29 percent), the first time thats happened since 1998, when the Public Policy Institute of California started asking the question. Thats an incredible number, says Mark Baldassare, who directs the poll. And he says he thinks its more than a fleeting response to the crisis of the moment. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 KQED
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • The Dairy Margin Protection Program Is It Right for Me? - - Many dairy producers have questions regarding the new government Margin Protection Program including if they should sign up for it and how it will work to protect their profitability in coming years. This paper seeks to answer some of those questions with facts about the mechanics of the program and how it may be incorporated by a dairy as part of a larger margin management plan in their operation. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Margin Manager
  • Dairy Cow Retirement, Down 21,000 from 2013 - - Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.96 billion pounds in September, up 1 percent from the 3.94 billion pounds produced in September 2013, according to USDAs latest Livestock Slaughter report issued this afternoon. Beef production,at 2.07 billion pounds, was slightly below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.53 million head, down 3 percent from September 2013. The average live weight was up 31 pounds from the previous year, at 1,344 pounds. Dairy cow culling increased some in September but the high milk prices and low feed prices kept the numbers well below a year ago. An estimated 238,000 dairy cows were slaughtered under Federal inspection, up 9,000 head from August but 21,000 below September 2013. Looking at the first nine months of 2014, USDA estimates that 2.09 million head were retired from the dairy business, 253,000 head less than the same period a year ago. Oct. 23, 2014 Dairy Business Update

Environmental News

  • Critics of Dow herbicide ingredient sue U.S. EPA over approval - - A coalition of U.S. farmer and environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to overturn regulatory approval granted last week for a herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California, argues that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not adequately analyze the impact of one of the new herbicide's active ingredients, 2,4-D, before granting approval on Oct. 15 to Dow's Enlist Duo herbicide. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 Reuters
  • New reports target fracking - - A pair of studies released separately Wednesday shone an unfavorable light on fracking, with one claiming oil companies are skirting a ban on underground diesel injections and the other saying minority neighborhoods in areas including Kern County could be affected by expansion of the controversial technique. Neither study by the two environmental activist groups alleged illegal activity or actual harm as a result of the widely used well stimulation process. But by raising objections to fracking, the studies may add momentum to a campaign to place a statewide moratorium on the practice. <more> Oct. 22, 2014 The Bakersfield Californian
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest

  • School Lunches: California Thursdays Project Launch Follows Success of National School Lunch Week - - To show our pride, California is taking National School Lunch Week one step further today (October 23) with California Thursdays, a partnership at schools throughout the state seeking to serve more healthy, freshly prepared, California-grown fruits and vegetables in cafeterias. The project is a collaboration by the Center for Ecoliteracy (CEL), partner school districts and allied organizations; and will make each Thursday a focal point for featured California-grown menu items at our schools. Its a great way for students to learn that their states agriculture is something to take pride in and something to take part in as well. <more> Oct. 23, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
  • CSPI marks Food Day with 10 Worst foods list - - That's the message from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which launched the event three years ago to inspire Americans to change their diets for the better and to support smarter food policies. And to help consumers mark the occasion, CSPI is passing along its list of the 10 worst packaged and restaurant foods that Americans should be eating less of to avoid obesity, diabetes and heart disease problems. <more> Oct. 24, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30, Tuesday, November 6 (note the change from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, and one class) and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • California to Host Listening Session on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA. The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Water News

  • Amid California's drought, a bruising battle for cheap water - - The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and bustling Interstate 5. "Congress Created Dust Bowl." "Stop the Politicians' Water Crisis." "No Water No Jobs." They dot the Westlands Water District like angry salutations, marking the territory of California's most formidable water warrior. Their message is clear: Politicians and environmental laws are more to blame for Westlands' dusty brown fields than the drought that has parched California for the last three years. In truth, neither is to blame for Westlands' woes so much as the simple fact that the nation's largest irrigation district is in the wrong place. <more> Oct. 21, 2014 LA Times
  • NASA Spacecraft Will Help California Address Drought and Floods - - Scientists may soon have a more accurate way to predict the extent and severity of droughts, floods and even the amount of food California can produce. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, a NASA spacecraft getting set to launch will measure soil moisture, one of the most important components of the earths water cycle. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Valley Public Radio
  • Gov. Jerry Brown touts decades of experience on water policy - - Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his decades-long political career as an asset in tackling California's vexing water problems in a speech at Stanford University on Monday, portraying this year's major water legislation as a continuation of his first gubernatorial term nearly 40 years ago. Amid the state's crippling drought, water was a top policy priority this year, including the crafting of a $7.5 billion water bond now on the ballot as Proposition 1. Brown and lawmakers also pushed through the first statewide groundwater regulation law in California's history, an accomplishment Brown called "quite heroic." <more> Oct. 21, 2014 LA Times
  • OID to consider irrigation water rate increases - - The Oakdale Irrigation District will hold another hearing Tuesday morning before taking a final vote on proposed increases to irrigation water rates. OID hasnt raised its water rates in more than 20 years. Its been charging farmers about $25 per year per acre for water, no matter how much they use. The proposed new rates would boost water fees to $27 per year per acre, plus charges based on how much water landowners use. Those fees would range from $3.15 per acre-foot for the first three feet of water to $20.75 per acre-foot for those who use more than eight feet of water per acre. Farmers opposed to those higher rates can file a protest vote in advance or at the meeting. All of OIDs irrigation water users were mailed ballots in August. If more than 1,476 protest ballots are received, the proposed water rate increase will be rejected. The meeting will be at 9 a.m. at the OID office, 1205 E. F St., Oakdale. Oct. 20, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • SSJID wins global award for farm water conservation - - Irrigation experts from around the world think highly of a water-saving project on Ripon-area farmland. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, meeting last month in Gwangju, South Korea, presented its annual WatSave Technology Award to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District. The $14 million project involved about 3,800 acres in the southwest part of the district. SSJID in 2012 replaced open-canal deliveries with pressurized pipelines that allowed more direct application of water to crops. The result was a 30 percent drop in water use and a 30 percent gain in yields, consulting engineer Jeff Shaw told the district board last week. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Drought-Stressed Crops May Be Better For You - - Tiziana Centofanti carefully hand-waters some pomegranate trees with a tiny bucket. The important thing is to go really slowly, she says. The soil is very dry right now. Centofanti is a research scientist affiliated with the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State. Shes based at the U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Parlier, a sprawling campus of experimental farmland about half an hour south of Fresno. One of the questions shes asking is whether fruit from trees that dont get much water are less nutritious, compared to fruit from trees that get plenty of water. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 KQED
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Central Valley Finds New Life In Milk And Oil - - The collapse of the housing market devastated cities like Stockton and Modesto. But the Central Valleys agriculture industry weathered The Great Recession just fine. It even saw record growth, with one painful exception: dairy. It was a bloodbath, said Tom Barcellos, who owns T-Bar Dairy in Porterville. Some people who were on a rented place, all they had was equity on their cows," said Barcellos. "Those were the ones that hurt the worst... the ones that actually went out of business first. And unfortunately some hung on until they had nothing. Others saw it coming and sold out. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • Hilmar Cheese to hold major job hiring event - - The Hilmar Cheese Co. will hold a production employee hiring event Oct. 28 in Turlock, and job offers will be made that day to the top applicants. The job fair, in part, is being done to attract workers for the new dry milk powder plant being built in west Turlock. Immediate openings at the companys Hilmar headquarters also will be filled. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • U.S. risks trade sanctions in WTO meat label dispute - - The United States faces potential trade sanctions from Canada and Mexico after the World Trade Organization ruled on Monday it had failed to bring its meat labeling regulations fully in line with international fair trading rules. The WTO said the United States had not done enough to change its labeling rules, requiring retailers such as grocery stores to list the country of origin on meat, after it lost an earlier WTO challenge. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Reuters
  • Burned on Immigration Reform, Latinos Start to Pull Away from Democrats - - President Obama's decision to delay issuing executive orders on immigration reform until after the midterm elections may cost Democrats Latino support in November, a new poll shows. Latino voters still prefer Democrats to Republicans for Congress by a margin59 percent to 25 percent, with 16 percent undecidedaccording to the Latino Decisions poll released Monday. Yet the 59 percent doesn't look as sturdy when it's broken down into the 34 percent of Latinos who say that they definitely will vote Democratic, and 25 percent who say they're "leaning" toward Democrats in the November 4 election. <more> Oct. 21, 2014 Bloomberg
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • No export bonanza this year from record U.S. harvest - - The largest U.S. grain harvest in history has pushed prices to four-year lows, which usually means a sales bonanza for the world's largest food exporter. Not this year. Traditional rivals and aggressive new competitors with their own huge harvests, such as Ukraine and Russia, are leveraging the dollar's strength to snap up a bigger share of a market that is shrinking as importers themselves boost output. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Reuters

Environmental News

  • California looks to curb methane emissions - - Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas thats 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet. Methane, the main component of natural gas, escapes into the atmosphere through leaks in drilling operations and pipeline delivery. Sometimes the gas is vented or intentionally burned as waste by oil companies, particularly in the Bakken fields of North Dakota. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new rules to target methane emissions from oil and gas, which account for a quarter of the methane emissions in the United States, according to the agency. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 McClatchy Newspapers
  • USDA to Launch New Farm Bill Program to Help Provide Relief to Farmers Affected by Severe Weather - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the implementation of a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. The Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, available nationwide for farmers of select crops starting next spring, allows eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program. Spring crops eligible for APH Yield Exclusion include corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. Nearly three-fourths of all acres and liability in the federal crop insurance program will be covered under APH Yield Exclusion. <more> Oct. 21, 2014 USDA news release
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest

  • How Chobani Is Trying To Move Greek Yogurt Beyond Breakfast - - Chobani in January will unveil yogurt pouches for babies, as well as new flavors for its snack-time flip product (their take on Nutella and salted caramel crunch) and dessert-inspired indulgent line (chocolate chunk and dulce de leche), Mr. McGuinness told a crowd of marketers. Mr. McGuinness detailed how the eight-year-old company saw exponential growth as Greek yogurt grew from a complete oddity to its current status as half of the overall U.S. yogurt market. But with the Greek yogurt craze has come increased competition from yogurt veterans like Dannon and Yoplait. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Whole Foods launches national ad campaign - - Calling itself Americas Healthiest Grocery Store, Whole Foods Market on Monday launched its first-ever national advertising campaign. The campaign, using the theme Values Matter comes as Whole Foods seeks to distinguish its offering amid competitors whove moved into its natural and organic food domain with a stronger emphasis on price. The Whole Foods campaign touts its buying standards, the origins of its products and the companys pioneering role in the natural and organic food industry. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Supermarket News

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 6 (note the change from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6) and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • California to Host Listening Session on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA. The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Analysis: California's new mandatory paid sick leave bill - By Gerardo Hernandez and Anthony Raimondo - - The State of California recently enacted a bill that requires most employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees. Previously employers were not obligated to provide paid sick leave days to employees. However, the new law imposes a number of requirements and penalties for employees who fail to provide paid sick leave. The new law, known as the Healthy Families Act (HFA), will become effective July 1, 2015, so it is important that employers become familiar with the law in order to avoid liability. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 WUD news
  • WTO COOL decision doesnt favor U.S. - - The World Trade Organization has ruled that the U.S. has not done enough to change its meat labeling rules in light of the WTOs decision on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) complaints brought by Canada and Mexico. The countries complain that the rule treats Canadian and Mexican livestock exports to the U.S. less favorably than U.S. livestock. The WTO ruled in 2012 that COOL unfairly discriminates against those countries and now says the revised COOL rule continues to do that, and is, therefore, illegal. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Democratic Assembly super majority may hinge on Central Valley - - For Democrats to coast to a super majority in the state Assembly, eight seats are seen as being in contest with two of those in the Central Valley. Those races are in Kings County, Assembly District 32, where Pedro Rios, a Republican, is challenging Democratic incumbent Rudy Salas, and in Merced County. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • GMO labeling foes spend big on campaigns in Oregon, Colorado - - Opponents of GMO food labeling proposals on the ballot next month in Oregon and Colorado have contributed roughly $20 million for campaigning against the proposed laws, nearly triple the money raised by supporters of the initiatives, campaign finance reports show. Both measures would require labels on foods made with genetically engineered crops, which are common in the United States. Voters in Colorado and Oregon weigh in on the issue in mid-term election voting on Nov. 6. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Reuters
  • California law enforcement detaining fewer undocumented immigrants - - Local law enforcement agencies in California are transferring fewer undocumented immigrants into federal custody, a change occurring as the state implements a new law barring jails from holding nonviolent immigration detainees for federal officials. Cooperation between federal immigration authorities and local police officers has become a lightning rod in debates over immigration enforcement. Advocates said a program allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to have local jails hold immigrants has led to the deportations of thousands who were picked up for minor offenses and posed no threat to public safety. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Central Valley Farmers Refuse to Give up Fight vs. High-Speed Rail - - The co-chair of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) says that with every setback they soldier on. Last Wednesday's news that the California Supreme Court declined their petition to review a major case regarding funding for the construction of the $68 billion bullet train project was met with disappointment, but not surprise. "We really would've liked the Supreme Court to have participated in this matter, but we can't make them hear the case; we don't have that kind of juice," says Oliveira, whose family owns farmland affected by the rail project. "But everything wasn't hinging on them." <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Breitbart News Network
     

Water News

  • As Their Wells Run Dry, California Residents Blame Thirsty Farms - - State and federal grants are available to help small towns that rely on wells to drill new ones, but almost no public funds are set aside for private property owners with failing water wells. "No one has thought about domestic well owners, which is a real shame because there's thousands of us," Vieira says. Some of them are middle-class well owners like the Vieiras, but others are farmworker families. Gladys Colunga's well went completely dry this summer. She has six children and lots of laundry to wash and teeth to brush but no water. <more> Oct. 19, 2014 NPR
  • Battle lines drawn over state water bond - - California voters will decide this fall whether to approve a $7.5 billion water bond aimed at easing future droughts such as the one thats gripped the state for three years in a row. The measure is on the ballot as Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. If approved, it would fund new dams in Central and Northern California; clean up groundwater in Riverside and Los Angeles counties and restore much of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where the state gets a vast portion of its water supply. Campaigns for and against the measure are in full swing, with supporters describing the bond as critical to ensuring Californias future water supply and opponents calling it a massive, misguided use of taxpayer money. <more> Oct. 18, 2014 U-T San Diego
  • Could desalination solve Californias water problem? - - Reverse-osmosis desalination was invented in California in the 1950s. But other nations with fewer natural freshwater supplies Israel, Australia, Saudi Arabia and others embraced the technology first and built dozens of projects over the past few decades. When the Carlsbad plant begins operating in 2016, it will be the largest desalination project ever built in the Americas. Desalination on this scale is so new, said MacLaggan, that Carlsbad will be operated initially by an Israeli subcontractor, which will help train a staff of California workers. The eyes of a thirsty state are trained on this project: It is a crucial test for an industry eager to expand in California, where residents are famously protective of their coastline and also accustomed to relatively cheap water. <more> Oct. 18, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • CDFA Awards $3.6 Million to Assist Farmers with Drought Through the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded $3.6 million for 93 different projects to implement on-farm water irrigation systems that reduce water and energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The funding for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) is part of emergency drought Legislation (SB 103) signed earlier this year by Governor Brown authorizing CDFA to distribute as much as $10 million for eligible projects. The money comes from the states portion of Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. The proceeds are deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and appropriated to state agencies. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 CDFA news release
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Syngenta Faces More Suits Over Viptera Corn Seeds - - Syngenta AG faces escalating legal battles over its sale of genetically engineered corn seeds that some farmers and agricultural companies say have roiled international grain markets this year. U.S. farmers in 11 states have sued Syngenta in federal courts during the past few weeks, alleging losses they say arose from the Swiss seed-and-chemical companys move to sell biotech seeds before the corn was approved by Chinese authorities for import there. Chinas rejections of U.S. corn shipments found to contain the Syngenta strain starting last November allegedly depressed overall market prices for the grain, driving more than $1 billion in losses for U.S. farmers, according to documents filed in the lawsuits. <more> Oct. 19, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. milk production up 4% in September - - Milk production in the United States in September totaled nearly 16.4 billion pounds up 4 percent from September of last year, the biggest year-over-year increase of 2014. The dairy herd increased 55,000 head to 9.26 million and production per cow increased 58 pounds to average 1,777. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • CWT Assists with 3.3 Million Pounds of Butter and Cheese Exports - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 9 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 3.252 million pounds (1,450 metric tons) of butter (82% milkfat) and 55,116 pounds (25 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese to customers in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered December 2014 through April 2015. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Dairy Today

Environmental News

  • Another warm and dry winter likely for California - - Above-average temperatures are most likely in California and most of the West this winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Climate Prediction Center. Below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States. While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California's record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state, the report says. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Agriculture Energy Conference Set for Nov. 12 in Fresno, Calif. - - The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) and the Agriculture Energy Consumers Association will present the 2014 Agriculture Energy Conference on Nov. 12, 2014 at the Fresno Hotel and Conference Center (formally The Radisson Hotel) at 2233 Ventura St. in Fresno, Calif. <more> Oct. 20, 2014 Ag Web
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest

  • Chipotle Founder Calls Competition From Fast Food 'A Joke' - - Chipotle isn't concerned about competition from the fast-food industry. The burrito chain's soaring stock price has rivals like Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, scrambling to cook up concepts that, like Chipotle, use high-quality, fresh ingredients. But Chipotle founder Steve Ells doesn't see them as a threat. "It's a joke," Ells, who serves as co-CEO, said in an interview published this week by Fast Company. <more> Oct. 18, 2014 The Huffington Post
  • Patterson farm features drought-themed corn maze - - A Patterson farm has scaled back its corn maze and etched a giant message in the fields all about the drought. <more> Oct. 19, 2014 KCRA

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 6 (note the change from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6) and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • California to Host Listening Session on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA. The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • GMO labeling in Oregon: Measure 92 turns state into 'battleground for food culture' - - Forces for and against mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in Oregon agree on almost nothing. Proponents say labeling is akin to a Freedom of Information Act when it comes to food choices. How, they ask, can the relatively inexpensive labeling of important food choices be bad for consumers and society? Opponents see the issue in starkly different terms. Not only will the measure burden farmers, manufacturers and consumers with far higher costs, they say, but it will stigmatize all Oregon agricultural products by creating a standard no other state must meet. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 The Oregonian
  • Monsanto gives $2.5 million against GMO labeling - - Biotechnology giant Monsanto is ramping up its spending toward trying to defeat a November ballot measure that would require labeling of genetically modified foods in Oregon. Filings with the Secretary of States office show Monsanto contributed $2.5 million to labeling opponents last week. Thus far, the St. Louis, Missouri-based company has contributed $4 million in Oregon. The anti-labeling camp has so far raised $10 million, compared to $5.4 million for the pro-labeling side. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Capital Press
  • Lawmakers eye raw-milk industry after outbreak - - Utah lawmakers don't want a raw milk-related bacterial outbreak that sickened 80 people and contributed to one death to shut down the fledgling raw-milk industry. The outbreak traced to unpasteurized milk from a Weber County dairy hospitalized about 20 people and played a part in the death of a man who had an unspecified underlying medical condition, health officials told lawmakers Wednesday. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 AP
  • Food Policy Action grades Congress on food movement issues - - Food Policy Action, a group that formed in 2012 to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming, has released its latest scorecard for members of the 113th Congress. Ken Cook, Food Policy Action's board chairman and president of the Environmental Working Group, said one of the most important aspects of the scorecards is letting constituents know how their representatives are voting. Voters care very deeply about food, he said. This is a way to bring the food movement' together. Food Policy Action gave 71 lawmakers - 54 House members and 17 senators - perfect scores of 100, while 35 legislators - 26 from the House and nine senators -- received scores of zero. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • California to Host Listening Session on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA. The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     

Water News

  • Temperance Dam plan is flawed, critics say at Fresno forum - - About 100 people listened at a public meeting in Fresno to sometimes passionate statements from speakers who faulted everything from the feasibility analysis to the notification for the hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for Temperance Flat Reservoir. About a decade after beginning the investigation of a larger reservoir on the San Joaquin River, federal leaders have entered the final stages of their work to complete a plan that would have to be approved by Congress. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Exclusive: U.S. farmers seen cutting fertilizer use as crop prices slide - - U.S. farmers are cutting back on spreading fertilizer this autumn in response to a drop in crop prices to multi-year lows and a delayed harvest, dealers say, warning of a pullback that will be felt from grain markets to Canadian potash mines. Ten of 12 U.S. farm retail companies surveyed by Reuters say fertilizer sales this autumn are lower than they were last year. The dealers, which span the country's main growing areas, sell fertilizer, seed and chemicals. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 Reuters
  • Dairy markets: Butter bottoming out? - - Class III and cheese futures finished mostly mixed Thursday, amid moderately heavy volume. Spot activity was also mixed, with block cheese pushing higher, while barrels were slightly lower. The trade seems to be more focused on the barrel weakness than the block strength, lately as nearby futures rallies are lackluster. Its not barrel cheese season, but barrels seem to be a better barometer of market sentiment than block cheese at this time. Still, were in the midst of holiday demand. Although promotions will be few and far between this season, market participants will have to contend with daily gyrations that may muddle the overall demeanor of a market that seems to be turning more and more bearish. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Love of Pizza Spreads - - Americans continue to increase their consumption of pizza, which means demand for pizza cheeses will continue to grow, but Americans are not alone in their love of the cheese-topped flatbread pie. Pizza has been dubbed the worlds most popular food, a concept not lost on U.S. cheese manufacturers, says Sara Dorland, analyst with the Daily Dairy Report and managing partner of in Ceres Dairy Risk Management, LLC, Seattle. According to USDA, year-to-date through August U.S. Mozzarella production was 6.6% above year-ago output. According to the 2014 USDA report Consumption of Pizza, about one in eight Americans and one in four males ages 6 to 19 consume pizza on any given day.  <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Big corn crop adds to harvest delays - - The record setting corn crop is putting additional pressure on farmers. Purdue ag economist Chis Hurt says the logistics of actually harvesting this crop is becoming a challenge. Even just handing this crop, he says. For the grain industry to try and get their arms around and digest this very big crop is probably going to result in some slowdowns of harvest activity. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Brownfield Ag News

Environmental News

  • Latest Survey Results Indicate Increase in Clean-Air Farming Practices - - Conventional farming techniques that cause significant soil disturbance are a major source of dust and diesel pollution in Californias agricultural areas. This is especially true in the Central Valley, where residents have long endured poor air quality. At least 10% of Fresno Countys population, for example, suffers respiratory problems or chronic breathing disorders including children and the elderly. Luckily, more and more farmers are adopting low-impact farming practices, like conservation tillage, which dramatically decrease air pollution while also saving time and money. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Sustainable Conservation
  • EPA, Jerome Cheese reach settlement - - Jerome Cheese, a division of Minnesota-based Davisco Foods International, Inc., has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to comply with the federal Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan regulations aimed at preventing chemical accidents. The violations, related to record keeping and employee training in regard to anhydrous ammonia, occurred at the Jerome Cheese manufacturing facility in Jerome, Idaho. The settlement includes a monetary penalty of $88,000, EPA reported. While agreeing to the settlement, Jerome Cheese neither admitted nor denied EPAs allegations and has since corrected the violations, the agency stated. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 Capital Press
  • California almond industry moves to protect vital bee colonies - - The importance of honeybees to Californias almond crop is written across the states landscape every February when an armada of trucks filled with beehives enters the state. Without the bees to pollinate the trees, there would be no almond crop. The importance of honeybees is now written across a first-ever set of public guidelines for almond growers and beekeepers, released Thursday by the California Almond Board. The guidelines are meant to safeguard bees, whose winter numbers have been plunging. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • UK - Why climate-smart agriculture isnt all its cracked up to be - - Theres a new phrase in town. A growing number of governments, corporations and NGOs are using the term climate-smart agriculture to describe their activities. With climate change affecting farming worldwide, you might assume we should be celebrating this as a step in the right direction. But many organisations in the food movement are wary of or even opposed to this concept. They share growing concerns that the term is being used to green-wash practices that are, in fact, damaging for the climate and for farming. Many are worried that the promotion of climate-smart agriculture could end up doing more harm than good. <more> Oct. 17, 2014 The Guardian, UK
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 6 (note the change from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6) and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

 

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Nestle opens China dairy farming institute - - Nestle has inaugurated a "dairy farming institute" in China as part of ongoing efforts to foster the development of sustainable dairy production in the market in order to secure the supply of raw milk. In an announcement today (15 October), Nestle said the CHF30m (US$31.6m) institute, located in Shuangcheng in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang, was one of its "biggest dairy investments" in the country. Nestle wants to modernise Chinese dairy farming practices to help farmers meet the country's growing demand for dairy. It will encourage the "responsible production" of safe, quality-assured dairy products. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Just-Food.com
  • Carriers are Dropping Liability Coverage for Raw-Milk Producers - - Some folks who drink raw milk probably already see themselves as risk-takers, but they may not have thought about the fact that drinking their favorite beverage increasingly means not just taking risk but, for the producers, also “going bare.” “Going bare” is what the insurance industry calls it when someone opts to go without coverage either because they cannot afford it or because it is just not available. For at least the past two years, reports have popped up around the country about raw-milk producers having difficulty obtaining or continuing insurance coverage. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 Food Safety News
  • World Food Day a reminder of everyday challenges with food access - by Karen Ross, California Agriculture Secretary  - - It is encouraging to see World Food Day observed today, a designation made possible by the inspiring work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The goal of this day is to reach a point in time when people are no longer going hungry. The world produces enough food to feed everyone on the planet. We must find solutions to the ongoing problem of food access. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
  • Whole Foods to use rankings for produce based on farm practices - - Whole Foods plans to start rolling out a system that ranks fruits and vegetables as “good,” “better” or “best,” based on the supplier’s farming practices. Most notably, the supermarket chain says its “responsibly grown” labeling system for produce and flowers will prohibit the use of several common pesticides. The rankings will also take into account factors such as water and energy use. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 AP
     

Water News

  • $7.5 billion question faces California water users - - Seventh-generation farmer Phil Sites is caught in the middle of a statewide debate over a proposed reservoir that would bear his family name. The Sites family settled in a little valley west of here in the 1850s, and the tiny town of Sites was named after it. Now Sites, a rice, walnut and cattle producer, is the only family member who still lives there, although his cousins and his wife’s family also own property in the area. But the proposed Sites Reservoir is on the short list of projects that could get funding from Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot. If built, the reservoir would flood the Sites farm and neighboring ranches. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 Capital Press
  • Prop 1 sparks heated debate over water resources - - The war over water is heating up, with battle lines being drawn over Proposition 1 -- California's $7.1 billion water bond that was placed on the November ballot. Leading the fight for Prop 1 is Gov. Jerry Brown. Campaign records from the Fair Political Practices Commission showed the Brown for Governor 2014 campaign has pumped $875,765 into Prop 1 in a fight over water that Californians have been waging for generations. On Wednesday, a coalition of fishermen and environmentalists announced their opposition to Prop 1. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 KCRA

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Dairy should remain profitable in 2015 - - Dairy producers are coming off a tremendously profitable 2014, and the outlook for 2015 is promising. “Feed costs have dropped and should be lower next year,” says Joe Horner, University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist. However, Horner says milk prices are expected to drop as well. Dairy production next year will still be profitable, but not as profitable as in 2014. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 Dairy Herd Network
  • Butter, cheese prices tumble - - The cash price for a pound of butter on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has fallen 54 cents in three days, reversing a trend of skyrocketing prices for dairy products that had gripped the market during late summer. Butter settled Wednesday at $2.265 a pound on the CME. It hit a record high of $3.06 on Sept. 19. The cash price for barrel cheddar cheese settled at $2.095 a pound, down from its record high of $2.49 on Sept. 22. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Yogurt is now official New York state snack - - All kidding aside, New York now has an official state snack, and it is yogurt. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday that gives the dairy product official distinction as the state snack. The idea of making yogurt the state’s official snack came from a fourth-grade class from western New York. But lawmakers have taken some heat for the proposal after the state Senate’s 45-minute debate on the bill was mocked by David Letterman and Jon Stewart. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Capital Press

Environmental News

  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Schools strive for farm-fresh food - - The Turlock Unified School District has been a leader in ditching bad cafeteria fare in favor of items with less fat and salt and more vitamins and fiber. On top of that, it has strived to get most of its food from California sources. The efforts have drawn statewide attention. Turlock is one of 15 districts chosen for next week’s launch of California Thursdays, a campaign that encourages the serving of wholesome foods from in-state producers on Thursdays. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 The Modesto Bee
  • Fresno State names interim deans for ag school, graduate services division - - Fresno State provost Lynnette Zelezny selected two interim deans Wednesday for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and the Division of Graduate Services. Sandra Witte will take over as interim dean at Jordan college, replacing Charles Boyer, who is leaving to head Montana State University’s College of Agriculture. Witte will work alongside Boyer in December before taking over the position in January. Fresno State hopes to have a permanent replacement selected by the end of the spring 2015 semester. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 The Fresno Bee
  • Pumpkin Prices Spike Just Before Halloween Due To California Drought - - Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns may be the latest casualty of California’s brutal drought. California's parched pumpkin patches yielded smaller pumpkins that ripened unusually early this year -- or not at all -- leading to price hikes of as much as 15 percent, NBC News reported. “Everyone’s sizing is down because of heat or lack of water,” John Boss, a farmer in Modesto, Calif., who has grown pumpkins since 2006, said in an interview aired Monday on public radio station KPCC. <more> Oct. 16, 2014 The Huffington Post
  • The Big Fresno Fair increases attendance - - The Big Fresno Fair marked another record-breaking year, drawing 666,621 visitors during its 13-day run. Ending its 131th year on Monday, the fair increased attendance by 3.94 percent from the prior year when 641,351 came through the gates. It was the highest attendance level since 1991 when the fair ran for 16 days. The upward trend also extended to concessions, which increased 3.95 percent over last year. On-track wagering for the fair's horse races fell 2 percent from last year. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 The Business Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • California’s Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free “one-stop-shopping” producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 4 and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location - 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 – 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls “a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry – processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media.” Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "World’s Best Wellness Resorts".

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • State Supreme Court wont take up Kings County high-speed rail challenge - - The state Supreme Court decided Wednesday that it will not weigh in on the challenge to high-speed rail funding sought by Kings County opponents. By closing the case Wednesday, the Supreme Court essentially made the judicial score 2-1 against Kings County farmer John Tos, Hanford homeowner Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors. The Kings County groups attorneys had argued that the California High-Speed Rail Authoritys preliminary funding plan fell short of Proposition 1As requirements that it identify all of the sources of money for the agencys proposed initial operating segment from Merced to the San Fernando Valley. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Ag summit expert: Expect fewer crops and farm jobs - - A decrease of 185,200 acres in irrigated Kern County crops could mean 12,400 fewer farm jobs and a $631-million loss in farm income. Kern County could come close to those numbers in 21 years, a water storage expert explained at the first Kern Agriculture Summit Tuesday. Eric Averett, general manager of Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District, spoke in a Bakersfield College gym with close to 200 students, school and ag industry officials watching. He said without significant policy shifts or other changes, Kern County farmers may produce 20 percent fewer crops in acres in 2035 than they did in 2012. That would be a 158,200-acreage loss from 793,659 acres in 2012 to 634,927 acres in 2035. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 The Bakersfield Californian
  • Feeding China: Safety of milk poses challenge - - Better feed makes happier cows equals more and safer milk. That simple equation explains Iowa efforts to help China solve one of its biggest food safety and security issues. Nothing is easy, however, when it comes to the country's food challenges. In the wake of scandals involving tainted milk, Chinese officials are pushing for U.S.-size dairy farms with thousands of cows. The thinking: Large dairies will exert greater control over every aspect of production to ensure quality and boost productivity. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 The Des Moines Register
  • Cattlemen tell Vilsack to back off on checkoff - - State cattlemens associations and the National Beef Cattlemens Association on Tuesday wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him not to create a separate beef checkoff program that they say would introduce excessive government control and lack coordination. Vilsack told cattlemen earlier this month that he would use authority under 1996 farm legislation to institute a program parallel to the existing Beef Checkoff program if they could not reach consensus on reforms. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Meating Place
  • Major supermarket chains changed how they label meat, surprising customers and USDA - - In recent weeks, Giant stores nationwide changed their labeling procedures, making it difficult for customers to know the quality of meat. Rather than providing different options, the company labeled meat simply as USDA graded a description that applies to all but a tiny amount of meat approved for sale in the United States. Larry Meadows, a Department of Agriculture official who is one of the people charged with overseeing the nations meat supply, said in an interview that the action was problematic. Weve never seen anyone use anything like the USDA graded label before, said Meadows, associate deputy administrator of the USDAs livestock, poultry and feed program. The label is truthful, but its also misleading. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 The Washington Post
  • Chipotle backs Colorado, Oregon labeling proposals - - Burrito giant Chipotle on Tuesday endorsed ballot measures in Colorado and Oregon that would require labeling of genetically modified food, providing a morale boost for campaigns being heavily outspent by agriculture interests. The Denver-based chain said in a statement that consumers want to know whether the food theyre eating has been genetically modified. But well-funded opposition groups continue to fight labeling efforts, with opponents putting their own profits ahead of consumer preferences, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 AP
  • U.S. consumers still eating meat on Monday - - The impression that the international campaign, Meatless Monday, has grown in popularity is often toted throughout various media outlets. However, firm statistics to support the claim are difficult to find, said Jayson Lusk, Oklahoma State University (OSU) agricultural economist. Meatless Monday is a global campaign launched in 2003 and associated with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health The effort -active in 36 countries- encourages consumers to skip meat one day a week, claiming it is good for the nations health and the plant. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Feedstuffs
     

Water News

  • The Risks of Cheap Water - - This summer, Californias water authority declared that wasting water hosing a sidewalk, for example was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns. It will get worse. As climate change and population growth further stress the water supply from the drought-plagued West to the seemingly bottomless Great Lakes, states and municipalities are likely to impose increasingly draconian restrictions on water use. Such efforts may be more effective than simply exhorting people to conserve. In August, for example, cities and towns in California consumed much less water 27 billion gallons less than in August last year. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 The New York Times
  • The West is bone dry. Heres how to help - - Drought is rampant these days in many parts of the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift: Youve just been given the rights to some water. An acre-foot of it, to be exact, which is roughly enough to fill an NBA basketball court so the water laps at the bottom of the backboard. Your job is to turn around and use that resource in the most valuable way possible. Youve got three choices. You could grow alfalfa in California and ship it to China, to feed its cows and its growing appetite for dairy products, and earn about $1,000, according to calculations by University of Arizona law professor and water expert Robert Glennon. You could grow lettuce in Arizona and earn about $6,000. Or you could produce tens of thousands of microprocessors for laptop computers and walk away with a cool $13 million. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 The Washington Post

Pricing/Commodity News

  • How many acres of corn are needed in 2015? - - One of the functions of crop markets is to direct planting decisions of U.S. producers. That process begins with fall seeded crops, primarily winter wheat, and continues through the following spring. The market's assessment of the amount of acreage needed of various crops in any production cycle is complicated and continually changes. Providing direction for planted acreage requires anticipating the level of old crop inventories available for the upcoming marketing year, the magnitude of consumption during the upcoming marketing year, the likely average yield, and the desired level of year-ending stocks. For corn, these factors all currently suggest that fewer acres of corn will likely be needed in the U.S. in 2015. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Robin Schmahl: Will the Margin Protection Program Impact Milk Prices? - - As more information piles up that lends itself to the idea of substantially lower prices next year, even steady cheese prices or even price bounces are having no impact on 2015 futures contracts. These contracts continue to erode nearly on a daily basis. There was a time not too long ago when the average Class III price next year was around $18.10. The average has quickly fallen back to $17.12. Futures contracts in 2015 show no seasonality, but prices from April through December post a range of just 20 cents. Unfortunately, these prices are all in the lower $17.00 to upper $16.00 levels. So the million-dollar question is, Will these prices become a reality or could they go even lower? <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Ag Web
  • GDT overall price moves higher - - Global Dairy Trade Auction today saw the overall price increase 1.4 percent from the October 1st sale. Whole milk powder increased 3.1 percent, butter was up 3.9 percent, sweet whey powder was 4.3 percent higher and anhydrous milk fat jumped 7.4 percent. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • CWT Assists with 432 Thousand Pounds of Cheese - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 2 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 422,106 pounds (196 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese, to customers in Asia. The product will be delivered December 2014 through January 2015. Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 86.622 million pounds of cheese, 48.240 million pounds of butter and 37.847 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.161 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Hoards Dairyman

Environmental News

  • High Temps Intensified California Drought - - The showers and cooler temperatures in the forecast this week wont be a drought buster but they may help take the edge off conditions that have been been making the drought even worse. Federal climate trackers said on Tuesday that the the January-September period was the warmest on record in California, besting the previous record by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The announcement comes two weeks after the states 2014 water year, went into the books on September 30 as the third driest on record. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 KQED
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • 2015 Sustainability Awards accepting nominations deadline Nov. 7 - - The Innovative Center for U.S. Dairy is accepting applications for the 2015 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. Dairy operations of all sizes are eligible to be recognized for efforts that improve their communities, environment and bottom lines. This year's program features two new categories that reflect the increasingly integrated approaches being taken by dairy farms, businesses and their partners to solve food, energy and water challenges. There is no fee to enter. Visit USDairy.com/Sustainability/Awards to download nomination forms, read about judges and sponsors, see videos of past winners and grab promotional materials to help spread the word. Oct. 15, 2014 Innovative Center for U.S. Dairy
  • McDonalds moves to social media to explain how its food is made - - McDonalds Corp. is enlisting the help of social media and a former Mythbuster TV show co-host to boost transparency about its menu items and how they are made, the second such effort in the last three years. The so-called Our food. Your questions. campaign is similar to efforts that originally ran in Canada and Australia. The program posts videos online that explore such issues as what makes up a Chicken McNugget or whether real beef is used to make McDonalds hamburgers. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Meating Place
  • Survey Shows Mexicans Drinking Less Soda After Tax - - A majority of Mexicans say theyre drinking less sugary drinks this year, and are also relating soda to health problems after the country introduced a tax on sweet beverages, according to the results of a survey by public health advocates released Monday. Just over half the 1,500 people who participated in the August survey said they have lowered their consumption of sugary drinks versus last year, while 98% said they considered drinking soda raises their risk for developing diabetes and obesity. Nearly a fifth still drink more than three liters of soda a week, although in last years survey a quarter of respondents drank that amount. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Drought taking bite out of almonds - - The prediction a few months ago was that the 2014 California almond crop would top last years. That turns out not to be the case as water issues put a bigger dent in the harvest than forecasters expected. Water availability an almost universal concern in the fourth year of punishing drought might not have been the biggest issue. Growers drilled new wells, lowered pumps in others and generally managed to extract enough of the wet stuff to keep trees alive and productive. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 4 and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location - 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014


Water News

  • Water board will ease curtailments during storms - - Since water curtailment notices went out to junior water-right holders around California this spring, one question has been on the minds of affected farmers and ranchers: How and when will the curtailments be lifted? Farmers and ranchers have seen water supplies cut because of severe drought and want to know how soon the curtailments might end, once rain and snow return. Although curtailments are not being lifted entirely, now the State Water Resources Control Board is offering a glimmer of hope. It issued a new policy last week that allows, under strict conditions, for depleted livestock and irrigation ponds to be replenished by capturing excess stream flowsshould they occur this fall and winter. <more> Oct. 15, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Governor accused of heavy-handed pressure in an end run to build Delta water tunnels - - Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. and his allies are pressuring local water districts to support a proposed environmental impact report on a long-term extension of State Water Project supply contracts or possibly lose their water supplies, says a coalition of 26 water policy reform groups opposing the proposed EIR. They characterize the proposed EIR as an aggressive attempt by the Brown administration to circumvent public input and due process over the disposition of the states water. As proposed, contracts that dont even begin to expire until 2035 would be extended to 2085. The critics say its not just a matter for farmers, as the State Water Project still isnt paid off and the proposal could mean ratepayers and taxpayers would be stuck with paying for the State Water Project and an as yet undefined list of capital projects until nearly the dawn of the 22nd Century. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Hearing this week on draft EIS for $2.6 billion reservoir near Fresno - - The federal government wants to know what you think about its draft plan to build a large, new reservoir above Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin River. Officials are coming to Fresno Thursday night to hear it. The meeting is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Piccadilly Inn, 2305 West Shaw Ave. The material might seem familiar the idea of building Temperance Flat Reservoir has the rounds a few times. My most recent story about it was last month. Activists say they dont think the $2.6 billion project pencils out. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it does, mostly because nearly half the benefit would be for river restoration, including rebuilding salmon runs. <more> Oct. 14, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • MID farmers capitalize on no-ceiling water sales - - Allowing farmers to sell their shares of irrigation water on the open market proved 13 times as popular as receiving a fixed price through a program managed by the Modesto Irrigation District. Both transfer programs were created this year to help growers combat drought, and both relied on MID canals and workers to move water among customers who were either willing to sell what they had coming to them or who wanted more for thirsty crops. The historic transfers will come up under a 2014 irrigation operations report at Tuesday mornings MID board meeting. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Chobani's search for non-GMO fed herds could require 225,000 cows - - Chobani announced on its blog last week that it was partnering with Green America in opening an organic yogurt line in 2015 and exploring GMO-free conventional yogurt. A tall task for Americas number one Greek yogurt company, holding just under 40 percent of the market, according to an April 2014 Wall Street Journal article. The companys 2013 media kit states that the original Chenango County, N.Y., plant utilizes 25 million pounds of milk per week, or 1.3 billion pounds per year. Chobani also opened the worlds largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, in December 2012. That plant is capable of processing 10 million pounds of milk each day according to the company, or 3.64 billion pounds of milk per year. At the combined capacity of 5 billion pounds per year, Chobani could be utilizing 2.5% of the nations milk supply in the near future. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Syngenta's GMO product dispute widens as farmers file class-action lawsuits - - Minnetonka-based Syngenta Seeds is facing a potential billion-dollar backlash from farmers over a new variety of corn seed that producers in Minnesota and elsewhere grew and that China has refused to buy. Farmers filed class-action lawsuits last week in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska federal courts against Syngenta Corp. and its seed and crop protection companies. The complaints claim that Syngenta crippled the U.S. corn export market to China and lowered domestic corn prices for all farmers. Minnetonka-based Cargill also sued Syngenta in September in a similar case. <more> Oct. 11, 2014 Star Tribune
     

Environmental News

  • Groundwater rule brings wave of protest from Western governors, farm bureau - - The head of the U.S. Forest Service said the agency is within its rights to prevent contamination of groundwater with a proposed directive that has Western states' governors, the farm bureau and state water right managers alarmed. Tom Tidwell, who was in Salt Lake City this week attending a global forest science conference, said the proposed directive released earlier this summer is merely an attempt to ensure the agency isn't despoiling water resources. <more> Oct. 11, 2014 Desert News
  • Pentagon warns of challenges from climate change - - Rising sea levels and other effects of climate change will pose major challenges for Americas military, including more and worse natural disasters and the threat that food and water shortages could fuel disputes and instability around the world, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday. Addressing a conference of military leaders as the Pentagon released a new report on the issue, Hagel said, Our militaries readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 AP
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • USDA Ups Expected Record Corn, Soybean Harvest - - The expected record corn and soybean harvest will be slightly bigger than previously estimated, the result of late summer warmth that helped fill cornstalks with ears and soybean plants with bean pods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday. Farmers are expected to bring in 14.5 billion bushels of corn, up 80 million bushels from the September estimate. It's the third consecutive month the USDA has increased its estimate of the corn harvest as favorable weather helped the crops develop. And soybean farmers will harvest an estimated 3.93 billion bushels, up 14 million bushels from last month's estimate. It'll be a banner year for corn, with farmers expected to harvest a national average of 174.2 bushels per acre, a significant increase over the record of 169 set in 2009. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 AP
  • Farmland prices stay up as crop prices fall - - Farmland prices in Kansas rose an average of 17.1 percent per acre in 2014, compared to a year ago nearly the highest increase of any state in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Kansas crop and pasture land, in the USDA report, in 2014 averaged $2,000 an acre, twice what it cost in 2010. The increase in farm land prices so alarmed former Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig that he issued several public warnings of a rising real estate bubble. He was worried about a repeat of a painful farm collapse akin to the early 1980s. The USDA report was released in August amid a steep drop in the price of corn, milo, soybeans and wheat. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 The Wichita Eagle
  • Beyond the corn: The new frontier in ethanol is nonfood biofuel - - The first large ethanol plants to produce biofuel from nonfood sources like corn cobs are starting operations in the Midwest amid industry worries that they might also be the last at least in the United States. After a decade of research and development, ethanol maker Poet Inc. and its Dutch partner Royal DSM recently produced the first cellulosic ethanol at a $275 million plant next to a cornfield in this northern Iowa town. Two other companies are completing new cellulosic ethanol plants in Iowa and Kansas. By next year, they expect to be producing millions of gallons of the advanced biofuel. <more> Oct. 11, 2014 Star Tribune
  • U.S. Cheese Leaves - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted two requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 422,106 pounds of Cheddar cheese, to customers in Asia. The product will be delivered December 2014 through January 2015. Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 86.622 million pounds of cheese, 48.240 million pounds of butter and 37.847 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.161 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Oct. 14, 2014 Dairy Business Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Oh My Gourd: Napa Farmer Wins North American Pumpkin Record in Half Moon Bay - - A California farmer broke a North American record on Monday when his large, bulbous gourd clocked in at 2,058 pounds during the annual Half Moon Bay pumpkin weigh-off, which has been drawing veteran growers and hobbyists alike since 1974. The giant squash, dubbed by festival organizers as the "colossal ghost," grown by John Hawkley of Napa especially large for a drought year was about 265 pounds shy of claiming the world record for largest pumpkin. That record was set Sunday in Germany, when Swiss grower Beni Meier turned in a pumpkin that weighed 2,323 pounds. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 NBC news

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 4 and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location - 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

 

 

Monday, Oct. 13, 2014


State/Federal News and Politics

  • CD21 heats up with heavy hitters U.S. Chamber (for Valadao) and Hillary Clinton (for Renteria) - - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Hanford Republican David Valadao for reelection in the 21st Congressional District, is now adding financial muscle to its backing. This week, the organization put $250,000 into an independent expenditure on Valadaos behalf. The money will be spent on television and digital advertising, according to a report on the Federal Election Commissions website. But the cash also raises a big question Is the 21st District, where Valadao is being challenged by Sanger Democrat Amanda Renteria, competitive? For weeks, the Republican spin has been no. Ask any Republican, and theyd swear Valadao is on his way to a crushing victory. The district isnt remotely competitive, they say. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • White House, SNA mark School Lunch Week - - This week is National School Lunch Week, and the School Nutrition Association and the White House are using the occasion to restate their opinions on the changes in school lunch nutrition guidelines. In a news release, the School Nutrition Association praised cafeteria professionals for their hard work and creativity. The group also repeated assertions that many school districts can't afford the stricter guidelines called for under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and that large numbers of students are either not taking advantage of the healthier meals, or throwing their food in the trash. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Environmental News

  • Cap-and-trade opponents hit California incumbents - - It never came up for a vote this year, but the dispute over Californias carbon-pricing scheme continues to frame November elections, with a group launched by oil company money underwriting ads in select legislative races. Californias cap-and-trade system will expand in January to encompass producers of transportation fuels like gasoline, compelling them to purchase permits for the carbon emissions they create. Prices at the pump will rise as a result, the oil industry has warned. The possibility of a spike in fuel costs opened rifts between Democrats this year.  <more> Oct. 10, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Industry not thrilled with new fracking rules, and neither are environmentalists - - State regulators have released a third version of proposed rules for fracking and other oil well stimulation work, tweaking things like what size earthquakes must be reported and how much time neighbors have to request groundwater testing. The state Department of Conservation released its latest draft of the regulations Wednesday and gave the public until Oct. 24 to submit comments. The rules are scheduled to take effect July 1, and because of where California oil production occurs, they will affect Kern more than any other county. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 The Bakersfield Californian
  • Californias war on endangered species: Why its most water-dependent creatures are worth saving - - Even before the region descended into a years-long drought, it was never easy being an aquatic species in the deserts of the western United States. But as need to allocate Californias dwindling water resources intensified this year, it suddenly became necessary to justify the continued existence of some of the states most endangered species. House Republicans in February attempted to override the Endangered Species Act in the interest of pumping more water out of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, calling the federally threatened delta smelt, which their bill would have doomed to extinction, a stupid little fish. Conservation biologist Christopher Norment begs to disagree. There is water enough in the desert if you live properly, he writes, and the real problem comes from the bulldozers and pipelines, pumps and wells, ditches and dams, lawns and lakes, fields of alfalfa and fields of houses, and the thousands and millions of people living a few miles or a few hundred miles away from the waters, in short, from our tendency to live as though water were a limitless resource. <more> Oct. 12, 2014 SALON
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Water News

  • Is California headed to 'megadrought'? - - For three years now, Californians have fixed leaks, ripped out lawns and shortened showers, adjusting to what officials call the most severe drought in memory. Imagine what changes might come next if the drought continues for the rest of our lifetime. Megadroughts dry periods that last decades or even centuries are very much a reality in the Golden State. They have occurred several times during the past millennium, and researchers said theres a high chance that California is about to enter another super-long dry spell. Some climate experts actually believe the state is already in the realm of a megadrought. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 U-T San Diego
  • Historic drought is backdrop for water bond vote - - Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are hoping Californias worsening drought persuades voters to approve borrowing billions of dollars for new water projects, treatment systems and conservation measures. The $7.5 billion water package to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot as Proposition 1 includes $2.7 billion for new reservoirs along with billions more for recycling water, conservation and groundwater cleanup. It also calls for shoring up levees in the Sacrament-San Joaquin Delta to lessen the chances of a catastrophic flood. The measure comes as California grapples with a third consecutive dry year and after Brown declared a drought emergency in January. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 Orange County Register

Pricing/Commodity News

  • High milk prices helping dairies cover past losses - - Record high milk prices are helping California dairy farmers recover from five years of slim to no profits and running losses, experts report, but volatile global commodity markets and the states ongoing drought remain major concerns. Right now in the dairy industry, if youre complaining, youve got problems, said Hank Van Exel, a Lodi dairy owner.Its good; its good. Jack Hamm, another Lodi dairy operator and San Joaquin Farm Bureau president, said San Joaquin County producers are particularly blessed in having better access to water than many dairies and farms farther south in the San Joaquin Valley. <more> Oct. 11, 2014 Stockton Record

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Consumer Confidence Built By Telling Dairys Story - - Dairy Management Incorporated (DMI) is working with consumer media to reach millennials and connect them with young farmers, by showcasing the younger generation getting into farming. DMI says they want to tell the story of their choices and way of life with emotionally compelling video and photos, while reinforcing the economic and community importance of a vibrant farm economy. USA Today features on its site a photo gallery and 2-minute video titled, A Youthful Return to Farming, showing millennial Vermont dairy farmers Andy and Sarah Birch of Maple Farms. A print article is expected to run sometime next week. The video portrays a clean, comfortable environment for the cows, and the hard work and compassion needed to keep animals healthy and well cared for. USA Todays website receives more than 22 million visitors each month, according to DMI, and the piece is also posted on the dairy checkoffs own Dairy Good site. Oct. 13, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • California drought perk: Better wine - - The long drought in California is, of course, bad news for most in the agriculture business but winemakers are seeing some real benefits. The lack of rain is actually leading to some of the best wine Napa and Sonoma counties have seen in a while, the Wall Street Journalreports. There are a number of perks to the dryer weather: First, less water means smaller grapes, and that concentrates the flavor, notes a vineyard president. Then there's the fact that a lot of rain can mean moldy grapes. On top of that, the sun is making grapes riper earlier, and that allows a harvest before the threat of autumn storms. <more> Oct. 12, 2014 USA Today
  • McDonald's Invites Questions about its Food - - McDonald's wants to explain why its burgers may not rot and that there are no worms in its beef. The world's biggest hamburger chain is confronting unappetizing questions as part of a U.S. campaign to beat back perceptions that it serves Frankenfood. The company has run similar campaigns in Canada and Australia and said Monday it's bringing the effort to its flagship market. The push comes as McDonald's fights to boost its performance in the U.S., where sales slid 1.5 percent at established locations in the most recent quarter, following a 0.2 percent dip for last year. In addition to increased competition, McDonald's is trying to keep up with changing tastes, with places such as Chipotle marketing their food as more wholesome alternatives. <more> Oct. 13, 2014 AP

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 4 and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location - 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Friday, Oct. 10, 2014


State/Federal News and Politics

  • GMO task force members dont agree on much - - A high-level group studying genetically modified crops and food in Oregon has completed a draft report that some members likened to watching a tennis match. The 27-page document reflects six-months of discussions among a diverse group of farmers, scientists, businesspeople and lobbyists. The Governor-appointed task force discussed a wide range of topics, from cross-pollinations to chemical loads but found little to agree on. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Statesman Journal
  • Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream co-founder unveils 'Food Fight' flavor to aid pro-GMO labeling campaign - - Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, jumped into Oregon's pro-GMO labeling initiative Thursday by unveiling a new flavor to help the cause. Fittingly, the Vermont-based company will now be selling "Food Fight" at its five Oregon scoop shops. Greenfield kicked off an hour of free scoops at one of Ben & Jerry's four Portland stores by announcing what he called the "ceremonial" rebranding of Fudge Brownie to Food Fight Fudge Brownie. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Portland Oregonian
     

Environmental News

  • State releases latest version of fracking regulations - - The California Department of Conservation has released its latest rewrite of proposed regulations for fracking oil and gas wells. The state calls it well stimulation treatments which would be more inclusive than just hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations can allow trapped oil and natural gas to flow into wells to be pumped to the surface. But it has also been blamed in other states for contaminating ground water and causing minor earthquakes. The department says the second revised version is available for review on its website, starting a comment period that closes October 24. If finalized, this version of the regulations will go into effect next year. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • El Niño looking like it will be a weakling - - This years much-anticipated El Niño is closing in, federal climate experts said Thursday, but its also looking weaker than ever meaning there is little chance it will help squelch Californias drought. The U.S. Climate Prediction Centers monthly report indicates that the El Niño weather pattern, known for its correlation with rain, has a more than 50 percent chance of developing this month or next, and a two-thirds chance of developing by January. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle
  • November workshops help North Coast dairies comply with upcoming water quality deadline - - CDQAP will host another round of free educational workshops to further assist dairy producers in complying with North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RB-1) water quality rules. Dairy farms within the RB-1 region currently operate under one of three water quality permits, which where adopted in January 2012. ALL dairy producers -- regardless of which RB-1 permit they are covered by -- are encouraged to attend these classes. The free one-stop-shopping producer-friendly workshops will largely focus on the completion and submission of the second Annual Report, due on November 30, 2014.  Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not required. Ferndale location: 9 a.m. - 12 noon Tuesday, November 4 and 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at Ferndale City Hall 834 Main Street, Ferndale. Rohnert Park location - 9 a.m. - 12 noon Wednesday, November 5, 4-H Center, 6445 Commerce Boulevard, Rohnert Park. For more information on workshops call (209) 525-6877. Oct. 10, 2014 CDQAP flyer
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Water News

  • MID water season about to end in Merced - - The irrigation season is coming to a close for growers connected to the Merced Irrigation District. The district will accept final water requests until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The irrigation season will end midnight Oct. 18, and out-of-season water will be available on a limited basis beginning the next day. The state faces one of the driest years in recorded history, and MID felt it as much as anyone. Mike Jensen, an MID spokesman, said despite that, growers and the district were able to cooperate and communicate to make the best of it. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Merced Sun-Star
  • Californias drought in perspective - - In January, the Drought Monitor first began to report areas of exceptional drought in California. Thirty-seven weeks later, the drought continues to rage. According to the latest Drought Monitor report, currently 58 percent of California is in exceptional drought, unchanged for the 11th consecutive week. Last week, temperatures soared to 6 to 10 degrees above normal, and dry conditions dominated. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Drovers

Pricing/Commodity News

  • USDA increases corn, soybean projections - - USDA has raised its projections for this years corn and soybean crops, but only by a little bit. Corn is now seen at 14.475 billion bushels, up less than 1% from September, with an average yield of 174.2 bushels per acre. Harvested area is seen at 83.097 million acres. Soybeans are pegged at 3.927 billion bushels, slightly more than last month, with an average yield of 47.1 bushels per acre. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • EU Producers Start to Struggle, U.S. Dairies Remain on Top - - European dairy producers have been dealing with falling milk and dairy product prices for months, while their counterparts on this side of the Atlantic continue to enjoy record-high or near-record-high milk prices. <more> Oct. 10, 2014 Ag Web
  • California November Class I Loses $1.76 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the states November Class I milk prices this morning at $24.33 per hundredweight for the north and $24.60 for the south. Both are down $1.75 from last months record high but are $2.59 above November 2013. The 10-month average now stands at $24.86 for the north, up from $20.16 at this time a year ago and $18.69 in 2012. The southern average now stands at $25.13, up from $20.43 a year ago and $18.96 in 2012. The November Federal order Class I base price will be announced by USDA on October 22. Oct. 10, 2014 Dairy Business Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster to step down - - Ron Foster announced Thursday that he will step down as president and chief executive officer of Foster Farms, the poultry company founded by his grandparents 75 years ago. Foster, 56, will remain an owner and board member with Foster Farms, which has a vast chicken processing plant next to its Livingston headquarters and a pair of turkey plants in Turlock. The business grew 70 percent over the 11 years Foster was at the helm, according to a news release. He had to deal over the past year and a half with a salmonella outbreak tied to raw chicken from Livingston and two Fresno plants. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • World Dairy Expo boasts big attendance, international numbers - - Those attending World Dairy Expo in 2014 likely noticed big crowds. But with the two New Holland Pavilions opening to house most of the dairy cattle exhibits, the traffic flow was definitely altered compared to the old tent structure. That made guessing this years numbers hard to judge against previous exhibitions. But with the final numbers in, World Dairy Expo reports that 77,204 passed through the gates, including 3,248 international guests from 94 countries. Both numbers appear to be near records according to the World Dairy Expo website, which lists show summaries back to 1999. Last years show welcomed 70,903 guests and 2,905 international visitors. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Dairy Herd Network
  • California wines gaining popularity in China - - Eyeing Chinas burgeoning middle class, California wineries are exploring how they can better tap into whats becoming a major potential market. By the next decade, more than 75 percent of Chinas urban consumers will be earning the equivalent of between $9,000 and $34,000 a year, according to a demographic survey by the consulting firm McKinsey and Co. Only 4 percent of Chinas urban consumer population fell into the earning category in 2000. The country is now the fifth largest importer of bottled wine in the world. In 2000, it ranked 51st, according to USDA data. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 The Sacramento Bee

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Social media training offered in Modesto - Monday, Oct. 13 - - A social media training session is being offered by the California Milk Advisory Board on Monday, Oct. 13 in Modesto. The training is open to all California dairy producers with any level of social media experience. The session will be held at the Stanislaus County Ag Center, Stanislaus building H&I conference rooms. The training will be conducted by Don Schindler, Senior Vice President, Digital Initiatives for Dairy Management, Inc. from Chicago. We recommend that you bring a smartphone, tablet or laptop so you can participate in the workshops after lunch. Please RSVP to Kris Costa by calling or sending a text to (209) 678.3466 or via email to kcosta@cmab.net.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014


Water News

  • Dust Bowl images share resemblance to modern day - - Californias epic drought continues to be splashed across major media outlets this time a Tulare County photographers work was reportedly picked up by The New Yorker. The photos were taken by photographer Matt Black near Corcoran and Firebaugh and feature without words the stories of farmers, farmworkers and communities simply trying to survive an epic drought. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Merced has to make well decisions - - A site that would have been the next location for a Merced well recently tested too high for manganese, so the city will have to pick another location but that comes with other problems. The Merced City Council agreed this week that the city should focus on another location, but said the next site on the list may be better suited for commercial development. It remains unclear, however, if the council can allow development at the site because the land was donated to the city for a well, according to the city attorney. Council members voted unanimously this week to put the decision off for more discussion. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Merced Sun-Star
  • Drought spurs more investment in new technology - - Propelled by drought and technological advances, California farms and ranches are rapidly adopting new systemsemploying both existing and emerging technology and agricultural experts say the pace of systems integration is accelerating. During the past decade, the state's farmers and ranchers have invested more than $3 billion in drip irrigation technology alone, the California Farm Water Coalition estimates. What's different today, experts say, is farmers' ability to instantly gather and compile data from orchards and fields on water, soil and nutrient needs for on-the-spot decision-making. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Ag Alert
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Land O' Lakes CEO: Food and agriculture will be the growth industry of our generation - - Move over, Silicon Valley. According to Land O' Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, the high-growth industry of the future is food production. "We operate in what I think is the best growth industry of our generation. There might be someone here who disagrees with me if you're in consumer electronics," Chris Policinski told a crowd at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's annual business conference in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday. The company's most recent quarterly statement reflects his optimism. The Arden Hills-based dairy and agricultural cooperative ended its second quarter of 2014 on June 30 with a 27 percent increase in profits over the same period in the prior year, and a 6 percent bump in sales. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • Chobanis non-GMO feed initiative surprises dairymen - - Chobanis announcement Monday that it is partnering with Green America to explore potential non-GMO feed options for cattle took Idaho dairymen by surprise. Green America has been after Chobani to keep it real for more than a year, leading a consumer petition campaign urging the Greek yogurt maker which markets its product as real and natural to switch to milk sources from non-GMO-fed cattle. Idahos dairy farmers, many of whom supply milk to Chobanis Twin Falls plant, knew nothing of Chobanis initiative before the announcement and question the feasibility of feeding their cows non-GMO feed. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Capital Press
  • Governor acts on variety of farm labor legislation - - In vetoing a union-backed bill that would have forced implementation of a contract imposed by the state Agricultural Labor Relations Boardeven during appealGov. Brown said the state should look at "the entire process" involving agricultural union election disputes and contract enforcement. The veto of the bill, Senate Bill 25 by Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, came as the governor acted on a variety of bills of interest to agricultural employers at the end of the 2013-14 legislative session. Among those bills, the governor signed legislation that will require agricultural employers to provide sick leave to their employees, and will make employers potentially liable for labor violations committed by contractors they hire to perform on-farm services. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Secretary Vilsack Appoints New Members to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of 13 members to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. All appointees terms will begin Nov. 1, 2014, and end Oct. 31, 2017. The Dairy Board was established under the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983, as amended, to develop and administer a coordinated program of promotion, research and nutrition education. The 38-member Dairy Board is authorized to design programs to strengthen the dairy industrys position in domestic and foreign markets. The program is financed by a mandatory 15-cent per hundredweight assessment on all milk marketed commercially and a 7.5-cent per hundredweight assessment, or equivalent thereof, on milk and dairy products imported into the United States. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Ag Web
  • American Society of Animal Science Issues Statement in Support of Conventional Milk - - The American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) has issued the following statement in response to the recent campaign pressuring Starbucks® to ditch conventional milk from cows fed GMOs in favor of organic milk. There is no scientific basis for Starbucks to stop using conventional milk. The U.S. milk supply is safe, wholesome and nutritious. That remains true nearly two decades after the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops in 1996. Furthermore, it has been repeatedly shown that feed crops of biotech origin do not compromise the health, well-being and ability of food-producing animals to contribute to a safe, plentiful food supply. Since their introduction, GE feed crops have become a growing segment of livestock diets, including those fed to dairy cattle. Today, more than 95 percent of the nations food-producing animals consume feed containing GE crops. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Hoards Dairyman
  • Vacancies on the Rendering Industry Advisory Board - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety (MPES) branch announces two vacancies on the Rendering Industry Advisory Board. The Board makes recommendations to CDFAs Secretary on all matters pertaining to the MPES Rendering Program. For additional information, visit the MPES web page at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/mpes/index.html or contact: Dr. Doug Hepper, Branch Chief, Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety at (916) 900-5004, by fax (916) 900-5334, or by e-mail douglas.hepper@cdfa.ca.gov. Oct. 9, 2014 CDFA news release

Environmental News

  • El Niño is favored to begin in the next 1-2 months - - Most climate forecasting models predict that the west coast weather event known as El Niño will develop during October-December, according to a report Thursday from the Climate Prediction Center at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in College Park, Md., and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. These computer models also predict that El Nino, once it starts, could continue into the early weeks of 2015. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Strip till methods get good look in California silage corn - - California farmers may be known for many things; early adoption of conservation tillage practices is not one of them. Drought could be changing all that for some as there appears to be interest in growing silage corn using strip-till methods. Californias reliance on silage corn to feed its large dairy herd requires significant acreages, and with it, ample water. Though California growers have adopted other water saving measures, including drip tape and micro sprinkler systems, conservation tillage is getting a renewed look as silage corn is typically flood irrigated. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • China to Battle GMO Crop Fear From Field to Dinner Table - - China, the worlds most-populous country and the biggest consumer of rice, soybeans and wheat, has begun a campaign to push genetically modified organisms as it seeks to expand food supplies. While no domestic grain crops are bioengineered, President Xi Jinping has endorsed the technology used to boost output everywhere from the Americas to Africa. Chinas Ministry of Agriculture said Sept. 28 it would use media, seminars and street advertising to combat the perceived risks. <more> Oct. 9, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
  • August U.S. milk production up 2.5% - - Nationally, August 2014 milk production was estimated at 17.217 billion lbs., up 2.5% from August 2013, according to USDAs monthly report. U.S. milk cow numbers were estimated at 9.276 million head, 1,000 head less than July 2014, but 47,000 more than August 2013. Production per cow averaged 1,856 lbs. for August, up 37 lbs. from the same month a year earlier. August milk production in the 23 major states totaled 16.177 billion lbs., up 2.6% from August 2013. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Move over cream & sugar, butter is new coffee condiment - - Several months ago a Google Alert popped into my inbox about butter, like it does nearly every day. This one was different, as a guy had started an entire company around the premise that you should buy high quality coffee beans and add butter to the drink after roasting for the best taste and efficacy in drinking. I can buy that, or at least sell it. The theory is that the butter slows the release of caffeine, giving you a steady drip of Americas most-popular addictive drug, instead of a rise and crash. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Robotic Milking Picks Up Speed in the U.S. - - While an estimated 25,000-30,000 robotic milking systems (RMS) operate worldwide, the U.S. counts about 500 and the number is growing, said Marcia Endres, professor and Extension Dairy Specialist with the University of Minnesota. An RMS, of course, relies on high-tech machinery not humans to milk cows. Most RMS in the world today are single-box systems, with a robotic arm serving one or two to five boxes. An RMS can be a free-flow traffic system, which allows cows to operate on their own instincts, enticing them with the tasty treat they learn to find in the milking box. The other main RMS style is a guided-flow system that takes a "milk-first, feed-second" approach by pre-selecting cows and sending them to the RMS through a series of selection gates. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Sanger livestock genetics bank truly a global effort - - A United Nations sponsored animal genetic research facility could open in Fresno County within the next two years. The non-profit conservation facility will house livestock breeds from more than 100 nations, bring world-class scientists to the area and offer training opportunities to local veterinarian students. The World Heritage Animal Genomic Repository - Veterinary Institute (WHAGR-VI) aims to conserve the genetic information of 4,000 livestock breeds who are in danger of disappearing while also helping to address the world's growing food shortage. The project is supported by the Kentucky-based Birchwood Conservancy and the Food and Agriculture Organization branch of the U.N. as part of a global initiative to help increase agricultural productivity. A delegation of conservationists and scientists visited Fresno County last week to look at potential sites of 200-300 acres near Sanger. While no land has been purchased, the group said they are eager to get started. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 The Business Journal

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Social media training offered in Modesto - Monday, Oct. 13 - - A social media training session is being offered by the California Milk Advisory Board on Monday, Oct. 13 in Modesto. The training is open to all California dairy producers with any level of social media experience. The session will be held at the Stanislaus County Ag Center, Stanislaus building H&I conference rooms. The training will be conducted by Don Schindler, Senior Vice President, Digital Initiatives for Dairy Management, Inc. from Chicago. We recommend that you bring a smartphone, tablet or laptop so you can participate in the workshops after lunch. Please RSVP to Kris Costa by calling or sending a text to (209) 678.3466 or via email to kcosta@cmab.net.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014


Water News

  • Voters Will Decide Fate Of $7.5 Billion Water Bond - - Storage was the key sticking point in getting the legislature to pass the water bond with the two thirds vote it needed. That portion of the bond includes reservoirs and projects to clean up or store more groundwater. Two proposed dams could receive the some of the bond money Sites Reservoir north of Sacramento, and Temperance Flat east of Fresno. Barbara Barrigan- Parilla with Restore the Delta says those dams are just one of the reasons theyre opposed to the bond. The proposed dam projects that are actually mentioned, those dams will be operated in a way to work with the tunnels and have negative impacts on the Delta, says Barrigan-Parilla. Legislators say they crafted the bond so that it would neither help nor hurt Governor Jerry Browns proposal to build twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Barrigan-Parilla says Prop 1 is not tunnel neutral. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • Looking at Lake Success' future - - To look at Success Lake now, it's hard to believe that years of restrictions that prevented it from being filled to its full, designed capacity were lifted in April. Striations in the shoreline show how the water line has diminished over the years, while willow have taken root past the old shoreline down into areas no longer covered by water. And more than three years of drought in the Valley have only reduced the water even more, down to just over 36,000 acre feet of water, less than half of Success' 82,300-acre-foot capacity. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • California water use drops 11.5 percent in August - - Californians facing fines for wastefulness significantly cut their water usage this summer, as community wells run dry, farm fields turn to dust and key reservoirs shrink to a fraction of their capacity. Water suppliers reported that consumption fell 11.5 percent in August compared with the year before, according to data released Tuesday. That was the first full month of mandatory outdoor watering restrictions and up to $500 fines imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board in July. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 AP
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • U.S. Dairy Industry Upset with EU-Canada Trade Deal - - The recent release of the official text of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada has triggered dairy industry charges that the authors are attempting to further restrict U.S. access to the Canadian cheese market. Dairy trade groups including NMPF, the International Dairy Foods Association and the U.S. Dairy Export Council said the text includes objectionable provisions on geographical indications, and reallocates some of Canadas import quota for cheese from the United States and other countries to the EU. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Voters Will Get Their Say On GMO Labeling In Colorado And Oregon - - Voters in Colorado and Oregon will decide this fall whether or not they want labels on foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The ballot measures this fall highlight a much larger national conversation about requiring labels on genetically modified foods. Similar measures failed in recent years in California and Washington state, and Vermont is being sued for the labeling law it enacted earlier this year. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 NPR
  • How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground - - The lunch ladies loved Marshall Matz. For more than 30 years, he worked the halls and back rooms of Washington for the 55,000 dues-paying members of the School Nutrition Association, the men and still mostly women who run Americas school-lunch programs. They werent his firms biggest clients that would have been companies like General Mills or Kraft but Matz, wry and impish even in his late 60s, lavished the lunch ladies with the kind of respect they didnt always get in school cafeterias. Many of the associations members considered him a dear colleague. He would tell everybody: You are a much better lobbyist than I am. You are how we get things done, said Dorothy Caldwell, who served a term as the associations president in the early 1990s. And people liked that. Matz often told the lunch ladies they were front-line warriors in the battle for better eating, and they liked that too. Every school day, they dished out more than 30 million lunches, all of which were subsidized by taxpayers. They also served about 13 million subsidized breakfasts. Many students got more than half their daily calories at school. Few workers, inside the government or out, did more to shape the health of children. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 The New York Times
  • Berkeley Officials Outspent but Optimistic in Battle Over Soda Tax - - Never mind the battle for governor or the struggle by Democrats to regain their veto-proof majority in the State Legislature. The most contested fight in California this fall may well be here on San Francisco Bay, pitting every elected official from Berkeley against the soft drink industry. At issue is a 1-cent tax per ounce on sugary drinks going before voters in November, the latest attempt by states and local governments to curb sugar consumption in the name of improving public health. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 The New York Times
  • Jerry Brown airing TV ads for water bond, budget reserve - - With a massive campaign war chest and less than a month before Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown will start airing television ads Wednesday for a pair of ballot initiatives on the November ballot, his campaign said. Two ads, both featuring Brown and paid for by his re-election campaign, promote Propositions 1 and 2, the $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve measure. Neither ad mentions Brown is on the ballot. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Capitol Alert

Environmental News

  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Farm bill eases away from dairy price supports - - The nation's latest Farm Bill has taken a step toward erasing government price supports from the dairy industry. For at least the next four years local dairy farmers will have skin in the game. They have the option of paying insurance premiums to protect themselves from the risk of low milk prices. Previously taxpayers have kept dairy farmers in the game. Dairy owners must decide by Thanksgiving whether to participate in the Margin Protection Program, an insurance that pays a farmer when the difference between price he pays for feed and the price he gets for his milk shrinks to a specific amount. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Public Opinion News
  • Drought cuts California food exports sharply, costing growers millions - - Exports of California food products took a dive in August, with fruit and tree nuts decreasing by 8 percent when compared to the same time last year and vegetables dropping by 7.8 percent, according to data released Friday by Beacon Economics. The cause is fairly obvious, said Beacon trade expert Jock O'Connell. An unprecedented drought has led to fallowed fields and less food available for export. Ultimately, California can expect a rise in agricultural imports, O'Connell predicted, as grocers are unable to maintain volumes of locally-sourced produce. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Sacramento Business Journal

interestStories of Interest
 

  • MilkPEP Geared Up and Ready - - There is a new level of commitment and engagement across the dairy industry, according to a posting on the International Dairy Foods Association website, as milk processors and brands, farmers and marketing organizations are united and inspired by todays challenging environment. We are all dedicated to working together to understand, tackle and reverse milks consumption decline. As the newly appointed CEO of The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Im excited to be a part of this movement and eager to share my vision for MilkPEPs future and our fluid milk marketing program. Turning around a category as large as milk is no simple task. The solution is a focused strategy with programs that have both immediate and long-term impact. I believe weve set the right course, with the right strategic roadmap in place that we now need to follow, measure success, and optimize over time. Out-of-the-box thinking, unparalleled marketing programs and a commitment to shake things up, take risks and be bold are critical to milks success. Beyond driving increased  milk consumption, MilkPEP is aggressively pursuing three supporting goals to help us move milk in the right direction. Oct. 8, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Survey says animals still considered the best source of protein - - About half of U.S. consumers prefer getting their protein from animal sources including beef and poultry than other sources, according to a new survey from NPD Group. The Protein Perceptions and Needs report also shows that beef (18 percent) and chicken (17 percent) make up the bulk of the animal protein preferences among those surveyed, with fish (10 percent), turkey (2 percent) and other sources making up another 2 percent. The last category includes pork or ham, lamb, shellfish and bacon protein sources. More than 60 percent of the survey participants also said they eat animal protein in a typical day. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 MeatingPlace
  • Whole milk needs to return to our schools - - For nearly 40 years, area dairy farmers have been victimized by wrong information being circulated in the news media regarding the need of consumers to use whole milk, butter and other dairy products. The current administration is adding to the problem by mandating that our public school cafeterias must serve low-fat or no-fat milk to all students. Dairy farmers know very well the value of drinking whole milk and using butter and other dairy products. Many milk handlers must also share much of the blame of this misinformation as they are the ones who bottle the low-fat and no-fat milk. <more> Oct. 8, 2014 Watertown Daily  Times
  • Dairy Industry Loses Avid Supporter - - There arent many people in the dairy industry who do not recognize the name Stan Bird. Stan, age 84 of Oakfield, Wisconsin, passed away on Saturday, October 4, 2014, surrounded by his family. Stan began his adult life operating a dairy farm and remained true to his roots throughout his life. After receiving his Journalism degree at the University of Wisconsin Madison he became executive publisher of Holstein World overseeing a family of dairy magazines. He was also a key long term member of the organizing committees for World Dairy Expo and World Ag Expo. For many years he was an important leader of DairyBusiness media and served the ag industry well. Oct. 8, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Social media training offered in Modesto - Monday, Oct. 13 - - A social media training session is being offered by the California Milk Advisory Board on Monday, Oct. 13 in Modesto. The training is open to all California dairy producers with any level of social media experience. The session will be held at the Stanislaus County Ag Center, Stanislaus building H&I conference rooms. The training will be conducted by Don Schindler, Senior Vice President, Digital Initiatives for Dairy Management, Inc. from Chicago. We recommend that you bring a smartphone, tablet or laptop so you can participate in the workshops after lunch. Please RSVP to Kris Costa by calling or sending a text to (209) 678.3466 or via email to kcosta@cmab.net.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014


Water News

  • Two most controversial groundwater issues fracking, Kern Water Bank - - If you follow water lawsuits in the southern San Joaquin Valley, you will find the two biggest controversies in Californias groundwater world hydraulic fracturing and the Kern Water Bank. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the newer of the two issues. A farming operation last month filed suit against several oil companies, claiming salt water from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is contaminating groundwater. The Kern Water Bank issue dates back two decades, but the latest legal decision was made last week. A Sacramento court struck down the environmental review of the 1 million acre-foot bank the second rejection of the states work on the review. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Fresno Bee

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Activists pushing Starbucks to use only non-GMO, organic milk - - Rising concerns about chemical additives and GMO labeling have caused activists to petition Starbucks to begin using only organic milk. The group behind the campaign, known as Green America claim that the coffee chain uses genetically modified organism (GMO) milk which has yet to be proven safe for humans, animal, or the planet by independent long-term studies, according to the group. This past Sunday, Green America staged an online protest with the #OrganicMilkNext to raise awareness for their cause. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Fox News
  • Raw-milk advocates plan appeal to state Supreme Court - - Raw-milk advocates say they're filing petitions with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in cases they say are about the rights of consumers and food groups to buy raw, unpasteurized milk direct from a farm. Two of the petitions were expected to be filed Monday, said plaintiff Gayle Loiselle, a food-rights activist from Dousman. They stem from cases brought by dairy farmers Mark and Petra Zinniker of Walworth County and Grassway Organics Farm Store in New Holstein. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
     

Environmental News

  • EPA extends comment period on WOTUSagain - - The EPA is once again extending the comment period on its proposed rule to redefine U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act. The new deadline is November 14th. The agency, back in June, extended the original July 21st deadline to October 20th. According to a report on thehill.com, the EPAs Scientific Advisory Board is wrapping up a report on the connectivity of small bodies of water such as streams and wetlands. The agency says it wants to give the public more time to comment on the results of the report once it is released. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Klamath River flows increased to help salmon - - A federal water agency is increasing flows in the Klamath River to fight a parasite attacking salmon. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the 75 percent increase in releases from PacifiCorp's Iron Gate Dam near Hornbrook, California, started Saturday and will run 10 days. The utility agreed to release water from Iron Gate and other reservoirs so water does not have to be released from Upper Klamath Lake, home to endangered sucker fish and the primary reservoir of a federal irrigation project. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 AP
  • Salmon near La Grange spawn debate - - Imagine a salmon, in the fall of 1893, swimming up the Tuolumne River and bumping into the brand new La Grange Dam. The question of whether these fish used to spawn above that spot dominated a meeting Monday on the future of the reservoir, owned by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts. They store most of their water in the far larger Don Pedro Reservoir, about 2 miles upstream, but they could face costly improvements at La Grange to make life better for salmon. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Vilsack says world needs to 'get serious' about climate change - - USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday laid out the Obama administration's commitment to the newly formed Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, saying it's time for the country and the world to get serious about the phenomenon. The U.S. is a founding member of the Global Alliance, which was announced at the United Nations Climate Summit last week in New York. The general goal of the group is to protect 500 million farmers from the effects of climate change and while still increasing agricultural productivity. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Dairy demand will outstrip supply by 2018 - - Global dairy demand is set to outstrip supply over the next decade, despite the current slump in global milk prices, a study by Tetrapak has suggested. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 The Grocer
  • Lee Mielke: Milk at record highs; dairy product prices down - - While federal order and California milk prices set record highs last week, dairy product prices continued to plunge, but ended the week on an up note as the market ponders whether it may have overreacted on the way down and weighs last weeks Dairy Products report. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Capital Press
  • Latest Dairy Export Data Shows Deterioration - - As expected, the signs of export deterioration are showing up in the USDAs official data as nearly every major product category declined versus the prior year with the exception of the total cheese category. HighGround Dairys Eric Meyer reports that year-over-year fresh cheese (mostly pizza cheeses) exports were up 50% over the past three months. But the wide spread between US and international dairy commodity prices is taking its toll and is expected to get worse in the coming months. Along with the anticipated decrease in exports over the coming months, we are also beginning to see import data pick up in both the cheese and butterfat categories. Total cheese imports were up 7% in August 14 versus the prior year and YTD are 3.2% (6.5 million pounds) higher than a year ago. August butterfat imports are UP 176% (1,617MT, 3.6 million pounds) versus last year and YTD, just 15% higher than 2013. The wide cheese and butter price gaps between US and international markets suggests cheese and butter import volumes will be significantly higher through at least the end of the year, if not into Q1 2015. Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • U.S. Dollar Strength Hurting U.S. Dairy Exports - - Thats according to Penn States Professor of Agricultural Economics, Jim Dunn in his latest Dairy Outlook. Dunn reports that The U.S. dollar is up against the Euro and the Australian and New Zealand dollars since my last report, although somewhat less against the Euro. The dollar is up 5.8% against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, putting our exports at a significant disadvantage in selling to Asian markets. Exports, which have fueled the high prices in 2014 are falling, but the reported trade statistics lag the market by enough that we dont see it yet in the official data. Nevertheless, the strong dollar, the Russian embargo, and strong milk production in Australia and New Zealand all are hurting U.S. exports. Read the complete report at: http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/w/jwd6/DairyOutlook%20oct%2014.pdf Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
  • CWT Assists with 5.2 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Exports - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 6 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 546,747 pounds (248 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese, 49,604 pounds of butter (82% milkfat) and 4.676 million pounds (2,121 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Central America and the Middle East. The product will be delivered October 2014 through March 2015. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Walmart Aims to Go Greener on Food - - Walmart announced on Monday an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of the food it sells and to help customers improve the nutrition in their diets. The retailer is the United States largest grocer, and food is its biggest business. So it has enormous clout with food producers and food processing companies influence that it can use, for example, to sway how much water is used to produce a crop, or to shorten the distance a load of strawberries is shipped. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 The New York Times
  • USDA Expands Access to Credit to Help More Beginning and Family Farmers - - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required farming experience to include other valuable experiences; and expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated. The changes become effective Nov. 7. <more> Oct. 7, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
  • The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture - - Eight years ago, it was a war that Zook appeared to be losing. The crops on his 66-acre farm were riddled with funguses and pests that chemical treatments did little to reduce. The now-39-year-old talked haltingly about the despair he felt at the prospect of losing a homestead passed down through five generations of his family. Disillusioned by standard agriculture methods, Zook searched fervently for an alternative. He found what he was looking for in the writings of an 18-year-old Amish farmer from Ohio, a man named John Kempf. Kempf is the unlikely founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a consulting firm established in 2006 to promote science-intensive organic agriculture. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 The Atlantic
  • IDFA Dairy Forum is January 25-28, 2015 - - The International Dairy Foods Associations (IDFA) has posted details of its upcoming Dairy Forum, which it calls a dynamic, annual gathering that brings together the leadership of the U.S. dairy industry processors, producers, suppliers, retailers, policy makers, academics and agricultural media. Dairy Forum offers exceptional opportunities to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. At Dairy Forum, a diverse and growing group of industry leaders converges each year to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. The Forum will be held January 25-28, 2015 at Boca Raton Resort & Club 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. 33432. Phone (888) 543-1277 Oct. 7, 2014 Dairy Profit Update
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

 

Monday, Oct. 6, 2014


Water News

  • In virtual mega-drought, California avoids defeat - - A few years ago a group of researchers used computer modeling to put California through a nightmare scenario: Seven decades of unrelenting mega-drought similar to those that dried out the state in past millennia. "The results were surprising," said Jay Lund, one of the academics who conducted the study. The California economy would not collapse. The state would not shrivel into a giant, abandoned dust bowl. Agriculture would shrink but by no means disappear. Traumatic changes would occur as developed parts of the state shed an unsustainable gloss of green and dropped what many experts consider the profligate water ways of the 20th century. But overall, "California has a remarkable ability to weather extreme and prolonged droughts from an economic perspective," said Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. <more> Oct. 5, 2014 LA Times
  • Could those empty Valley reservoirs fill up in one winter? - - Today, Pine Flat is only a little larger puddle than it was in 1977 -- about 11% of capacity. The rest of the state's major reservoirs are down to 60% of average, the lowest they have been in more than a decade. Long-range forecasters are predicting a dry October, November and December. But longtime California water experts say they're always hopeful that droughts could turn around quickly, and they cite 1977 as a prime example. <more> Oct. 4, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • $183 million for water projects in California - - The EPA picked a private home in Fresno to announce more than $183 million in funding would be available now to invest in California statewide projects. There were ample reasons for the choice of location. The home of Bruce and Amy Roberts was chosen because they have already converted their grass to a water-wise Arizona-type landscape both for the front yard and the back yard. They also are participating in Fresnos new water meter program. The cool feature, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs regional administrator, as he showed one of the high-tech meters, is if the red dial is spinning, that means there is a leak. You couldnt tell before if there is a leak. <more> Oct. 5, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Griswold: San Joaquin Valley drought photos make splash - - Documentary photographer Matt Black of Exeter achieved a career milestone when The New Yorker magazine published four of his photographs illustrating the California drought. All were taken near Firebaugh and Corcoran. Four may sound like small number, but it's a lot for The New Yorker. Black, 44, who grew up in Visalia, specializes in stark black and white photographs evoking the hard work and poverty of those living in remote areas, including far reaches of the San Joaquin Valley. <more> Oct. 4, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Monsanto gives $4.7M to Colorado campaign against GMO labeling - - Monsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado. Monday was the latest deadline for candidates and committees to report campaign contributions and expenditure to the Secretary of States office. Monsantos contribution is the largest of the most recent reporting period from Sept. 11 to 24. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Colorado Public Radio
  • Tax on sodas eyed in San Francisco, Berkeley - - A tax on sodas and other sugar-laden drinks that voters and courts in other parts of the country have rejected is on the November ballots in San Francisco and Berkeley, two cities that have been open to such social-engineering initiatives in the past. Voters in San Francisco will decide whether to make distributors pay a tax of 2 cents an ounce on sugary drinks, with the revenue used to fund programs promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Berkeley voters will decide on a proposed tax of 1 cent an ounce, with proceeds going to the city general fund. More than a dozen attempts elsewhere in the country to curb the sweet tooth of consumers have failed after big-spending opposition campaigns and legal battles by the $76 billion U.S. soft-drink industry. <more> Oct. 4, 2014 AP
  • California egg law may lead to ag war between states - - California law that bars eggs from states that fail to provide roomier cages for hens could lead to beef, pork and other Iowa products being banned from the West Coast state, Iowa agricultural leaders say. A federal judge threw out a six-state case late Thursday that asked the court to strike down a California statute barring the sale of eggs there that were produced by hens in cramped cages. Iowa, the nation's largest egg producer, was part of the suit. "One of the reasons the U.S. is prosperous is because we have free trade between the states," said Dermot Hayes, an agriculture economist at Iowa State University. "This opens the doors for states to put barriers against other states. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 Des Moines Register
  • Chobani begins quest for non-GMO feed-based milk - - Chobani, the yogurt aisle darling and maven of healthy snacks, is looking to check another box for ingredient-conscious shoppers: non-genetically engineered animal feed user. But saying the Norwich, N.Y.-based manufacturer has a steep climb ahead of it would be an understatement. Chobani will announce Monday that its partnering with Green America, an environmental advocacy group, in an effort to improve cattle feed in the U.S., including options for non-genetically modified and organic grains. The company has not set any mandates or deadlines, admits Peter McGuinness, the chief marketing and brand officer. Right now, its just a conversation. Understanding that the current supply of organic and other milk from cows not fed GMOs does not meet the soaring demand, Chobani is also committed to work with farmers on transition strategies toward a GMO-free and organic milk supply and to explore what 21st century sustainable dairy operations can entail, Chobani says in its statement. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Politico
     

Environmental News

  • California tries giant water coolers to save fish - - State and federal wildlife officials are resorting to installing giant water chillers in some of California's fish hatcheries, as drought, over-allocation of water and climate change all combine this year to make temperatures too warm for some baby salmon and other fish to survive. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers installed the coolers at the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery at the foot of northern California's Shasta Dam this summer when water temperatures hit the mid-60s -- too tepid for the half-million winter-run baby salmon growing there, said Scott Hamelberg, a federal hatchery manager. <more> Oct. 5, 2014 KCRA
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Global beef supplies continue to get tighter - - Global beef supplies, which are already record tight, are expected to continue tightening for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015, Rabobank analysts forecast in their quarterly beef report released Oct. 3. Consumer demand and willingness to pay for that tight supply is being tested like never before but seem to be showing no sign of slowing, helping to maintain firm processor margins, the analysts said. The prospect of tight supply will underpin a strong competitive landscape for beef. Beef processors in some countries such as the U.S., Brazil and New Zealand are welcoming record prices, but processor margins will come under pressure as they compete for beef. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Capital Press
  • Shortage of rail cars impacting agriculture - - At the Crystal Valley Cooperative, a railroad locomotive slowly moves grain cars into position to be filled with corn. As a worker prepares to unleash a torrent of corn into the next waiting car, the long line stops with a bang. "This one is going to Burley, Idaho," said Jeff Spence, the company's grain division manager. "It'll be used for dairy feed." Spence is happy to have a train to load, even though he had to wait for days. With a record harvest expected this year, demand for grain shipping is likely to be high, and Midwestern farmers are wondering whether ongoing railroad delays will eat into their income even more. <more> Oct. 5, 2014 Minnesota Public Radio News

interestStories of Interest
 

  • John Harris, of Harris Ranch, named top ag person by Fresno chamber - - John Harris, one of Fresno County's leading farmers and ranchers, was named the 2014 Agriculturist of the Year by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce on Friday. Harris is the founder of Harris Ranch, a diversified farming company that produces beef, almonds, pistachios, citrus and several vegetable crops. The Harris farming enterprise also includes Harris Ranch Restaurant and Inn on Interstate 5. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Venus Is Top Pick at 2014 World Dairy Expo Supreme Champion Ceremony - - TJ Classic Minister Venus was awarded the title of Supreme Champion of the 2014 World Dairy Expo. The Jersey is owned by Nic, Jeni, Ben and Andy Sauder of Tremont, Ill. Venus was the first-place Four-Year-Old and Senior and Grand Champion of the 2014 International Jersey Show. Prior to Expo, Venus was awarded Intermediate Champion and Reserve Grand Champion at the All-American Jersey Show in 2013, and is classified Excellent-93. <more> Oct. 6, 2014 Ag Web
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! - - Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 - Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite - For more info, please visit: www.WUDconvention.com. Tenaya Lodge and Ascent Spa named by USA Today as one of the "Worlds Best Wellness Resorts".

 

Friday, Oct. 3, 2014


Water News

  • California dairy farmers struggling to survive prolonged drought - - Dust whips across the toasted soil where Tom Barcellos usually plants corn for his 800 dairy cows. This season, there was no water to plant the crop. The third-generation dairy farmer was forced to idle a quarter of his 1,200 acres in Tulare County, land that once also bristled with wheat and alfalfa. Now he is buying feed from out of state, paying record-high prices to contractors in Nevada, Texas and as far as Australia for alfalfa hay and corn silage. Tulare, like most of the state, is struggling through a prolonged and deepening drought. Water is in such short supply that Barcellos paid $150,000 to drill a new well to ensure that his cows have enough to drink. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 LA Times
  • California Water Projects Divide Environmentalists - - A proposal on the November ballot to borrow billions of dollars to build reservoirs and restore watersheds has divided California's environmental community over fears that it could open the way for salmon-killing dams or giveaways to corporate fruit and nut growers. The rise of organized opposition to what's known as Proposition 1 comes about a month before the election, with independent polls showing voters favoring the blueprint that is one of Gov. Jerry Brown's signature initiatives. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 AP
  • California Water Fight May Head to U.S. Supreme Court - - A legal group representing nut farmers in California's San Joaquin Valley filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, hoping to reverse a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision from March that upheld a curb on water pumping championed by environmentalist groups in order to protect a species of fish in Northern California. In March, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Fresno district court's ruling that a 2008 biological opinion (BiOp) drafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was "arbitrary and capricious," and reinstated the BiOp. The BiOp affords protection to the threatened Delta smelt species of fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by imposing cutbacks on water pumped to the Central Valley and the rest of Southern California for agricultural and residential purposes. Now, the nonprofit Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) representing walnut, almond, and pistachio farmers in the Valley claim that the Ninth Circuit Court did not take economic impact data into account when it made its decision to uphold the BiOp. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Breitbart News
  • Satellite images reveal shocking groundwater loss in California - - The severity of California’s drought continues to shock, with the latest example coming courtesy of NASA. The space agency’s two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, satellites have been been in orbit since 2002, making highly sensitive measurements of Earth’s gravity field. Variations in the gravity field can be caused by a number of factors, including the amount of water stored underground in soil and rocks. This week, scientists working on the GRACE mission released a series of images that reflect the drastic loss of groundwater over the last dozen years. The image on the left was taken in June 2002, just three months after GRACE was launched. The one in the middle was taken in June 2008, and the one on the right is from June 2014. These are not satellite photographs. The colors indicate how much groundwater has been lost over time. Worst hit, according to NASA, are the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River basins, where water has been pumped out to support agriculture in the Central Valley and elsewhere. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 LA Times
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Antibiotics in Livestock: F.D.A. Finds Use Is Rising - - The amount of antibiotics sold for use in livestock rose substantially in recent years, according to the Food and Drug Administration, a pattern that experts said was troubling given the efforts to battle antibiotic resistance in humans. In an annual report posted online on Thursday, the agency said the amount of medically important antibiotics sold to farmers and ranchers for use in animals raised for meat grew by 16 percent from 2009 to 2012. Most troubling, health advocates say, was a rise in the sale of cephalosporins, a class of drug that is important in human health, despite new restrictions the F.D.A. put into place in early 2012. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 The New York Times
     

Environmental News

  • Judge upholds water for Klamath salmon - - A Fresno federal judge ruled Wednesday that a federal water agency did not violate the law when it made special reservoir releases last year to help salmon in Northern California's Klamath River survive the drought, rather than save it for farms. But U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill wrote in his ruling Wednesday that the next time the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation wants to release Trinity Reservoir water for Klamath River salmon, it needs to cite a better legal authority. The Westlands Water District and the San Louis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority in the San Joaquin Valley had sued the bureau to stop the releases, arguing the water should have been saved for farms facing the drought. Irrigation has been shut off to farms in the region this year. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • The fingerprint of climate change on the California drought, extreme weather in 2013 - - Researchers studying the fingerprint of human-caused climate change on extreme weather events in 2013 have found that it played a role in half of the events that they looked at, including the California drought and extreme heat events. Climate change attribution — figuring out what role climate change is playing in our weather events — is a very difficult science. There are so many moving parts: ground-level weather conditions, large-scale atmospheric patterns, and global teleconnections, like El Nino, that influence weather worldwide. And a changing climate can influence all of them (or none of them) in any given moment. Nonetheless, given how costly weather disasters have become, the question of how extreme events could be changing is possibly the most important question to ask in climate change. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 The Washington Post
  • Court strikes down of Kern Water Bank EIR - - The environmental review of the Kern Water Bank has been struck down by the Sacramento County Superior Court, which says the California Department of Water Resource didn’t do enough in 2010 to examine how the water bank’s operation effects the state’s water resources and wildlife. It’s seen as a major victory for environmental groups and others that had opposed transfer of ownership of the gigantic water bank near Bakersfield to what is essentially control by Beverly Hills billionaire Stuart Resnick. The ruling by Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley means the Department of Water Resources must now conduct a new environmental review of Kern Water Bank, the country’s largest underground water-banking operation and the subject of 20 years of controversy and litigation. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Rabobank: Global Dairy Headed for 12 Months of Low Prices - - Rabobank has issued a new report on the global dairy industry, saying that international and regional dairy markets are headed for 12 months of low prices. In the report, published by Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, bank analysts say the price of internationally traded dairy commodities has already fallen 30%-45% below February levels as a strong wave of milk from export regions collided with weaker Chinese buying and a Russian ban on import from key suppliers. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 Rabobank news release
  • NMPF hints at changes coming to MPP-Dairy - - Black Friday, milk checks, and 25% down. That might sound like a recipe for a shopping spree, but instead all three topics were addressed at a MPP-Dairy (Margin Protection Program for Dairy) dairy meeting. National Milk Producers Federation featured USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse and others at a meeting Thursday morning at World Dairy Expo. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Ethanol Prices Slide Amid Supply Spike - - A spike in supplies has sent U.S. ethanol prices tumbling to four-year lows and curbed profits for an industry that had posted robust earnings for most of this year. Ethanol futures plunged 28% last month, as falling domestic demand left U.S. producers with the largest inventories in more than a year. Stockpiles in September reached the highest level since March 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While demand for the biofuel, along with the gasoline into which it is blended, typically declines after the summer driving season, this year’s downshift was pronounced. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • California teens arrested in 920 chicken deaths - - Deputies have arrested four young men — one adult and three juveniles — suspected of breaking into a Foster Farms chicken ranch and killing more than 900 birds with a golf club in California. Fresno County sheriff's officials acting on several tips Wednesday tracked down 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero of Riverdale. Also taken into custody were two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old. All have been booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals. Fresno Sheriff's Department spokesman Christian Curtice said he cannot release information about what prompted the killing of the chickens. He didn't anticipate any more arrests and said he did not know if the suspects had attorneys. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 AP
  • Judge tosses lawsuit challenging California egg laws - - A Sacramento federal judge has dismissed a February lawsuit brought by leaders of six Midwestern and Southern states with large egg industries that sought to overturn California rules requiring more space for egg-laying hens. <more> Oct. 3, 2014 LA Times
  • How Much Meat Do Americans Eat? Then and Now - - Global demand for meat is on the rise, but in the U.S., which consumes more meat than much of the world, consumption has eased up a bit in recent years. How much meat do we eat compared to a few decades ago? About the same, but not as much as in the early aughts, when meat prices were lower, the Atkins diet was in vogue and the U.S. hadn’t yet felt the effects of the recession. In 2012, the average American consumed 71.2 pounds of red meat (beef, veal, pork, and lamb) and 54.1 pounds of poultry (chicken and turkey), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The average amount is likely a bit higher. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • California’s Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 – 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014


Water News

  • EPA sends California $183 million for more water fixes - - With the backdrop of a parched landscape near the San Joaquin River, a top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official on Thursday pledged $183 million to invest in drought-scarred Californias water needs. Cities in California will compete for the funding to build water-quality projects aimed at reducing pollution as well as improving municipal drinking water and wastewater facilities. Fresno and many smaller San Joaquin Valley cities have used such funding to install water meters, replace antiquated pipes and drill wells. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Thirst Turns to Desperation in Rural California - - Now in its third year, the states record-breaking drought is being felt in many ways: vanishing lakes and rivers, lost agricultural jobs, fallowed farmland, rising water bills, suburban yards gone brown. But nowhere is the situation as dire as in East Porterville, a small rural community in Tulare County where lifes daily routines have been completely upended by the drying of wells and, in turn, the disappearance of tap water. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 New York Times
  • All Tulare County deemed in exceptional drought - - The National Drought Mitigation Centers latest report has declared all Tulare County in exceptional drought, making it seven consecutive months the area has the highest ranking the federal agency gives. Released last week, the report is a compilation of key indicators, including drought impacts, and monitoring contribution from more than 350 experts around the county, according to the drought mitigation center. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Leprino meets with activists calling for Papa John's, Domino's boycott - - For a moment, animal-welfare activist Matt Rice felt he made progress Tuesday when the head of Leprino Foods met him in the company's lobby after 50 people showed up outside the Denver cheesemaker's headquarters. They brought a petition calling for an end to dairy cow abuse and a boycott of national pizza chains that use Leprino's mozzarella. "(Leprino president Larry Jensen) did accept the quarter of a million signatures and did invite me in, so that's a change," said Rice, director of investigations for Mercy For Animals, which filmed cattle abuse at a New Mexico farm that Leprino bought dairy from. "He gave me the press release." <more> Oct. 1, 2014 The Denver Post
  • Shake Out from Russian Ban Coming into Focus - - Russias ban on dairy products imported from the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia is creating problems for Europe and opportunities for South America and India. Last week the European Commission announced that it was closing its Private Storage Aid (PSA) program to cheese. The announcement came less than a month after the commission decided to open the program to cheese following the ban. Originally the European Unions PSA program was developed to provide support for butter and skim milk powder, but the Delegated Act allows for temporary modification of rules during extraordinary circumstances. Loss of the Russian cheese market, estimated near 1 billion euros, according to the commission, apparently qualified. When making its announcement in late August, the European Commission opened PSA to 155,000 metric tons of cheese. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Dairy Today
     

Environmental News

  • Valley growers take fight against water cutbacks to Supreme Court - - San Joaquin Valley growers Wednesday filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to reverse an appellate courts rejection of their claim that flawed science was used to cut back water pumping in Northern California. The case already has been through U.S. District Court in Fresno, which sided with growers in a decision that would have forced federal leaders to rewrite 2008 protections for the threatened delta smelt. The dwindling fish population lives in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta where pumps divert water for Valley farms and Southern California cities. Federal wildlife agencies say water pumping is harming the fish. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Initiative aiming to protect Modesto farmland takes step forward - - The proponents of placing an urban boundary around Modesto to protect prime farmland took a big step Wednesday toward bringing their proposal before voters. Supporters of the Stamp Out Sprawl initiative needed to turn in the signatures of 8,931 Modesto voters to the city clerks office Wednesday to qualify the initiative for the November 2015 ballot. They said they turned in petitions with the signatures of 10,507 voters. The signatures will need to be counted and verified before the proposal is brought before the City Council to place on the ballot. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Small Business Administration hits EPA over water rule - - A fight is breaking out inside the Obama administration over the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed water regulation. The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy on Wednesday urged the EPA to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule, which seeks to clarify the agency's authority to regulate smaller bodies of water like streams and rivers. The EPA has drawn plenty of criticism from business groups that say the rule will be too expensive to comply with, but this is the first time another federal agency has attacked it. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 The Hill
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Europeans holding firm in quest to force American cheeses to come up with new names - - Crafty European Union trade negotiators are operating by a different set of rules in their quest to force United States cheesemakers to rename many of its cheeses that are linked historically with a place or region in Europe, according to Wisconsins agriculture chief. The EU has focused less time recently on its new trade agreement negotiations with the United States that would include such a provision regarding geographic indications (GI) and more time on completing trade deals with other countries that have agreed to different variations of the provision, said Ben Brancel, the secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. <more> Oct. 2, 2014 Wisconsin State Journal
  • As Demand Soars, Supermarkets Struggle To Keep Organic Milk Stocked - - Grocery shoppers looking for organic milk in Bay Area supermarkets may be out of luck as farmers struggle to keep up with demand. Demand for organic milk is soaring, but the supply isnt, leaving stores across the country attempting to keep the shelves stocked. Its not easy for farmers to increase the supply as calves have to be raised to be certified organic, meaning it takes years before they can start producing milk. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 KCBS-TV
  • China Launches Media Campaign to Back Genetically Modified Crops - - China's government has kicked off a media campaign in support of genetically modified crops, as it battles a wave of negative publicity over a technology it hopes will play a major role in boosting its food security. The agriculture ministry earlier this week announced it would try to educate the public on GMO via TV, newspapers and the Internet. It hopes to stifle anti-GMO sentiment that has gathered momentum in the wake of incidents such as reports that genetically-modified rice had been illegally sold at a supermarket in the center of the country. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Reuters, China
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • World Dairy Expo in Madison takes attendees on virtual farm tours - - It's a farm tour without getting manure on your boots. This week at World Dairy Expo, an annual event that attracts about 70,000 dairy producers from 92 countries, attendees can take virtual farm tours video presentations of dairy operations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York. World Dairy Expo, which runs through Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center, has more than 850 exhibitors from 24 countries. It also has 2,500 cattle competing for awards in some of the dairy industry's most prestigious events, capped by Saturday's Parade of Champions and Selection of Supreme Champions. <more> Oct. 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014


State/Federal News and Politics

  • Calif. governor vetoes livestock antibiotics bill - - Gov. Jerry Brown of California has vetoed a bill that would have curbed the use of antibiotics in farm animals, saying that most major meat producers have already agreed to go beyond voluntary Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for their use. The bill would have made the FDAs standard for phasing out antibiotic use for growth promotion a state law for the first time and required a veterinarians prescription for all antibiotics. The California Cattlemens Association supported the legislation, but the environmental group the National Resources Defense Council countered that the proposal would not have effectively reduced antibiotic use in livestock. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 MeatingPlace
  • California plastic bag ban signed, setting off sweeping changes - - Time to invest in a reusable shopping bag. Concluding the long odyssey of one of the most contentious bills of 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation phasing out the single-use plastic bags that grocery stores and other retailers use to package products at the checkout line. Browns assent hands a sweeping victory to environmentalists and vindicates the scores of cities and counties that have already banned bags. This bill is a step in the right direction it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself, Brown wrote in a signing message. Were the first to ban these bags, and we wont be the last. <more> Oct. 1, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • IRS extends deadline for farmers forced to sell livestock due to drought - - Farmers and ranchers forced to sell livestock due to the drought have an extended period of time to replace their livestock and defer tax on any gains from the sales, the Internal Revenue Service announced. Ordinarily, livestock ordinarily must be replaced within a four-year period. The IRS on Tuesday granted a one-year extension. The IRS said the extension generally applies to capital gains realized by farmers and ranchers on drought-related sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, and sales of poultry are not eligible for tax relief.  <more> Sept. 30, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • USDA offers $31.5M for healthier food stamp diet - - A division of the Agriculture Department is making $31.5 million in funding available to help people on food stamps obtain healthier foods. The departments National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making the funding available to help those enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income Americans.  <more> Sept. 29, 2014 The Hill

Environmental News

  • California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Law Accelerating Restoration on Private Lands to Benefit Waterways, Wildlife - - Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2193, the first statewide effort to accelerate voluntary restoration on private lands through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Authored by Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act, establishes a simplified permitting process through the Department of Fish and Wildlife to empower landowners, government agencies and conservation organizations to take on small-scale, voluntary habitat restoration across California. AB 2193, ultimately, enables the Department of Fish and Wildlife to significantly boost the number of critical restoration projects it authorizes each year in California. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Sierra Sun Times
  • Farmers are dedicated water stewards by Jack Hamm, President, San Joaquin Farm Bureau - - In response to the letter published on Sept. 18 regarding agriculture and water: While the historic drought we are currently experiencing has only recently brought water conservation to the forefront for many Californians, it has been a way of life on farms and ranches for decades. The implementation of drip irrigation and micro sprinklers, particularly to permanent crops, has helped optimize the use of limited water resources. Agriculture is an economic driver for San Joaquin County, providing more than 23,000 jobs per month on average, in compliance with all state and federal labor laws. Local truck drivers, processors, equipment salespeople, and suppliers are all supported by agriculture, helping us grow and deliver the food that people throughout the world enjoy every day. We hope you think about the salad, steak, or any of the food you consume on a daily basis; it all takes water to produce. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Stockton Record
  • WUD continues opposition to water board fee hike following hearing - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday, Sept. 23, after hearing testimony from Western United Dairymen and many concerned dairy producers, decided not to include North Coast dairies in the Confined Animal Facilities (CAF) fee program and to not put a cap of $2,500 on the discount given to dairies that have qualified under the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP.) <more> Sept. 26, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update

Water News

  • October begins water year with prospect of tighter restrictions - - As the state ends the fourth-driest water year on record with no guarantee of significant rain and snowfall this winter, Californians face the prospect of stricter rationing and meager irrigation deliveries for agriculture. California begins a new October-September water year Wednesday with total reservoir storage at 36% of capacity, or 57% of average for this time of year. Although some private domestic wells have dried up and a scattering of isolated little communities are in danger of running out of supplies, the drought's effect on most Californians has so far been modest. Another rainless winter would probably change that. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 LA Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • California 4b Cheese Milk Price at Record High - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the Golden States September Class 4b cheese milk price at a record high $22.39 per hundredweight, up $2.43 from August and $5.74 above September 2013. That puts the 2014 Class 4b average at $20.53, up from $16.10 at this time a year ago, $14.69 in 2012, and $16.48 in 2011, and $2.19 below the Federal order average. The September 4a butter-powder price is $22.72, down $1.11 from August but $3.25 above a year ago. The nine month Class 4a average now stands at $23.09, up from $18.27 a year ago, $14.88 in 2012, and $19.24 in 2011. Oct. 1, 2014 Dairy Business Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Handling Hard Questions with Finesse - - Most consumers have never been on a dairy, but they readily toss around terms like factory farms, GMOs and antibiotics in milk. And youve heard their questions: "How do we know your cows are happy?" "Why are the cows so thin?" "Why do you take the baby calves away from their mothers so soon?" "Why do you feed all that GMO feed to your cows?" "What about all those hormones and antibiotics in milk?" To address the stigma that many consumers attach to dairying, an educational seminar today at World Dairy Expo helped dairy producers address the challenge with finesse. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Year-long dairy campaign aims to encourage calcium consumption - - One Ohio State initiative is working to move students to consume more dairy. The #SpotTheCow campaign is back on campus for a year-long run to let students know that dairy is still a beneficial source of calcium and nutrients, even during college. The overall goal of this campaign is to try to increase dairy consumption on the Ohio State campus, said Jamie Seger, #SpotTheCow campaign director. #SpotTheCow plans to use social media, posters and fliers and interactive activities at campus events to raise student involvement and awareness of the campaign. Those campus events will offer giveaway items such as T-shirts, sunglasses, dairy products and educational pamphlets. Funding for the campaign was provided through a two-year, $38,720 grant from the American Dairy Association Mideast. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 The Lantern
  • Group Aims to Put Food Policy on the Kitchen Table - - Americans like to talk about food, and they certainly like to eat. But they don't normally think about food policy when they vote. A group of food advocates is trying to figure out how to change that. They're putting money and organizational effort into elections for the first time, including an effort this fall to defeat Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., over his drive to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients. The push against Southerland is a test of how to make food policy stick in the political arena ahead of the 2016 presidential and congressional races. The reason? Many of the same people who care the most about issues like hunger, antibiotics in meat and labeling of genetically modified ingredients moms and young people also are politically aware and likely to cast ballots. <more> Sept. 1, 2014 AP
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014


 

Environmental News

  • WUD continues opposition to water board fee hike following hearing - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday, Sept. 23, after hearing testimony from Western United Dairymen and many concerned dairy producers, decided not to include North Coast dairies in the Confined Animal Facilities (CAF) fee program and to not put a cap of $2,500 on the discount given to dairies that have qualified under the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP.) <more> Sept. 26, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Dairy families continue work for cleaner air, Valley sees record-low ozone for second summer - - San Joaquin Valley air quality reached a historic milestone last year. For the first time since the adoption of the federal Clean Air Act, the region experienced zero annual violations of the 1-hour ozone standard. Now, it appears that the record-low levels of ozone were observed for a second straight summer. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 Dairy Cares newsletter
  • EPA chief slams critics for misinformation - - Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency's water jurisdiction rule are spreading misinformation, the agency's chief said Monday. McCarthy said the rule was proposed in March to clarify Clean Water Act protections for 60 percent of the nations streams and wetlands, since two court decisions made it unclear. "As with everything EPA does these days, there is some misinformation out there, confusing what our plan is all about," McCarthy said at a conference of water quality officials in New Orleans. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 The Hill
  • How Much of Worlds Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Come From Agriculture? - - Agriculture might seem green by definition, but farming accounts for a lot of greenhouse-gas emissions when the entire food production system is taken into account. Typically, estimates of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture are around 11%-15% of global emissions. Estimates discussed earlier this week at the United Nations Climate Summit put that number closer to 50%. This is an important calculation as climate change issues come to the fore, with record greenhouse-gas emissions and international negotiations to halt that rise. The reason for the difference is that the 11%-15% estimates only take into account emissions from the farming part of agriculture, such as plowing and fertilizing. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link - - Global warming contributed to extreme heat waves in many parts of the world last year, but cannot be definitively linked to the California drought, according to a report released Monday. The third annual analysis of extreme weather events underscored the continuing difficulty of teasing out the influence of human-caused climate change on precipitation patterns. One of three studies examining the California drought in 2013 found that the kind of high-pressure systems that blocked winter storms last year have increased with global warming. But another study concluded that a long-term rise in sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific did not contribute substantially to the drought. And researchers noted that California precipitation since 1895 has "exhibited no appreciable downward trend." <more> Sept. 29, 2014 LA Times
  • CDFA offers grants to fund water-efficient technology - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin accepting applications on Sept. 29 for a second round of funding for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103). SWEEP is a unique opportunity for growers to receive financial assistance to install water distribution systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gases. Up to $150,000 will be provided directly to agricultural operations for water and energy conservation projects that benefit all Californians. The funding can support a broad range of irrigation-related projects such as pump improvements, equipment to facilitate water saving measures and other quantifiable water distribution and greenhouse gas reduction management practices. <more> Sept. 26, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will provide dairy producers and processors the opportunity to learn about timely options for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be available to provide insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade Dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer

Water News

  • DWR: Progress on delta tunnels - - Californias top water official told a key gathering of south state water representatives that hard-earned progress is being made on the Brown administrations controversial plan to build twin tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The comments by Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources, were aimed in part at dispelling rumors that the project, known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, or BDCP, had run aground, perhaps permanently. He made the comments last week to a committee of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the huge wholesaler that serves much of the south states water agencies. <more> Sept. 29. 2014 Capitol Weekly
  • Long, difficult summer at Millerton Lake - - The drought summer of 2014 is in the rear view mirror at Millerton Lake, but it will long be remembered -- east San Joaquin Valley farmers were left without water from this lake for the first time in many decades. As part of an agreement dating back to the 1930s, the lakes water has been released all summer long to a group of west Valley farmers who have rights to the water dating back to the 1800s. Never heard of this arrangement? Or, maybe you have, and you dont remember the details. This is the short explanation. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 Fresno Bee

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Nation's Ag Co-ops Set Record for Annual Sales and Income - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the nation's farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives set a new sales record in 2013, with total business volume of more than $246 billion. That surpasses the previous record, set in 2012, by $8 billion, a 4 percent gain. U.S. co-ops also enjoyed robust job growth over the previous year. This third consecutive year of record sales by ag cooperatives reflects increased sales in the overall farm economy in 2013. U.S. crop production and livestock sales both increased 6 percent in 2013, while production input (farm supply) sales increased 2 percent. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 USDA press release
  • U.S. Dairy Industry Decries Market Barriers Raised in EU-Canada Trade Deal - - The text of the European Union-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) released at the end of last week contains provisions on geographical indications (GIs) and reallocates a portion of the World Trade Organization tariff rate quota for cheese to the EU. The U.S. dairy industry expressed concern today that these provisions would raise artificial trade barriers restricting market access for American cheeses to the Canadian market. In addition, CETA provides very limited access to many EU dairy products as a result of the agreements prioritization of the GI goals of a few squeaky wheels, at the expense of broader gains across the full EU dairy industry, according to U.S. dairy industry trade groups. <more> 29, 2014 NMPF press release

Pricing/Commodity News

  • September milk prices jump - - USDAs preliminary estimate of the September 2014 U.S. average all-milk price, at $25.00/cwt., was up 90¢ from Augusts revised estimate, and the highest since April. Year-to-date, the 2014 average all-milk price stands at $24.30/cwt., up $4.74 from the same period in 2013. Among the largest milk-producing states, Wisconsins September all-milk price averaged $26.30/cwt., up $1.90 from August. California, at $23.00/cwt., up 80¢; New York, at $26.40/cwt., and Pennsylvania, at $26.80/cwt., were each up 50¢. Idaho, at $24.00/cwt., was up 80¢. New Mexico, at $22.50/cwt., was up 60¢. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • CWT Still Shipping Cheese Out - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 8 requests for export assistance today from Northwest Dairy Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 1.116 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered December 2014 through March 2015 and raises CWTs Year-to-date cheese sales to 85.642 million pounds, plus 48.189 million pounds of butter and 33.171 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.117 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Figures are adjusted for cancellations that occurred during the month. Sept. 30, 2014 Dairy Business Update

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Can the world keep up with soaring global food demand? - - A global, and potentially historic, campaign aims to increase the world's food supplies. Launched with little fanfare last week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) brought together scores of government officials, industry groups and academics to discuss how to ensure food security around the world as the planet's climate changes. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which supports sustainable agriculture, says there are several truths that cannot be denied, or ignored. First, whether as part of a natural cycle or through human intervention, the world's climate has changed. Second, that change is taking place as the global population is projected to jump by over 2 billion people between now and 2050, to more than 9 billion. <more> Sept. 30, 2014 CBS Money Watch
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Ag Energy Conference and Expo to be held November 12 in Fresno - - The one-day conference and trade show will be a great opportunity for dairy producers and processors to learn about timely options and opportunities for solar and bioenergy projects. More than 20 vendors are expected to be on hand to meet with producers, growers and processors. Industry experts will also be on hand to provide some insight on energy cost projections and why the time is right for producers interested in solar or bioenergy projects. Katrina Rainey of Curtimade dairy will be one of the solar panel presenters. Solar energy opportunities and benefits have never been better and the window of opportunity is closing fast. Learn about the latest changes and why 2015 may be your last year to take advantage. The event will be held on Nov. 12, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Fresno Hotel & Conference Center (Former Radisson Hotel) 1055 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721. Register online at www.agprocessors.org. For more information call AECA at 916-447-6206. Sept. 30, 2014 AECA event flyer
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Jerry Brown vetoes farm labor bill - - Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Sunday that would have changed procedures in farm labor disputes to make it harder for California farmers to stall new contracts. Senate Bill 25, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, would have allowed the states Agriculture Labor Relations Board to implement farm labor contracts secured through mandatory mediation even if employers appeal. Proponents of the bill, including the United Farm Workers union, said the legislation was necessary to avoid delays in contract disputes. Opponents argued the legislation would give labor unions unfair leverage in negotiations. <more> Sept. 28, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Governor's veto message for SB 25 - labor legislation - - Governor Edmund G. Brown - "To the Members of the California State Senate: I am returning Senate Bill 25 without my signature. This bill is designed to expedite prompt enforcement of contracts derived from mandatory mediation. Both contract enforcement and election disputes should be dealt with so the process is balanced and fair. This bill only addresses contract enforcement. We should look at the entire process before making further changes. I look forward to working with the Legislature on these matters."
    *NOTE: WUD strenuously opposed this bill and was active in the coalition against it.
  • Jerry Brown vetoes extra $100 million for UC, CSU - - Citing property tax revenues below budget estimates, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed part of a budget bill Saturday that would have awarded an additional $50 million each to the University of California and California State University systems for deferred maintenance the systems deem critical. Making investments to maintain the states aging infrastructure continues to be a major priority for my administration, as is paying down the states debts and reducing other long-term liabilities, Brown wrote in his veto message. However, we are nearly one quarter into the fiscal year now and we should not commit additional General Fund monies of this magnitude when we are facing unanticipated costs such as fighting the states extreme wildfires. <more> Sept. 27, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Johnny Tacherra latest in GOP trying to oust Jim Costa - - Burrel dairy farmer Johnny Tacherra is the latest in a long line of Republicans trying to oust incumbent Fresno Democrat Jim Costa from Congress. Nothing illustrates his challenge better than the campaign contributions Costa has received from the Western United Dairymen, the Dairy Farmers of America and the California Dairies Federal political action committee. These aren't just agriculture organizations, they're dairy organizations. And Tacherra is a dairy farmer. That doesn't even count the $900,000 Costa has in his campaign account, and a nearly 16-percentage-point voter-registration edge in the 16th Congressional District, which covers all of Merced and parts of Fresno and Madera counties. <more> Sept. 28, 2014 Fresno Bee

Water News

  • California harvest much smaller than normal across crops - - Its harvest time in much of California, and the signs of drought are almost as abundant as the fruits and nuts and vegetables. One commodity after another is feeling the impact of the states epic water shortage. The great Sacramento Valley rice crop, served in sushi restaurants nationwide and exported to Asia, will be smaller than usual. Fewer grapes will be available to produce Californias world-class wines, and the citrus groves of the San Joaquin Valley are producing fewer oranges. There is less hay and corn for the states dairy cows, and the pistachio harvest is expected to shrink. Even the states mighty almond business, which has become a powerhouse in recent years, is coming in smaller than expected. Thats particularly troubling to the thousands of farmers who sacrificed other crops in order to keep their almond orchards watered.  <more> Sept. 28, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Drying Up? Six Industries at Big Risk in California's Drought - - "We sold out about five months ago," Tony Azevedo, owner of The Double T, a ranch in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, told NBC News when asked about his organic dairy operation. "We went out of business." Organic dairies, he explained, hinge on the ability to pasture-graze cows. This past winter, the lack of water prevented him from growing his usual lush green pasture for the third year in a row and he was unable to pay his bills. The non-organic, or conventional, dairy business, by contrast, is strong because high milk prices allow those farmers to afford Azevedo's organic feed and still turn a profit. "It is kind of their turn," he said. <more> Sept. 29, 2014 NBC news
  • California's water agencies look to budget water - - As California's severe drought continues, state and local agencies are looking at budgeting water use by creating a daily water allocation for each household. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1xsETsi ) that under such a scheme, a household would be allotted a certain number of gallons for indoor water use and another for outdoor water use. The amount allocated is calculated using census data, aerial photography and satellite imagery to determine a property's efficient water usage amount. Those using above their designated amount would pay extra.  <more> Sept. 28, 2014 AP

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Alfalfa growers want improved USDA crop insurance program - - Alfalfa growers weighed in on federal crop insurance during a listening session held in Woodland, Calif., conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA Risk Management Agency contracted with Agralytica Consulting of Alexandria, Va., to conduct listening sessions around the country in an effort to improve current federal crop insurance for forage producers. The objective is to provide growers of alfalfa, grass hay, and other forage crops with better protection from weather-related disasters and fluctuations in quality and price. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • August Milk-Feed Ratio Up on Higher Milk Price/Lower Feed - - The preliminary September milk feed price ratio was up from the revised August level, according to the Agriculture Departments latest Ag Prices report issued this afternoon. The September milk-feed price ratio is at 2.90, up from 2.61 in August, and compares to 1.88 in September 2013. The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a ration of 51% corn, 8% soybeans and 41% alfalfa hay, in other words, 1lb. of milk today can purchase 2.90lbs. of dairy feed containing that blend. The September U.S. average all-milk price was $25.00/cwt., up from $24.10/cwt. in August, and compares to $20.10/cwt. in September 2013. September corn, at $3.38/bushel, was down 25¢ from August and $2.02 less than September 2013. Soybeans averaged $11.20/bushel, down $1.20 from August, and $2.10/bushel below September 2013, and alfalfa hay averaged $197/ton, down $12 from July, but $3/ton more than August 2013. Looking at the cow side of the ledger; the report shows the preliminary September cull price for beef and dairy combined averaged $119.00/cwt., down $2/cwt. from August, but $35.10/cwt. above September 2013. Prices received for milk cows was not available for August but averaged $1970 per head in July. Sept. 29, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Thousands gather in Sacramento for second annual Farm-to-Fork Festival - - The farm-to-fork movement gained momentum locally and statewide with Sacramentos Farm-to-Fork Festival taking place Saturday, less than 24 hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill establishing a California farm-to-fork office. Thousands gathered at Capitol Mall to partake in the second annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, where demonstration tents, music stages and myriad food sellers lined the streets. It was one of the final events in Sacramentos celebration this month as Americas Farm-to-Fork Capital, which culminates Sunday with a $175-a-plate gala dinner on the deck of Tower Bridge. <more> Sept. 28, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • World Dairy Expo Kicks off Tomorrow - - Some 70,000 plus dairy producers converge on Madison tomorrow for the 48th Word Dairy Expo, the largest dairy-focused event in the world. This years theme is Designer Dairy. Close to 2,000 attendees were from 92 countries last year. Approximately 2,500 head of world-class dairy cattle from across North America also compete at Expo, with breed cattle auctions throughout the week. The brand new 290,000 square foot New Holland Pavilion makes its debut this year as the new cattle housing facility. The log shows 1,616 dairy cattle exhibitors from 36 states and seven Canadian provinces brought cattle to the famed color shavings at Expo last year and 843 exhi biting companies from 29 countries showed their wares. Youth contests and dairy cattle judging is a highlight of Expo, along with the World Forage Analysis Superbowl. Complete details are at www.worlddairyexpo.com. Sept. 29, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Benefits of Joining the Herd - - Four years ago, Mr. Cieri traded Wall Street talk of structured credit derivatives for this kind of cattle banter. He owns Stonewall Pastures outside East Meredith, N.Y., about three hours northwest of Manhattan, and is one of 36 members of the Adirondack Grazers Cooperative. While New York has been a haven for dairy cooperatives, the Adirondack Grazers Cooperative is something much less common in the state a co-op for grass-fed beef. Its members inhabit farms from the Adirondacks south to the Pennsylvania border and east into Vermont. In addition to helping farmers with tangibles like the marketing and sale of their beef, the cooperative is also providing something more elusive call it hope in a state where, according to the Agricultural Stewardship Association, a nonprofit land trust, one farm is lost to development every three and a half days. <more> Sept. 27, 2014 The New York Times
  • Fresno Fair changes livestock rules for drought - - The Big Fresno Fair is mindful of the drought that continues to grip California, laying waste to farms and suburban lawns alike, and is taking water-saving actions. Fresno Fair deputy manager Lauri King said this will be the first year in which students from local 4-H and FFA clubs will only be allowed to fully wash each animal once per show session, which lasts either five or six days. This poses a particular problem for the pigs, which don't have sweat glands and must rely on the pavilion's new cooling system of misters and fans, she said. "We realize the dire situation our community faces," King said. "I realize this affects a lot of kids in our barn, but we have to educate not only them but the public as well on just how bad this drought is." <more> Sept. 27, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

Water News

  • La Grange Dam relicensing public hearing set for Oct. 6 - - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) determined that the La Grange Project falls under its jurisdiction and has ordered the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts to apply for a license. The districts strongly disagree with FERC's determination and are appealing the decision. In the meantime, the districts are required to follow the steps to apply for a license for La Grange. There will be a Proposed Study Plan meeting on the La Grange license process on Monday, Oct. 6 at MIDs downtown office, 1231 11th Street, beginning at 10 a.m. At this meeting state and federal agencies and interested parties will discuss proposed studies they believe the Districts should perform in order to inform the FERC record on project conditions and future license requirements. Most of the current proposed studies are related to providing fish passage facilities for salmon and steelhead at both La Grange and Don Pedro dams and determining the suitability of habitat in the Tuolumne River upstream of Don Pedro Reservoir for salmon and steelhead. It is important to recognize that La Grange isnt part of the Don Pedro Project, but is a separate facility that pre-dates Don Pedro. At this meeting the public will have the opportunity to hear firsthand what others believe should be studied and required, as well as the Districts responses to these study requests. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about the appropriateness of the studies and their costs and discuss their potential impacts to our community. Sept. 26, 2014 WUD news
  • So far, more rain today than past 5 months combined - - In a matter of minutes this morning, Stockton saw more rain than the past five months combined. This morning's storm has dumped eight times as much precipitation as the National Weather Service originally expected, with exactly half an inch of rain at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport as of 10 a.m., officials said. The storm was moving east at a slower-than-expected speed, which might account for the additional rain, forecaster Cindy Matthews said. "You guys are not out of the heavy stuff yet," she said at 10:40 a.m. This won't be a record-setting rain, and wet storms like this aren't terribly unusual in late September. But it might seem unusual given recent dry years. "This is a great start to the winter season," Matthews said. "We just need it to continue like this." Sept. 25, 2014 Stockton Record

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Terry Lehenbauer: Dairy herd health is paramount - - While growing up on a small dairy farm in Oklahoma, I could not have imagined that someday I would work as a veterinarian caring for dairy cows in California the No. 1 dairy state. But after earning my veterinary degree, I took the opportunity to pursue advanced veterinary training at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to become a specialist in dairy cattle herd health. This specialty focuses on keeping cows healthy by preventing disease before it occurs. I was drawn to California because UC Davis is and was then the world leader in advanced training for preventive veterinary medicine. Veterinarians in California had become recognized as innovators and leaders changing the way that we keep our cows healthy by visiting dairy herds on a scheduled basis for "well-cow" examinations, regular check-ups and routine vaccinations. Veterinarians were no longer waiting for the phone to ring to alert them about a cow that had become sick or needed medical care. In the decades that have followed, California has continued to lead the way by producing the most milk in the nation. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 The Fresno Bee
  • Beyond GMOs: The Rise of Synthetic Biology - - Thousands of researchers will descend on Boston this fall for an event billed as the worlds largest gathering of synthetic biologists. The field is evolving so rapidly that even scientists working in it don't agree on a definition, but at its core synthetic biology involves bringing engineering principles to biotechnology. Its an approach meant, ultimately, to make it easier for scientists to design, test, and build living parts and systemseven entire genomes. If genetic sequencing is about reading DNA, and genetic engineering as we know it is about copying, cutting and pasting it, synthetic biology is about writing and programming new DNA with two main goals: create genetic machines from scratch and gain new insights about how life works. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 The Atlantic
  • Immigrant families fail to report to agents - - Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately. An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 AP
  • Jeff Denham: Creating jobs key to Central Valleys future, health - - As a Valley small-business owner and farmer, I grew up on a farm and want my children and generations of Valley kids to come to have the same lifestyle I had. Thats why my top priority is creating jobs here at home, helping kids born and raised here to stay here and begin successful lives where they can find work. Business owners know that the last few years have been tough. Our economy continues to struggle and unemployment remains high. Overreaching environmental regulations and health care mandates pose an ongoing threat to small businesses as they try to comply. The Stanislaus Alliance Worknets recent survey of small business owners in the county found that environmental regulation and the Affordable Care Act were their top two concerns, with water not far behind. <more> Sept. 26, 2014 Modesto Bee

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Milk Production Costs Down from July & 2013 - - The Agriculture Departments National Milk Cost of Production report, issued this afternoon, shows August total costs were down slightly from July and a year ago. Total feed costs averaged $13.06/cwt., down 74¢ from revised July estimates, 29¢ below June, and $1.42 below August 2013. Purchased feed costs, at $6.65/cwt., were down 50¢ from July, 16¢ below June, and $1.33 below August 2013. Total costs, including feed, bedding, marketing, fuel, repairs, hired labor, taxes, etc., at $24.85/cwt., were down 63¢ from July, up 10¢ from June, but $1.45 below a year ago. Feed costs made up 52.6% of total costs, compared to 54.2% the month before and 55.1% a year ago. Read the complete report at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/milk-cost-of-production-estimates.aspx. Sept. 26, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • NMPF Provides Narrated Slide Presentation Explaining How Farmers Can Take Advantage of New Dairy Safety Net - - The National Milk Producers Federation has posted a slide presentation on YouTube to help dairy farmers understand the new federal dairy safety net, known as the Margin Protection Program (MPP), as part of its ongoing effort to educate farmers about the new program.There are links to the narrated presentation on both the NMPF website, and the Future for Dairy website serving as NMPFs information hub for the new MPP program, which was launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture September 2nd.The 21-minute, 34-slide presentation walks the viewer through the details of the program, including who is eligible, how to sign up, and what the fees and payments might look like under various scenarios. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 NMPF press release

 

Environmental News

  • California wants to restrict widely used farm pesticide - - Use of all pesticides containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos would be restricted under regulations being proposed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. This would mean only trained, licensed professionals who have a permit from a local county agricultural commissioner would be able to use these products. The county could place further conditions on use through the permit. The proposed regulation is a very important step to further safeguard the people and environment of California, says DPR Director Brian Leahy. Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used old organophosphate classes of pesticides. This key action is intended to reduce the widespread use of chlorpyrifos and help limit unintended exposures to the public. <more> Sept. 26, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Major food brands go after a once-ignored customer: Men - - In the race to attract consumers, major American food companies are tweaking their playbooks to go after a once-ignored group: men. Men are now the primary grocery shoppers in about four in 10 households. But men, food companies have found, have their own priorities. They often do not look closely at prices or carry a coupon book. They want to get in and out of the store quickly. Men are also more likely to be enticed by bold flavors and high-protein meals, companies have found. Just as retailers have made efforts to reach a wider, more diverse audience of shoppers including a larger Hispanic population and millennial-generation consumers with more adventurous tastes men too have become a bigger priority. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 The Washington Post
  • New Zealand - Dairy delegation heads to US - - A group of 30 large-scale New Zealand dairy farmers and industry representatives are heading to the United States of America tomorrow to see what lessons they can bring home. The country is increasingly being punted as New Zealand's major competition in the Chinese market. The USA's milk supply is around four times that of New Zealand, according to DairyNZ statistics, 40 per cent of which comes from 800 ''mega-dairies'', with 2000 or more cows. <more> Sept. 26, 2014 NZ Farmer, New Zealand
  • Calif. strawberry crop on pace for record - - Strawberry producers in California appear to still be weathering the effects of the drought while making the most of their acreage. As the peak season for strawberries is drawing to a close, the Golden State is still on a pace to set another production record. So far this year, the states growers have turned out more than 160.5 million flats, up from about 156.3 million flats by the same point last year and 155.4 million for the same period in 2012, according to the California Strawberry Commission. <more> Sept. 26, 2014 Capital Press
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

Water News

  • USDA: 42 Calif. counties declared drought disaster areas - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 42 California counties, including most of the Central Valley, as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses from the drought. Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties are included in the designation, which makes qualified farm operators in the region eligible for low interest emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency. Farmers in the counties have eight months from the Sept. 17 declaration date to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses from Jan. 1 of this year on. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 The Business Journal
  • Farmers may need to measure water from Delta - - Accused of stealing water released from upstream reservoirs, more than 1,000 Delta farmers may soon be required to report exactly how much water theyve been diverting a request that their attorneys argue could be burdensome and unnecessary. Earlier this summer, the state and federal governments complained to regulators that water released from reservoirs wasnt making it all the way to giant export pumps near Tracy. The missing water, they reasoned, was likely being pumped along the way by Delta farmers. Those farmers do have senior water rights, but they are not entitled to water that has been stored upstream. They can take only what is considered to be natural flow. Delta advocates have contended that since there is always water in the tidal estuary, there is always natural flow. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Parched California expected to miss out on typical fall rains - - N orthern and Central California typically receive 30% to 40% of their precipitation over the next three months, but this year, forecasters say the upper two-thirds of the state can expect to miss out on much of that badly needed moisture. The lack of significant rain will mean little relief for thousands of firefighters battling a series of destructive wildfires in Northern California, although a weather system is expected to bring some showers to the region later this week. And even if an El Niño weather pattern does develop later this year, it is only expected to deliver below-median rainfall for Northern California, according to U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 LA Times
  • Global warming will turn California snow to rain, hurting water supply, federal report says - - A first time study by the Department of the Interior predicts less snow in the California Sierras over the next century due to global warming, potentially hammering drinking water stores for the drier months. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment, released WHEN, predicts temperatures in Californias Central Valley will rise more than three degrees by the end of the century. That means some precipitation that would normally fall as snow and stick to the mountains will instead wash out as rain. That snow does more than provide recreation for skiers. Its like a bank account for future water withdrawals. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 KPCC

State/Federal News and Politics

  • USDA Unveils Key New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk - - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled highly anticipated new programs to help farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades. Vilsack also announced that new tools are now available to help provide farmers the information they need to choose the new safety net program that is right for their business. "The 2014 Farm Bill represented some of the largest farm policy reforms in decades. One of the Farm Bill's most significant reforms is finally taking effect," said Vilsack. "Farming is one of the riskiest businesses in the world. These new programs help ensure that risk can be effectively managed so that families don't lose farms that have been passed down through generations because of events beyond their control. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 USDA news release
  • UC Davis study: No problems from GMO livestock feed - - The performance and health of food-producing animals eating genetically engineered feed, first introduced 18 years ago, has been comparable to that of animals consuming non-GE feed, concludes a new scientific review from the University of California, Davis. The review study also found that scientific studies have detected no differences in the nutritional makeup of the meat, milk or other food products derived from animals that ate genetically engineered feed. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Supporters say immigration law could pass with a GOP Senate - - Pro-immigration reform Republicans say there's a better chance that Congress will produce an immigration overhaul if their party wins control of the upper chamber in November. GOP lawmakers say that, with Republicans in charge of both chambers, leadership in the House would have a negotiating partner across the Capitol they could trust. Republicans also would have more leverage with President Obama in negotiating a bill to secure the border and deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 The Hill
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Dairy Cows Delaying Retirement, Culls Down 37,000 from 2013 - - Commercial red meat productionfor the United States totaled 3.80 billion pounds in August, down 10 percent from the 4.20 billion pounds produced in August 2013, according to the Agriculture Departments Livestock Slaughter report issued this afternoon. Beef production, at 2.02 billion pounds, was 10 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.50 million head, down 11 percent from August 2013. The average live weight was up 19 pounds from the previous year, at 1,329 pounds. January to August 2014 commercial red meat production totaled 31.2 billion pounds, down 4 percent from 2013. Accumulated beef production was down 6 percent from last year, veal was down 12 percent, pork was down 2 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 1 percent. High milk prices and low feed prices are keeping dairy cows in the milking string. An estimated 229,000 dairy cows were slaughtered under Federal inspection in August, down 3,000 head from July and 37,000 below August 2013. Sept. 25, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Butter Price Not Scarring Domestic Demand - - Central butter prices are mostly steady, according to USDAs Dairy Market News. The market tone has some uncertainty as market participants are cautious about the risk of falling prices. As a result of current historic high prices, several butter manufacturers are producing on contract or made-to-order basis. Cream supply decisions vary with the barometer leaning towards selling additional volumes as existing cream prices are at a losing proposition for some plants to manufacture butter. Retail demand is entering the peak season with large orders anticipated in the coming weeks. Some manufacturers are being told retailers may not promote butter as much as in previous years due to the higher prices. U.S. butter prices are significantly higher than international markets, which is impeding new export orders. Retail butter needs continue to fuel production schedules for churns in the West. Demand is good with contract buyers often asking for additional loads if available. Record butter prices are having less of a deterrence to purchases as buyers look to fill fall holiday demand. Sept. 25, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Record crop expectations pressure corn, soybeans - - Corn was lower on commercial and technical selling. Corn also saw more pressure tied to this years expected record crop. Weekly export numbers were solid, with sales topping expectations, but again, the fundamentals are bearish and weather looks mostly good for late development and early harvest. Ethanol futures were lower. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • New Generation of GM Crops Puts Agriculture in a Crisis Situation - - With the first of a new generation of genetically engineered crops ready to hit the market, the battle lines are being drawn. Food safety activists have promised to fight the cropscorn and soybeans designed to tolerate multiple herbicidesin court. They and many scientists argue that these crops will harm environmental and possibly human health. The companies that make them say theyre providing a much-needed tool to fight the growing scourge of herbicide-resistant weeds. Lawsuits aside, these crops and others like them may force a showdown between conflicting approaches to farming: one that depends on chemicals to fight weeds, and another that embraces ecologys lessons. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 Wired

 

Environmental News

  • DPR air sampling reveals good news and concerns - - Air quality samples in three key California regions where agricultural pesticides are used continue to show levels well below health concern benchmarks, according to a report issued by the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR). Air monitor network (AMN) studies from 2013 for all the major fumigants and Chlorpyrifos suggest that regulatory efforts are working to reduce human and environmental impacts to key chemicals used by agriculture and other industries. This is the third consecutive year that DPR has found levels of many of the sampled pesticides below the threshold for public health concern at sites it surveys in Salinas, Ripon and Shafter. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Soda fights last stand - - Here in one of the most liberal corners of the nation, health advocates are preparing for what could be their last stand in the battle over taxing soda. Voters in San Francisco and Berkeley will consider a 1 or 2 cents per ounce sin tax on sugar-sweetened drinks on the ballot in November. If the tax passes in one of the two cities, as polls show it might, itll be the first loss for the beverage industry, which has emerged undefeated in more than 30 similar fights in states and cities, from Maine to El Monte, California in recent years. The industry is all in, pouring at least $2 million into the fight already, to hold its perfect record. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 Politico
  • National Teach Ag Day celebrates with a recruiting mission - - Thursday is National Teach Ag Day and the agricultural community will celebrate by encouraging students to enter the profession, which is facing a critical shortage while dealing with important issues such as sustainable food production, a growing global population, the state of the environment, and improving public health. The agriculture classroom is where we can begin to solve these really big picture questions, and those classrooms won't exist without our best and brightest minds choosing to become agricultural educators, said Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag campaign coordinator. <more> Sept. 25, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Water News

  • Drought to Continue in West - - Forecasters say severe drought will continue into next year across much of the West, including parts of western Utah, most of Nevada and practically all of California. Less precipitation than usual and normal or above-normal temperatures are forecast in the week ahead, according to the National Weather Service, and experts say the three-year drought isn't likely to be relieved in October, November and December. In Reno, Nev., the Truckee River already is a trickle, flowing at its lowest level in two decades for this time of year. Officials say Lake Tahoe is close to dropping to its natural rim for the first time since October 2009. <more> Sept. 21, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Alan Heathcock : Zero Percent Water - - Welcome to the Central Valley, ground zero of the water war. Outsiders take heed for this is a troubled land. Before we get to what this drought means??the anger and paranoia, the heartbreak and bitterness??its important to remember the Central Valley isnt just any valley. Its one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Our countrys breadbasket. Our primary source for tomatoes, almonds, grapes, cotton, and dozens of other products. Im scheduled to see all of it, on what Im told will be a tour of destruction. My first stop is a beer with a man named Mule. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 Medium.com
  • Quest for ag water has wacky outcome - - The search for water to irrigate thirsty crops has led to one of the most twisted, unexpected and bizarre results imaginable, and wouldnt you know, it involves the Delta. Because the results of an investigation into this scenario have not been released it has to be classified as preliminary, perhaps even hearsay. Even so it serves as a strong reminder of how intense the efforts can be and have been to procure precious water supplies as they dwindle and the need for them intensifies. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • Reserves narrowing for California water wholesaler - - The giant wholesaler that provides drinking water for half the California population has drained two-thirds of its stored supplies as the state contends with a punishing drought, officials said Monday. Without plentiful rain and snow in coming months, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California could consider cutbacks to its regional distributors next year. If such limits are approved, that could lead to rationing or cuts for households in portions of Southern California. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 AP
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • CFBF president's message: Farm Bureau will be actively engaged as new groundwater laws take effect - - The groundwater bills that passed in the final hours of the two-year legislative session have now been signed into law by Gov. Brown (see story). For a few weeks, the deliberations around Assembly Bill 1739 and Senate Bills 1168 and 1319 became the focus of our entire state, as we dealt with a severe drought year on the heels of two below-normal rainfall years. The passage of the groundwater bills came just 16 days after the Legislature adopted a revised water bond for the November ballot. While the Legislature is to be applauded for finally recognizing the water challenges facing California, by putting the bond before voters with near-unanimous, bipartisan support, the expedited development of overreaching and counterproductive groundwater legislation could result in a significant loss of water for farming, long before a successful bond can deliver one drop of additional water. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Webinar seeking Johnes Disease vaccine feedback tomorrow - - Michigan State University is hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Sept. 24, addressing the development of a new vaccine for Johnes disease (in ruminants) to gain feedback from industry. The webinar is part of a continuing series called Innovations in Agriculture and Rural Development hosted by The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University. Webinars feature technologies from land-grant universities with a goal to help disseminate information regarding new innovations in agriculture, and secondary to help generate potential intermediate and end user feedback of the technology to help developers. The call will take place tomorrow, 12:30 PM ET/11:30 AM CT. To access the free webinar on Wednesday, go to: https://connect.msu.edu/newtech/ and select Enter as a Guest. You will then be directed to the MSU Adobe Connect page. Currently a flyer for the webinar is on the MSU Connect page in case you want to test your connection. If you have any questions about the webinar you can email mannjoh3@anr.msu.edu or call (517) 353-2129. Sept. 23, 2014 North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State
  • Biden to Hispanics: Obama Will Act on Immigration - - Vice President Joe Biden told frustrated Hispanic leaders Monday President Barack Obama is "absolutely committed to moving forward" on comprehensive immigration reforms "and he's going to do an awful lot." Biden said Obama was determined to move ahead "with or without" Congress and "if they don't get something done by the end of this year, the president's going to do it." Biden's remarks came as he and his wife, Jill, hosted a Hispanic Heritage Month reception Monday at their Naval Observatory residence. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 AP
  • General Mills shareholders reject GMO ban - - General Mills shareholders rejected a resolution Tuesday that would have forced removal of genetically-modified organisms from the companys products. The proposal, submitted by a descendant of one of General Mills founders, called for the company to remove genetically engineered ingredients from products sold or manufactured by the company, according to a news release from the National Center for Public Policy Research. The resolution was supported with a claim that genetic engineering involves significant risks to the environment, food security, and public health. General Mills CEO Ken Powell said the company stands by research that shows GMOs are safe. He affirmed that the company would keep GM ingredients in its remaining Cheerios cereals. The company announced earlier that its original Cheerios cereal would be produced without GMOs. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 Brownfield Ag News

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Drought prompts experiments with rice straw - - Typically considered an inexpensive, low-quality livestock feed, rice straw is getting special treatment this year, as more growers experiment with new ways of baling it to try to retain more of its nutritional quality. The need for the experiment is twofold: Livestock feed has been in short supply due to the drought. Water shortages will also create problems for rice growers this fall, as many areas will not have water available to decompose rice straw after harvest, leaving an abundance of the byproduct in the field. Because air quality regulations have limited growers' ability to burn the straw, many say they will likely bale more of it this year. The straw has a variety of uses, including for cattle feed, livestock bedding, erosion control, building construction and mushroom production. <more> Sept. 24, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Butter Hits $3 On CME - - Friday the spot dairy price for butter hit an all time high of $3 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Butter has led dairy commodities higher this year as both domestic and export sales have surged. Tulare County dairyman Tom Barcellos says you know people in the US are ready to go back to butter when the cover of Time magazine says its OK to eat it. Earlier this summer the magazines cover story was Eat Butter: Scientists Labeled Fat the Enemy. Why they were wrong. <more> Sept. 13, 2014 Sierra2theSea
  • U.S. cattle on feed continues decline - - USDAs latest report on cattle on feed in large U.S. feedlots brought no surprises to the industry, with pre-report trade estimates on target with actual numbers. Cattle on feed on Sept. 1, at 9.8 million head, were down 1 percent year over year. Analysts had estimated the decline at 1.1 percent. September inventories mark the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year declines and the lowest September on-feed inventory in the past five years, USDA reported Sept. 19. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 Capital Press
  • CWT Sends More U.S. Cheese Sailing - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 5 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 2.714 million pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheese to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered September 2014 through January 2015. Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 88.917 million pounds of cheese, 48.188 million pounds of butter and 33.171 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.152 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Sept. 23, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • Heat, drought cited in massive Mount Shasta mudslide - - Glaciers are not known as fast-moving objects. Yet on Saturday, things started happening very quickly at a glacier high on the slopes of Mount Shasta. At about 3 p.m. Saturday, wilderness rangers working for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest reported what they thought was a debris flow on the south side of the iconic mountain 220 miles north of Sacramento. Within three hours, Pilgrim Creek Road and Forest Service Road 31 were both buried in mud and rendered impassable. No structures were damaged, and no one was hurt. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Its an all-time high: 610,240 students in National FFA Organization - - alysts forecast that the world's population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. With global needs today to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population explosion, the industry of agriculture needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability. Today's students are answering that call, evidenced by an explosion in FFA membership throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the past year. Membership in FFA today stands at an all-time high of 610,240 students, up from 579,678 in 2013. Membership increased by more than 30,500 during the 2013-14 school year. The number of new, local FFA chapters throughout the country grew to 7,665. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • U.S. Lemon Lovers Tasting Bitter Price Shock From Drought - - First it was the surge in beef prices, and then seafood went through the roof. Now you can add lemons to the growing list of ingredients cutting into profit on the menu at Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. The three Joes restaurants, in Washington, Chicago and Las Vegas, use more than 800 lemons a day sliced as garnishes on entrees or juiced for drinks and sauces. A case of 165 lemons costs managing partner Mike Rotolo about $50, up from $30 to $35 in the past year, and many are less juicy than normal. <more> Sept. 23, 2014 Bloomberg
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Webinar seeking Johnes Disease vaccine feedback tomorrow - - Michigan State University is hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Sept. 24, addressing the development of a new vaccine for Johnes disease (in ruminants) to gain feedback from industry. The webinar is part of a continuing series called Innovations in Agriculture and Rural Development hosted by The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University. Webinars feature technologies from land-grant universities with a goal to help disseminate information regarding new innovations in agriculture, and secondary to help generate potential intermediate and end user feedback of the technology to help developers. The call will take place tomorrow, 12:30 PM ET/11:30 AM CT. To access the free webinar on Wednesday, go to: https://connect.msu.edu/newtech/ and select Enter as a Guest. You will then be directed to the MSU Adobe Connect page. Currently a flyer for the webinar is on the MSU Connect page in case you want to test your connection. If you have any questions about the webinar you can email mannjoh3@anr.msu.edu or call (517) 353-2129. Sept. 23, 2014 North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State
  • Sept. 25 hearing set on proposed heat standard changes - - The Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board will hold a public hearing on September 25 to get feedback on proposed changes to the heat illness prevention standard. The event is open to all stakeholders. There are two ways to participate. 1. Attend the hearing in person. It will be held from 10 am to 5 pm at the San Diego County Administration Center,1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310, San Diego. 2. Submit comments in writing. Comments must be received no later than 5 pm on September 25, 2014. Comments should be mailed to the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95833 OR faxed to 916-274- 5743 OR emailed to oshsb@dir.ca.gov .You can read the complete official document provided by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board at http://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/ noticeSep2014.pdf . Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

Water News

  • State water board to hear testimony Tuesday on proposed fee hikes - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday will consider a proposal to raise the Confined Animal Facilities (CAF) fees 31% for existing permits; include North Coast dairies in the fee program, and put a cap of $2,500 on the discount given to dairies that have qualified under the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP.) Western United Dairymen will testify against the proposal and urges interested members to attend and offer their comments. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Coastal Hearing Room in the EPA building, 1001 I Street in Sacramento. WUD is a founding member of Dairy Cares, which has submitted written comments in opposition to the proposal. The coalition requested that fees for all CAFs be set at the same level as those imposed during the 2013-14 fiscal year and requested that an immediate moratorium be placed on any further fee increases related to the CAF program until the SWRCB can take the following steps <more>.  Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Governor Brown Streamlines Relief Efforts for Families with Drinking Water Shortages Due to Drought - - Just days after signing historic legislation requiring sustainable groundwater management for the first time in California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order streamlining efforts to provide water to families in dire need as the extreme drought continues to grip the state.The order makes funding available through the California Disaster Assistance Act to provide water for drinking and sanitation to households currently without running water. The executive order also extends the states prohibition on price gouging during emergencies to the current stage of the drought, recognizing the on-going nature of the drought emergency. Additionally, it directs the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Water Resources and the Governors Offices of Emergency Services and Planning and Research to work together to identify acute drinking water shortages in domestic supplies and to work with counties and local agencies to implement solutions for those water shortages. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Cal OES Newsroom
  • Opponents of governors tunnels now oppose governors water bond - - The environmental group Restore the Delta has been the sparkplug behind the Save the Delta, Stop the Tunnels grass roots movement against the governors proposal to siphon fresh water from the Sacramento River via what would be two of the largest water tunnels ever built. Now Restore the Deltas executive director, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, is branching out, heading a new group that opposes the governors water bond on the November ballot. She says the new organization, Citizens Against the BDCP Tunnels and Californians for Water Sustainability, had to be formed because Restore the Delta is not legally able to tell people how to vote. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Proposition 1: Voters to decide on $7.5 billion water bond - - California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant to help the state better manage its most precious and increasingly limited resource. Proponents say Proposition 1 will pay for necessary water infrastructure improvements, such as creating additional water storage, cleaning up groundwater, expanding water recycling, improving watersheds and various other projects. However, the money is not yet tied to specific projects. The bond was deliberately left vague so that projects would go through a public competitive grant process. <more> Sept. 22, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Feds give green light to California immigrant licenses - - Removing a stop sign for immigrants who live in California illegally but hope to become legal drivers, federal officials have signed off on the design of licenses for foreign-born residents. Immigrant advocates achieved a landmark goal in 2013 by winning Gov. Jerry Browns approval of a measure allowing undocumented immigrants to receive drivers licenses. But the federal government dealt the effort a setback earlier this year, rejecting Californias design because it was not distinctive enough. That raised questions about making the licenses available for the Jan. 1, 2015, date required by law. Now the Department of Homeland Security has given its blessing, allowing California to proceed. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Capitol Alert
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • August Milk Production Up 2.6% - - The Agriculture Departments preliminary data issued this afternoon in its latest Milk Production report, shows August milk output in the top 23 producing states at 16.18 billion pounds, up 2.6 percent from August 2013. The 50-state total, at 17.22 billion pounds, was up 2.5 percent from a year ago. Revisions reduced the original July 23-state estimate by 1 million pounds, now reported at 16.4 billion pounds, up 4 percent from a year ago. August cow numbers in the 23 states, at 8.58 million head, down 1,000 from July but 60,000 more head than a year ago. The 50-State count, at 9.28 million head, is down 1,000 from July but 47,000 more than a year ago. August output per cow in the 23 states averaged 1,885 pounds, down 26 pounds from July, but 35 pounds above August 2013, and the highest production per cow for the month of August since the 23 State series began in 2003. Sept. 19, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • U.S. Wheat Prices Pushed to Four-Year Low - - U.S. wheat prices sit at the lowest level in more than four years, buffeted by sluggish demand for U.S. supplies amid abundant global stockpiles of the grain. Bumper crops around the world have added to supplies, driving global prices lower and reducing demand for U.S. wheat which, when shipping charges are added, is more expensive than grain produced in places such as the European Union and Ukraine. <more> Sept. 21, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Dairy industry losing war as milk consumption falls - - Despite notable marketing cam- paigns such as the got milk? slogan, Americans consume 37 percent less of the drink than they did in 1970, according to the USDA, even as the sale of cheese, yogurt and other dairy products is climbing. Cheese consumption has nearly tripled over that period. In 1972, Americans drank an average of 7.5 ounces per 8-ounce glass poured; in 2010, consumption fell to an average of 4.8 ounces. Americans are still drinking the same amount in beverages as they did in the 1970s, but data show theyre spreading their intake across a greater number of options. <more> Sept. 21, 2014 Watertown Daily Times
  • Ethanol industry having a solid year - - Its shaping up to be one of the best years ever for the ethanol business. Operating profits for many ethanol makers more than doubled in the second quarter compared with last year, reflecting lower prices for corn and strong demand for the fuel, sustained partly by exports. Valero Energy, which owns 11 U.S. ethanol plants, including one in Minnesota, reported operating income of 63 cents per gallon, more than double that of the quarter a year ago. <more> Sept. 20, 2014 Star Tribune

 

Environmental News

  • Air board offers ag exempt truck deadline of Jan. 31 , 2015 - - Owners of agricultural trucks that qualify for an identifying AG sticker will have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register with the California Air Resources Board. Mileage limits have been streamlined and increased slightly. CARB is reopening the registration period for those farmers who have not reported and claimed their ag exemption. Farmers who already have the exemption do not need to take any further action. The agricultural vehicle provisions include: Delay compliance for vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized trucks. Apply to diesel trucks and buses with a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds, thus excluding pickups. Include agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Do not apply to truck tractors that enter ports or intermodal rail yards or transport marine cargo. These vehicles must comply with the Drayage Truck regulation. Additional fact sheets and information are available by contacting your local WUD field representative or online at www.arb.ca.gov/ dieseltruck, by calling (866) 6DIESEL (866-634-3735) or email 8666diesel@arb.ca.gov. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Beer fight brewing over EPA rule - - A battle is brewing in the beer industry over a new regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency that spells out the agencys authority to regulate bodies of water. Dozens of small craft brewers, such as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, are rallying behind the EPAs proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, arguing it will help ensure that they have clean water for their products. But farmers who supply beer ingredients like barley, wheat and hops, say the rule has the potential to massively cut production on their lands, raising beer prices in the process. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 The Hill
  • China's polluted air may be affecting Fresno - - Last weekend, the most corrosive air of summer descended on northwest Fresno the kind of lung-searing day that would crack the rubber band on your newspaper if you left it on the driveway. The usual suspects in this kind of ozone siege are stifling heat, traffic and fires. It was a weekend, so commute pollution was not as bad. But Fresno was a stagnant 103 degrees, Sierra Nevada wildfires had burned for days and dirty air hung in the sweltering Valley. As bad as that sounds, it may not be the whole story, local air leaders say. Global pollution may be helping to create those dirty-air days. <more> Sept. 20, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Pizza Hut tests "Skinny Slice" pizza - - So here's the skinny: Pizza Hut's testing a lower-calorie pizza. In fact, the pizza giant is actually testing two so-called "Skinny Slice" pizzas in a total 47 restaurants in two different test markets: Toledo, Ohio and West Palm Beach, Fl. But these are not new pizzas made from pie-in-the-sky recipes. Rather, they are made with the same ingredients as conventional Pizza Hut pizzas, except the crust is a tad thinner and the cheese and toppings a bit lighter. "It may be attractive to a customer who might not be including pizza in their regular choice of meals," says Doug Terfehr, a Pizza Hut spokesman. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 USA Today
  • South Val ley Golf tourney raises funds for WUD Federal PAC - - More than 80 golfers gathered at the Visalia Country Club on Monday, September 15 in a successful fundraising event for Western United Dairymens Federal Political Action Committee. Despite the hot weather, the daylong event saw plenty of competition among the teams. The winning team taking home top honors with a score of 60 included Jared Fernandes, Josh Fernandes, Gregory Fernandes and Mike Pareira. Other awards were given to: John Pimentel the winner of Mike Marshs $100 and Steven Gardner both for closest-to-the-pin; Bobby Hains for mens longest drive; Karen DeGroot for womens longest drive and the putting contest prize went to Tim Bullock. Many prizes were given out during the dinner, with the grand raffle prize of a flat screen TV going to Kelly Toomey. Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Dairy consumption linked to lower blood pressure risk - - Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) claims 17 million lives each year, while complications from high blood pressure take an additional 9.4 million.1 New research presented by international scientists at the 12th Euro Fed Lipid Congress in Montpellier, France on September 15, 2014, suggests that milk consumption and dairy may play a beneficial role. At the Milk and Dairy Products in Human Health session, the association between milk and risk for hypertension and CVD was examined by Dr. Sabita S. Soedamah-Muthu from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Dr. Soedamah-Muthu explained that, based on nine studies with 57,256 individuals and 15,367 cases of hypertension, the analysis revealed that as total dairy, low-fat dairy and milk (just over two cups a day) consumption increased, the risk for high blood pressure decreased. Milk intake was not statistically significantly associated with risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and total mortality. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Global Dairy Platform press release
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Sept. 25 hearing set on proposed heat standard changes - - The Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board will hold a public hearing on September 25 to get feedback on proposed changes to the heat illness prevention standard. The event is open to all stakeholders. There are two ways to participate. 1. Attend the hearing in person. It will be held from 10 am to 5 pm at the San Diego County Administration Center,1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310, San Diego. 2. Submit comments in writing. Comments must be received no later than 5 pm on September 25, 2014. Comments should be mailed to the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95833 OR faxed to 916-274- 5743 OR emailed to oshsb@dir.ca.gov .You can read the complete official document provided by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board at http://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/ noticeSep2014.pdf . Sept. 19, 2014 WUD Friday Update
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

 

Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Quaker Oats Man Gets a Milk Mustache - - The Quaker Oats guy is getting a new look for the first time since 1877. The makeover is courtesy of a new partnership between Americas Milk Companies and Quaker Oats, which will feature Larry, the Quaker Oats guy sporting a milk mustache. The new push encourages oatmeal lovers to swap their water for milk when cooking their oats and enjoy it alongside a cold glass of milk for an added serving of protein in the morning. Larry is the latest in a long line of stars, celebrities, athletes and musical types who have sported the iconic milk mustache in ads and campaigns for the milk industry through the years. The new look will appear on canisters of Quaker Oats sold in grocery stores, marking the first time the mustache has made it to market shelves. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Ad Week

Water News

  • California's water rules: Easing or aiding drought? - - California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law the first measure in the state's history to regulate groundwater supplies. It's no small accomplishment in a place that's battled over water rights for decadesand is the last Western state to finally have groundwater rules. What forced the change is the ongoing drought. Staring at a fourth year of severe droughtand increasingly dependent on groundwater sources that are in danger of drying upthere was enough agreement among California's politicians to get a law on the books. But controversy lingersfrom those who say the regulations go too far, to those who say they don't go far enough. And by the way they are written, there is the question of whether they will actually help ease the pain of the drought. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 CNBC
  • Congress keeps California water talks flowing - - Secret California water bill negotiations have a 55 percent to 60 percent chance of success during the fast-fading 113th Congress, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said Thursday. In her first extended public comments on the closely held water talks, Boxer voiced cautious optimism even as she criticized House Republicans for trying to exclude Northern California Democrats. Im very hopeful, Boxer told reporters. I would say the discussions are going well. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Corn Price Outlook Falls to $3.50 for 2014/15 - - The prospect of record crops has prompted the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri to lower average farm corn prices to $3.50 for 2014/15, soybean prices to $9.92/bu. and all wheat prices to $5.91. All are lower than FAPRIs August update of its annual March long-term baseline. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Ag Web
  • Cattle traded at lower prices on Friday - - USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was light to moderate in Kansas on Friday afternoon on light to moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales were 2.00 to 3.00 lower at 159.00. A few dressed sales in Nebraska traded 3.00 to 5.00 lower than last week at mostly 245.00.The weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 571,000 head, 21,000 fewer than last week and 60,000 less than 2013. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Despite USDA approval, Dow's new GMO corn and soybeans face hurdles - - U.S. approval of Dow AgroSciences' new genetically-modified corn and soybeans takes the agricultural giant a step closer to its "most important" product launch ever, but a series of hurdles remain, the company said on Thursday. "We sure are aware of the concerns that have been expressed," said Dow AgroSciences President Tim Hassinger in an interview. "At the same time, weve been really pleased with how the farm community and the broader agricultural community have come forward in support," he said. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Reuters
  • Oil Clogging U.S. Railways Seen Limiting Exports of Grain - - Shipping companies probably will miss out on exports from the record U.S. grain harvest because the shale-oil boom is clogging up rail lines to ports. While the U.S. will reap the most crops ever, fourth-quarter export cargoes will be 15 percent lower than last year, according to RS Platou Markets AS, a Norwegian bank specialized in shipping. Rates for Panamaxes, the most commonly used vessels for grains, averaged $7,574 a day this year, headed for the lowest level since at least 1999. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Bloomberg

 

Environmental News

  • Bye, bye water - - The federal government in a move questioned by some biologists as to its effectiveness is going to release 23,000 acre feet of water in October from New Melones during the fall run of Chinook salmon in the Stanislaus River. Thats enough water to supply the domestic needs of the cities of Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon for more than three years or 331,000 Californians for a year, And while it is being done in the name of helping the fish, biologist Andrea Fuller with Fishbio notes more than 10 years of intense studies show it will have a negligible impact if even that. And ultimately it could hurt fish. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Manteca Bulletin
  • Tougher San Joaquin Valley wood-burning rules begin in 6 weeks - - San Joaquin Valley air leaders on Thursday approved tighter wood-burning rules aimed at about 240,000 homes creating 95% of the dangerous soot from fireplaces and older wood-burning heaters. The rules could result in 85 no-burn days for Fresno County alone -- and it all starts in about six weeks. The burning bans, which have become familiar over the last 11 years, will be triggered when particle pollution is at significantly lower levels than in the past. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Disaster assistance deadlines loom for farmers, ranchers - - Farmers who experienced losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year may be eligible for assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22. Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for the assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Government Scientists Try to Take the Stink Out of Pig Manure - - Efforts to combat the acrid odor of swine manure, which typically is stored in giant pits, have increased as farms get bigger and suburbs creep closer. The smell can pit neighbor against neighbor, sparking complaints and court battles, not to mention environmental concerns. Some of the research over the years has been criticized in Congress as pork-barrel spending, but farm funk remains a priority for the Agriculture Department. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 


 
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium, Dec. 10-12, Long Beach - - Registration is now open for the 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grains Symposium scheduled for Dec. 10 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. As California grows nearly three million acres of alfalfa, grains, silages, and other forage crops, there is a strong need to share information, says Dan Putnam, Extension agronomist and forage specialist and the 2014 Symposium Chair. This will be a comprehensive meeting to focus on critical issues related to alfalfa and grain crops, particularly global issues, economics, and practical 'how to' talks on crop production techniques. <more> Sept. 19, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com

 

Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • White House issues executive order combatting antibiotic resistance - - The White House issued today an executive order to create a plan to fight antibiotic resistance, a problem the Administration said is a serious threat to public health and the economy. The orderinstructs the Food and Drug Administration to continue working to eliminate the use of medically important classes of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in food-producing animals. Scientists say overuse of these antibiotics can lead to germs that cannot be treated through traditional use of antibiotics. By signing the order, President Barack Obama will create a task force co-chaired by the Secretaries of Defense, Agriculture, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The group will work towards new regulations and submit a 5-year action plan to implement those regulations. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • Domino's Pizza targeted after abuse at dairy farm - - An animal welfare group is targeting Ann Arbor-based Domino's Pizza and other chains with its release of a video showing workers abusing cows at a farm that supplies milk for pizza cheese. The undercover video, titled "Slice of Cruelty" and taken at a dairy farm in Lake Arthur, N.M., shows workers punching, kicking and whipping cows and shocking their genitals with electric prods, tossing calves into truck beds, using heaving equipment to force sick animals into confined spots and committing other types of abuse. "This is certainly some of the most shocking abuse that we've ever documented," said Matt Rice, director of investigations for Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Detroit Free Press
  • Denver-based Leprino Foods terminates contract with abusive dairy - - Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. on Wednesday said it has terminated shipments from a New Mexico dairy where workers were caught on video abusing cows. "Leprino Foods Company prides itself in providing an uncompromising commitment to high-quality real cheese that starts with fresh, wholesome milk. This milk must be supplied to us by farmers who share our commitment to the highest level of animal health and wellness," the company said in a release. The New Mexico Livestock Board confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating practices at Winchester Dairy near Dexter in southeastern New Mexico, according to The Associated Press. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 The Denver Post
  • Group levels abuse allegations against New Mexico dairy - - The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an investigation into a southern New Mexico dairy after an activist working with an animal welfare group recorded secret video showing workers whipping cows with chains and wire cables, kicking and punching the animals, and shocking them with electric prods. Board officials confirmed the investigation into the practices at the Winchester Dairy near Dexter on Tuesday, saying they are working to schedule interviews with the activist as well as the workers identified in the video. We are investigating it very aggressively. The district attorney is on board and everybody is working hard to make sure we do this right, said Shawn Davis, an area supervisor with the livestock board. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 AP
  • Ag Companies Merge to Increase Meat and Milk Production - - Two Indiana agricultural companies, Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), announced that they have reached a strategic research and development (R&D) agreement that will focus on developing integrated solutions to enable livestock producers to increase meat and milk production to meet the demands of the growing global population. A joint press release cites the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as saying demand for meat, milk, and eggs will increase by more than 60 percent in the next few decades. The agreement leverages the strengths of Elancos animal health business with the proprietary germplasm and feed technologies of Dow AgroSciences to develop innovative solutions that can increase the efficiency, quality, and productivity of livestock for ranchers and producers worldwide. Dow AgroSciences is proud to work closely with another Indiana agricultural company to develop future product solutions for beef and dairy producers, says Tim Hassinger, President and CEO, Dow AgroSciences. Sept. 18, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Profits plunge, General Mills to fire 430 Lodi workers - - General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is firing all 430 workers at its cereal-making plant in Lodi and will shut it down after 67 years of operation. The action is subject to unspecified talks with the employees union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, Local 59G. The company says its part of a streamlining of operations. It has not said where, if anywhere, the Lodi workload will be shifted. On Wednesday, the company disappointed Wall Street when it reported first quarter net earnings of $345 million, or 55 cents per share, in revenue of $4.27 billion. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     

Water News

  • Farmers unhappy with new groundwater regulations - - Even though California was the only state in the West without groundwater legislation, officials with the Kern County Farm Bureau said they're not happy with the state's bill. To put a cap on that blood line of water, I think its dangerous, said Sanders. Everything about farming is already unpredictable, harvest to harvest. Thats why the Farm Bureau is glad that for now this new package of laws will allow the water to be managed locally, even though it gives the state new authority to step in. Were not a one size fits all area, said Jim Beck, the general manager of the Kern County Water Agency. With new regulations theres always some good and theres always some bad. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 KBAK/KBFX
  • Hi, do you have water? In a central California town, the answer is often no - - Until this week, California was the only Western state that didn't regulate groundwater, including an estimated 600,000 private, domestic wells mostly in more rural regions such as the Central Valley. Groundwater levels here have plunged by 60 feet or more in some spots, and tens of thousands of wells are in danger. In July, Johnson decided to put together a list of people out of water in East Porterville. She figured that while she was at it, she should bring them water. The Porterville Recorder ran an article that gave her phone number and address and said she was collecting bottled water for drought victims. The next day there were pallets of plastic bottles under her tarp carport. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 LA Times
  • California Groundwater: Court Case Could Speed Up Regulation - - Californias Supreme Court is being pressed to take up a case that could dramatically alter oversight for groundwater, building on a landmark water rights ruling the court made a generation ago. Earlier this summer, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled that rural Siskiyou County in Northern California must consider people downstream who depend on the Scott River before issuing permits to drill wells and pump groundwater nearby. If the high court accepts the case and upholds that ruling, the result could be new controls on groundwater pumping in addition to those contained in legislation just signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 KQED
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Alfalfa - A survivor crop of the California drought? - - Alfalfa, the crop with the largest acreage in California, could well emerge as a survivor in the state hard hit by drought. This plant is a tough plant, said Dan Putnam, alfalfa and forage specialist with the University of California at Davis. He believes the deeply-rooted plant will likely survive once the plant is rehydrated, and he cited previous research trials that showed its ability to survive in the face of deficit or nearly no irrigation. Putnams observation came during an alfalfa and forage field day at the Kearney Ag Center in Parlier, where he also cited high costs for alfalfa hay this year ($200 to $350 per ton), which is proving to be an incentive for growers to value yield over quality at a time when production is down as much as 10 to 20 percent. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Altered to Withstand Herbicide, Corn and Soybeans Gain Approval - - The Agriculture Department has approved the commercial planting of corn and soybeans genetically engineered to survive being sprayed by the herbicide known as 2,4-D, according to documents it posted on a federal regulatory website on Wednesday. Some corn and soybean growers have been pushing for approval, saying the new crops would give them a sorely needed new tool to fight rapidly spreading weeds that can no longer be killed by Roundup, known generically as glyphosate, the usual herbicide of choice. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 The New York Times
  • Barrel cheddar, butter prices hit record highs on Chicago Mercantile Exchange - - The run-up in dairy product prices continued Wednesday as barrel cheddar cheese and butter each hit their highest prices ever on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That's good news for Wisconsin's nearly 11,000 dairy farms, because the prices they receive for milk are calculated using formulas based in part on butter and cheddar cheese prices. The price situation is caused by a supply-demand imbalance as the peak consumption season for butter and cheese approaches in the U.S. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 The Journal Sentinel
  • Fluid Milks Dismal Decline - - Its no secret that fluid milk sales are on the decline. What is stunning is the degree to which sales have plummeted. In the first half of 2014, total fluid milk product sales have dropped 2.4%. Since 2009, total fluid milk sales have declined nearly 5%. Whole milk and 2% milk have taken the biggest hits, according to the issue of the "Bulletin," a monthly e-newsletter published by the Central Market Area Federal Order. Per capita sales are even more dismal. Per capita sales have decreased by more than 15% since 2000, and by more than a third since 1975. The last increase came in 2008. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 Dairy Today

 

Environmental News

  • More emergency water releases for Klamath salmon - - For the second time this year, federal officials are releasing additional water from a Northern California reservoir to combat a parasite that threatens to kill thousands of salmon in the drought-parched Klamath River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it doubled the outflows from Lewiston Dam into the Trinity River on Tuesday, and will keep them up for seven days. The decision was made following the discovery of a parasite known as Ich, which attacks salmon in stagnant water conditions. The agency increased flows last month to combat the same problem. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 AP
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
  • Disaster assistance deadlines loom for farmers, ranchers - - Farmers who experienced losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year may be eligible for assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22. Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for the assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Dinners on the farm are a growing trend in the Valley - - As interest in food and farming continues to grow, one trend that is slowly taking root in the San Joaquin Valley are dinners on the farm. Throughout the state, the events take many forms, but generally involve guests eating at long tables draped in white linens. Dinner is typically top-notch and features seasonal fruits, vegetables and locally raised meats. The meals are sometimes prepared by a well-known local chef or a farmer with good culinary skills. Many of the dinners are served in a picturesque location such as a rustic barn, under fruit trees or at a winery. And while the Valley may not be blessed with coastal views or rolling hills, local farmers are doing things their own way. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • In Japan, Traditional Italian Pizza Is Tops - - In the birthplace of sushi, a pizza obsession has been developing. Pizzerias specializing in artisanal Neapolitan-style pies have popped up at a brisk pace across Japan, with chefs tackling the craft of pizza with the same meticulous zeal that has made the country a culinary star in other cuisines. (Nearly 50 French restaurants in Tokyo have at least one Michelin star.) <more> Sept. 17, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 
 

  • Californias Fertilizer Research Conference Comes to Modesto October 29-30, 2014 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association are hosting their 22nd annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto on October 29-30, 2014. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn about the latest research and sound management of fertilizing materials. This conference is designed to improve educational outreach by communicating the application of fertilizing materials on agricultural lands for food production and the use of those materials in consideration of existing environmental issues. The conference is geared towards a wide range of agriculturalists, including agricultural supply and service consultants, growers, university extension specialists, certified crop advisers, and local, state and national governmental agency personnel. <more> Sept. 18, 2014 CDFA news release
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
     

 

 

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Water News

  • California water bond, budget reserve campaign committee raises $650,000 - - A campaign committee to pass a $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown received its first infusion of money late Tuesday. The statewide carpenters union, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and the California American Council of Engineering Companies gave $650,000 to Yes on Props 1 and 2, a bipartisan coalition of business, labor, Republicans, Democrats and Governor Brown. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Things to know about California groundwater law - - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will require the first-ever rules for pumping groundwater in California. Why lawmakers and the governor acted, and what the new laws mean. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 U-T San Diego
  • Drought Becomes Powerful Political Tool for Brown, Lawmakers - - Gov. Jerry Brown didnt miss a beat on Tuesday when asked what made a deal come together on a first-ever law regulating the use of groundwater in California. First of all, weve got a drought, said Brown. And thats got everybodys attention. And that attention has allowed Brown, partially in public and a lot behind the scenes, to wield some real power on one of the most contentious issues in the history of the Golden State. On Tuesday, the governor signed into law three bills that put in place a first series of steps to limit what, until now, has been almost limitless: the power of individuals and industries to tap underground water supplies. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 KQED
  • California governor OKs bills to regulate groundwater amid drought - - California Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of bills on Tuesday to regulate California's stressed groundwater supplies amid a drought that is expected to cost the state $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other damages, with no end in sight. The bills will allow the state to take over management of underground aquifers and water accessed via wells, and aim to tighten oversight of water at a time when groundwater levels are shrinking in the third year of a catastrophic drought. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 Reuters
  • Lawsuits could bog down groundwater law - - The road ahead is chock-full of legal obstacles for the sweeping groundwater legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Tuesday, according to legal experts familiar with the issue. They list a host of sticking points that could generate lawsuits as soon as the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. A key issue is the fact that state law is divided on exactly who has the right to the water in the aquifers under Kings County. The water itself is defined as public resource, but the right to use it for beneficial applications such as for homes and to grow crops goes to whoever is pumping it. Its a serious issue for local farmers and land owners who rely on private wells to support their homes, grow crops and feed livestock. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Poverty rate posts first notable drop since 06; Latinos show big strides - - The poorest Americans, particularly those who are Latino, finally are showing signs of joining in the economic recovery as the nation's poverty rate dropped significantly last year for the first time since 2006. The improving labor market drove the decrease in the rate to 14.5% from 15%, which was near the highest level in a generation, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. The number of people with year-round, full-time jobs rose by about 2.8 million to 105.8 million last year. The increase included nearly a million households with children under 18 years old, helping fuel the first significant drop in the child poverty rate in more than a decade. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 The LA Times
  • 800 Million People Still Malnourished, U.N. Says - - More than 800 million people worldwide do not get enough to eat, even as the world produces more than twice as much food as it needs, according to new figures released Tuesday by the United Nations. Hunger has declined slowly over the last decade: 11.3 percent of the worlds population was clinically undernourished in the 2012-14 period, down from 18.7 percent in the 1990-92 period. Hunger keeps its hold on a handful of countries. Chad, Central African Republic and Ethiopia have some of the highest rates of undernourished people. A relatively large percentage of the population remains hungry across South Asia. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 The New York Times
  • Documents reveal how poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocks - - Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health. Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nations largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds lives. In every instance of antibiotic use identified by Reuters, the doses were at the low levels that scientists say are especially conducive to the growth of so-called superbugs, bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines used to treat people. Some of the antibiotics belong to categories considered medically important to humans. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Reuters
  • Free 'healthy' food for fast-food receipts - - Suppose that you could upload a photo of your fast-food receipts from the past year worth up to $50 and get the corresponding amount of free, healthy, ready-to-prepare food in exchange for that? One of the nation's largest recipe-kit delivery services is betting that thousands of new customers will bite. The unusual, free food promotion, dubbed "You're Better than Takeout" begins Tuesday. It's sponsored by HelloFresh, one of the few fresh recipe-kit delivery services with operations nationwide. The receipts can be from McDonald's or Pizza Hut or any chain fast-food joint and that includes Millennial favorites Starbucks, Chipotle and Panera. The receipts can be smudged with ketchup, mayo or BBQ dipping sauce just so the amount is legible. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 USA Today
  • Whole Foods' Anti-GMO Swindle - - Writing about science-and-society controversies can be a bit like running laps on a track, or watching Teletubbies, or listening to a fugue. The same things keep happening again and again. Take this recent experience of déjà vu: Back in the day (i.e. the mid-aughts), creationists went through a phase of putting labels on textbooks. The labels were often accurate, technically speaking. They explained that evolution was a theory, and that it was controversialboth true things. In court, labelers could argue that they were just trying to give students choices, while encouraging critical thinking. Their opponents suggested that the labels, even if they were accurate, were fundamentally deceptive. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 The Daily Beast

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Cattle Is Last Bull as Herds Dwindle: Riskless Return - - As bulging supplies of commodities such as corn and sugar drive most raw materials lower, cattle futures are providing a haven for commodity investors. Prices are up 23 percent in the past 12 months and are on pace for a sixth straight annual gain, which would be the best streak in at least five decades. Futures reached an all-time high this month. After adjusting for volatility, cattle ranks first among the 34 Bloomberg-tracked raw materials in the past year. Prolonged drought in Texas forced ranchers to shrink herds and left the fewest cattle in at least six decades, government data show. Declining animal supplies means U.S. beef and veal production in 2014 will be the smallest in 20 years, as gains in meat costs are a leader among food inflation increases, according to the Department of Agriculture. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
  • White House committed to ethanol, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack says - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday offered support to ethanol producers facing challenges now, saying the White House is committed to boosting use of the fuel in the country's gasoline supply. Speaking before a friendly audience of biofuel producers in Washington, the former Iowa governor said he is confident the Obama administration will restore at least some of the proposed cuts that would have sharply reduced the amount of ethanol required to be blended into the fuel supply in 2014. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 Gannett News Service
  • October Federal order Class Base Milk Price Up 56-Cents - - The Agriculture Department announced the October Federal order Class I base milk price this afternoon at $24.19 per hundredweight, up 56 cents from September, $4.99 above October 2013, and equates to about $2.08 per gallon. That put the ten month Class I average at $23.28, up from $18.55 at this time a year ago and $16.74 in 2012. The two-week NDPSR-surveyed butter price used to calculate the October Class I value was $2.7652 per pound, up 33.3 cents from September. Nonfat dry milk averaged $1.4766, down 3.3 cents. Cheese averaged $2.3062, up 24 cents, and dry whey averaged 67.47 cents per pound, down 1.8 cents. For a point of comparison, the October Class I price in California was $26.09 per cwt. for the North and $26.36 for the South. Keep in mind, with the Federal order Class I base, each order adds its Class I differential to that base price to determine that particular orders Class I milk price. Also, California prices off of the CME cash markets whereas Federal order prices are based off the National Dairy Products Sales Report, which lags the CME cash prices so California prices reflect changes sooner. Sept. 17, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
  • Disaster assistance deadlines loom for farmers, ranchers - - Farmers who experienced losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year may be eligible for assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22. Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for the assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Food innovation institute planned for UC Davis - - A new institute designed to deliver big-impact, Silicon Valley-type breakthroughs in food, agriculture and health is planned for the University of California, Davis, funded in part by Mars Inc. The institute is to be the innovation arm of the World Food Center at UC Davis and advance new discoveries in sustainable food, agriculture and health along the entire innovation process from laboratory research to commercialization. Establishing the Innovation Institute for Food and Health will mark a great step forward in addressing the sustainability challenges we face at the nexus between food, agriculture and health, says UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • 2015 Sustainability Awards now accepting nominations - - The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is accepting applications for the 2015 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. Award categories include: Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability; Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability; Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships (NEW); and Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship (NEW). The deadline for nominations is November 7, 2014. More information about the awards and process is available at http://www.usdairy.com/sustainability/us-dairy-sustainability-awards. Sept. 16, 2014 Dairy Cares news
  • McDonalds Considers Expanding Its Build-Your-Burger Test - - McDonalds Corp. (MCD)s build-your-own-burger experiment, under way in four Southern California restaurants, could be coming to many more locations as the chain seeks to pull out of the worst sales slump in a decade. The test, which lets customers pick out burger toppings such as jalapenos and tortilla strips on a touch screen, will be taken to additional markets depending on how the trial goes, said Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for McDonalds. The program started late last year at an Orange County restaurant and then expanded to three more McDonalds in August. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Bloomberg
  • Bragg's lamb sells for more than $24,000 - - Garrett Bragg, a much beloved baseball player and member of Future Farmers of America at Redwood High School, never got the chance to show the lamb he'd been raising throughout the summer for the Tulare County Fair. Bragg, 17, was killed Aug. 23 in a crash on Highway 99. And so it was an emotional and bittersweet moment when Garrett's family and friends in the FFA gathered Saturday at the fair to auction Garrett's lamb. No one could've expected what happened. The students, who had taken turns caring for the animal since Bragg's passing, groomed the lamb to look its very best and then painted a big "12" on the side. The entire class stood by as it was introduced as Garrett's lamb. Redwood's ag teacher John Coon spoke about Garrett's role in FFA and Garrett's mother also addressed the crowd. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • Tulare County Fair attendance up 68% - - More than 103,000 attended the Tulare County Fair earlier this month, surpassing last year's attendance by nearly 68 percent. The fair kicked off its 95th year Sept. 10-14 featuring new exhibits, an expanded carnival, musical guests, food vendors. the antique tractor parade and a tractor pull. As well, visitors saw Buttercup the Cow made from 500 pounds of butter, toured the Walk on the Wild Side exotic animal display and caught a motorcycle thrill ride and demolition derby. The fairgrounds saw 103,594 pass through the gates this year compared to about 61,713 in 2013. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 The Business Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 
 

  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Water News

  • VIDEO: Jerry Brown signs groundwater legislation - - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday enacting sweeping new regulations on groundwater pumping in California, making the state the last in the West to regulate the practice. The groundwater package, which gained momentum at the Capitol amid the states ongoing drought, was negotiated by Brown and lawmakers in late August, and the governors signature was all but assured. This is a big deal, Brown said at a signing ceremony at the Capitol. Its been known about for decades that underground water has to be managed and regulated in some way. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Ag leaders on-hand as Governor Brown signs landmark groundwater legislation - Signing message from Governor Brown - - To Members of the California Legislature: I am signing AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319, which taken collectively establish a new structure for managing the States groundwater. These bills accomplish a number of goals described in the California Water Action Plan, a five-year plan to sustainably manage our water resources. When combined with other elements outlined in the plan conservation, water recycling, expanded storage, safe drinking water, wetlands and watershed restoration and the passage of Proposition 1, we can take giant strides to secure Californias water future. A central feature of these bills is the recognition that groundwater management in California is best accomplished locally. Local agencies will now have the power to assess the conditions of their local groundwater basins and take the necessary steps to bring those basins in a state of chronic long-term overdraft into balance. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
  • California governor signs groundwater management bills - - Despite calls by agricultural interests for vetoes, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed three pieces of legislation that will implement groundwater management rules. Until now, California was one of the few states without any statewide groundwater regulations. The bills were Senate Bills 1168 and 1319 and Assembly Bill 1739. In an Aug. 29 letter, a bipartisan group of lawmakers urged him to vote no on the legislation. They acknowledged the issue of long-term groundwater overdraft but contended the bills infringe on personal property rights and undermine local control. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 The Grower
  • Gov. Brown's Delta water diversion project gets bashed in Washington - - California Governor Jerry Browns $25 billion twin tunnel water diversion project is getting no love from Washington these days. First, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would violate the Clean Water Act. Now, California lawmakers are trying to pull the plug on federal funding to help launch the project. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a joint federal and state initiative financed by California's water contractors. Its stated purpose is to help restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and guarantee a stable water supply for millions of Californians. The plan includes construction of twin tunnels to carry water south to farms and cities. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 KPCC
  • California drought: Dramatic before-and-after photos - - California is in a historic three-year drought, and recent photos taken in Northern California put a visual exclamation mark on the issue. The images were captured in August by Justin Sullivan of Getty Images, in the same locations at Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake where the California Department of Water Resources took photos in July 2011. Lake Oroville in Butte County is currently at 31 percent capacity, while Folsom Lake near Sacramento is at 38 percent of capacity. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 San Francisco Gate
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • The scope of illegals in California - - One out of every 15 people in California is there illegally, according to the 2014 update of Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State by the California Immigrant Policy Center. A key focus of the report is the significant financial impact that immigrants in general have on the most populous U.S. state, which, if it were a country, would have the eighth largest economy in the world. In doing so, it also estimates the portion contributed by illegal immigrants. Of Californias population of 38 million (2012 data), the report estimates the current number of illegal immigrants at 2.6 million (6.8 percent). It also emphasizes the significant contribution they make to the states total economy an estimated $130 billion (6.2 percent) of its gross domestic product. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Hoards Dairyman
  • High speed rail board considers farmland in Fresno County - - More than 70 parcels of Fresno County farmland now under Williamson Act agricultural preservation contracts will be addressed Tuesday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The rail board, meeting in Palmdale, is expected to certify that the pieces of property -- which are along the approved right of way within the county of the state's proposed bullet-train line -- are necessary for the railroad route and were not selected just because of lower property values. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • GMO safety, weed control top concerns as U.S. study kicks off - - Agriculture experts raised a number of concerns with genetically modified crops, including safety and spreading weed resistance, at the first public meeting of a U.S. government sponsored study of genetically engineered crops held Monday. The study, led by the National Research Council (NRC) and sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, comes at a time of growing consumer suspicion of genetically modified crops, which are used in a variety of packaged food products. Many U.S. states are seeking mandatory labeling of foods with GMO ingredients, and a growing number of food companies are offering non-GMO products. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Reuters
  • Recount Upholds Vote Approving 'Right To Farm' Amendment - - The results of a recount of the votes for the so-called 'right-to-farm' constitutional amendment show that it did pass, though by a slightly slimmer margin than originally announced. The recount results, announced Monday by the secretary of state's office shows that Constitutional Amendment 1 passed by 2,375 votes out of almost a million votes cast. The difference between "yes" and "no" votes before the recount was 2,490. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 St. Louis Public Radio

Pricing/Commodity News

  • As U.S. Farm Cycle Turns, Tractor Makers May Suffer Longer Than Farmers - - Farm equipment makers insist the sales slump they face this year because of lower crop prices and farm incomes will be short-lived. Yet there are signs the downturn may last longer than tractor and harvester makers, including Deere & Co , are letting on and the pain could persist long after corn, soybean and wheat prices rebound. Farmers and analysts say the elimination of government incentives to buy new equipment, a related overhang of used tractors, and a reduced commitment to biofuels, all darken the outlook for the sector beyond 2019 - the year the U.S. Department of Agriculture says farm incomes will begin to rise again. Company executives are not so pessimistic. <more> Sept. 16, 2014 Reuters
  • CWT Accepts 12 Export Assistance Requests - - The dairy farmer-funded Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 12 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Michigan Milk Producers Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 692,252 pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheese and 1.422 million pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. The product will be delivered through March 2015 and raised CWTs 2014 cheese exports to 86.203 million pounds, plus 48.188 million pounds of butter and 33.171 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.122 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis, according to CWT. Sept. 16, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Tight Supply-Demand Balance Keeping Prices High - - Milk and dairy product prices generally moved higher in August as most domestic dairy product markets remain in tight supply-demand balance, according to the latest Dairy Market Report from the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Management Incorporated. This is producing a distinct double peak for U.S. milk prices this year, despite continued weakness in world prices for all dairy products. Growth in commercial use of dairy products in both domestic and export markets has generally kept pace with domestic production. They warn that this probably wont continue much longer, as cow numbers build, and milk production per cow accelerates. Recent drops in feed prices continued in August, but at a moderating pace. Read the entire report at: http://dairyline.com/NMPF/DMR_September2014.pdf. Sept. 16, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Consumers willing to dig deeper in wallets for beef - - Consumers participating in the monthly Food Demand Survey conducted by Oklahoma State Universitys Department of Agricultural Economics reported a willingness to pay more for beef compared to last month and last year. After remaining virtually unchanged in August, consumers indicated in the monthly survey that their willingness-to-pay for steak and hamburger increased as much as 3.7 percent. According to the survey, consumers are willing to pay $7.18 per pound for steak, up from 7.01 per pound last month and $7.16 last year, and $4.48 for hamburger, up from $4.32 in August and $4.16 in September 2013. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

 

Environmental News

  • More no burn days coming to air district vote - - No burn days have helped the Valley make great strides on cutting down pollution over the years, say San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District officials. But particle pollution, mostly from dust and soot, remains a problem in the winter because of the Valleys bowl shape. The district served notice a couple of years ago that burning restrictions, already among the most stringent in the nation, would get even more strict this year. If rules are adopted Thursday as proposed, the average number of Stanislaus no burn days among 120 days of winter could shoot from 36 to 72 as the current threshold for micrograms per cubic meter of particle concentration is lowered from the current 30 to 20. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Vote in Congress ups the pressure on EPA proposal - - Opponents say they hope renewed national attention to a proposed rule that would expand U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforcement authority under the Clean Water Act will send a message to the EPA that it has gone too far. The renewed attention came in the form of floor debate in the U.S. House of Representatives, which voted in favor of legislation that would prohibit the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from proceeding with what has become known as the "waters of the U.S." proposed rule. <more> Sept. 17, 2014 Ag Alert
  • AFBF pleased with WOTUS vote - - A spokesman for the American Farm Bureau Federation says last weeks vote in the U.S. House to stop the EPAs proposed Waters of the U.S. rules sent a message to the Obama Administration that the EPA is committing regulatory overreach. Farm Bureaus Don Parrish says the bipartisan vote signified Republicans and Democrats alike are concerned by the EPAs actions, and they listened to Americas farmers. Im very gratified by the grassroots activity farmers and ranchers everywhere that worked to ditch this rule, Parrish says. This strong vote in the House gives us a lot of momentum. It gives us momentum to turn the heat up in the Senate. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
  • Disaster assistance deadlines loom for farmers, ranchers - - Farmers who experienced losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year may be eligible for assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22. Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for the assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Domestic Dairy Consumption Rising, Especially for High Milk-fat Products - - U.S. consumption of dairy products is expanding, with the fastest growth occurring in products with relatively high milk-fat content. USDAs Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates commercial disappearance (a measure of consumption) of fluid milk and other dairy-containing products in two different ways: 1) based on the milk fat content of the various products (milk-equivalent milk-fat basis) and 2) based on the skim solids (proteins, lactose, and minerals) content of the products (milk equivalent skim-solids basis). Sept. 16, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Concerns about keeping county fair afloat - - The state cut about $350,000 of the fair's operating budget, and Shannon said the foundation got to work raising money to help make up for the loss. In addition, efforts were launched to boost attendance thus increasing ticket sales along with enacting other methods to raise additional dollars that included a first-ever $5 processing fee for competition entries. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 
 

  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

 

Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

Water News

  • Temperance Flat Reservoir: It's getting serious - - For decades, federal water leaders have flirted with a larger version of Millerton Lake, northeast of Fresno, but money and politics always kept them apart. Suddenly, this affair is getting serious. A federal study this year shows that a $2.6 billion reservoir, called Temperance Flat, pencils out. Now for the first time, there's a draft environmental impact statement, citing options to make this work. In November, California voters will be asked to approve a $7.5 billion water bond. There could be public money for nearly half the cost of Temperance Flat, which would double the size of Millerton and answer a generation of prayers for more farm water. <more> Sept. 13, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • California poised to restrict groundwater pumping - - For as long as California has been a state, groundwater has remained its most exclusively private natural resource. Property owners, in many cases, can drill a well and extract all the water they want, without so much as a friendly wave to neighbors or any government agency.  California is the only state in America so completely lacking in groundwater regulation. The effects have been contentious in this drought year: Aquifers statewide are being rapidly depleted, according to available data, in some cases causing vast swaths of the overlying land to collapse and causing millions of dollars in damage to surface infrastructure, such as roads and canals. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Survey finds almond growers deeply impacted by drought - - A recent survey of California almond growers shows that the state's devastating drought has forced many farmers to drill new wells, rely on salty groundwater and bulldoze trees. The survey offers a glimpse into farming practices for one of the state's largest crops -- 860,000 acres statewide. Almonds are grown widely in the San Joaquin Valley, including Fresno County where it has become the No. 1 crop, worth $1.1 billion in 2013. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Valley and foothill towns using less water - - Local folks have cut way back on their residential water use this summer, conserving more during this drought than most other Californians. Data released by state officials this week show how frugal the Valleys city dwellers have become with water. Example: Oakdale residents used 24 percent less water this July than during July 2013, and those in Atwater used about 22 percent less. While the average statewide savings was 7.5 percent, almost every Valley town saved more water than that. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Avenal could run out of water - - One of the mottos of this small city in western Kings County is Oasis in the Sun. But that oasis could be without water by the end of the year, officials said at an Avenal City Council meeting Thursday night. Council members and staff discussed the possibility that the city, Avenal State Prison, a rest area on Interstate 5 and a truck stop could run out of water, leaving residents, prisoners and travelers high and dry until February, when the next water allocation from the California Aqueduct is released. <more> Sept. 13, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Drones may provide big lift to agriculture when FAA allows their use - - When Steve Morris began building unmanned aerial systems in the late 1990s, he envisioned flying them over fields and collecting data that would be useful to farmers. But after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, drones became largely associated with military strikes and surveillance operations. Morris said the technology became the subject of contentious political debates and public paranoia. "The entire dream evaporated at that point," said Morris, founder and president of MLB Co. in Santa Clara, Calif. "In an alternate universe where [drones] rose to prominence through helping the economy, creating businesses and jobs, people would have a different view of them." <more> Sept. 13, 2014 LA Times
  • California dairy farmers are going nuts for almonds, but at what cost? - - As I wrote in my last post, Ward and Rosie Burroughs own and operate Burroughs Family Farms, a pair of organic dairies in Californias Northern San Joaquin Valley. But the Burroughs, along with many organic dairymen in the states Central Valley, are in the middle of a perfect storm of sorts: Californias drought and federal water restrictions are quickly drying up cattle pasture and driving organic feed costs skyward. National dairy co-ops like Organic Valley are starting to respond to the crisis by paying farmers more for their milk, but prices throughout the milk supply chain arent high enough to meet the rising costs of production. To help weather the storm, the Burroughs have sold a third dairy and ramped up the production of other goods, including grass-raised meat, eggs, and olive oil. Many of their colleagues have decided to leave dairying entirely, though, closing the doors on family farms that have operated for generations. And then there are the almonds. What used to be miles of open pasture surrounding the Burroughs farm is now unending swaths of almond orchards a sight that didnt exist just a decade ago. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Grist
  • New survey: Few want more regulation of business - - Less than one quarter of Americans (22 percent) say there is too little government regulation of business and industry, while about half (49 percent) say there is too much regulation, according to a new poll by Gallup Inc. An additional 27 percent say the level of regulation is about right. The latest data are from Gallup's annual governance survey, conducted Sept. 4-7. The poll this year shows general declines in Americans' trust in all three branches of government, and a dip in Americans' trust in the federal government to handle domestic and international problems. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • CME Changes Daily Limits on Dairy Futures - - Beginning Sunday, November 2, 2014 and beginning with the November 2014 contract month and beyond, CME daily price limits will be removed from the spot month contract for Nonfat Dry Milk, Cash-Settled Butter, and Dry Whey futures. Secondly, the rules governing the triggering of expanded daily price limits in Cash-Settled Butter and Cheese futures will be amended so any contract, if it settles at the limit bid or offer, will trigger expanded daily price limits for all listed CME Cash-Settled Butter and Cheese futures contracts.
    Complete details are posted at: http://www.cmegroup.com/tools-information/lookups/advisories/ser/files/SER-7189.pdfSept. 15, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Cargill Sues Syngenta Over Sale of GMO Seeds Unapproved in China - - In a fight that highlights global sensitivity over genetically modified crops, Cargill Inc. sued Syngenta claiming that the Swiss seed maker's push to sell bioengineered corn seeds that weren't approved in China cost the U.S. grain company $90 million when Beijing rejected corn shipments. The suit, filed on Friday in Louisiana state court, escalates tensions that have shaken U.S. agribusiness since China last year sharply curtailed imports of U.S. corn. Beijing's move all but closed off a major market for the grain, contributing to a sharp decline this year in prices for the U.S.'s biggest crop by value and costing shippers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to U.S. grain groups. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

 

Environmental News

  • California breaks heat record since measurements began in 1895 - - The first eight months of 2014 were the warmest on average in Californias history since record-keeping began in 1895, federal scientists announced this week. The average temperature was 62.6 degrees in California over the time period, coming in at 1.1 degrees hotter than the previous high and more than 4 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. Meanwhile, the state continues to suffer through one of its worst droughts ever and a record-breaking heat wave is forecast for the weekend. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 LA Times
  • In drought, pop-up wetlands provide bird habitat - - For the swirling flock of migrating shorebirds banking to a landing in California's Central Valley, a recently flooded rice field is providing a new kind of triage station during a drought that's drastically reducing places where they can rest on their long journeys. The new arrivals to the field hundreds of them are dowichers, says conservationist Greg Golet, standing on a dirt berm and focusing his binoculars to identify a wading bird that is one of the first to fly south in an annual migration that brings 350 species to California's Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. With millions of birds on their way from the Arctic and subarctic and the drought cutting critical wetlands to as little as one-sixth, the field is one of the first to come on line this fall under a new program of "pop-up" habitats. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 AP
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
  • Disaster assistance deadlines loom for farmers, ranchers - - Farmers who experienced losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year may be eligible for assistance through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. Applications must be submitted to Farm Service Agency county offices by Sept. 22. Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for the assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance. <more> Sept. 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Patrick Mulvaney: Climate change affects restaurant menus today - - When I read about climate change, I learn about rising sea levels and shrinking polar ice caps problems for 100 years in the future. But when I talk to my friends and customers about climate change, the focus is on what is happening today. It seems little things are already adding up. As a chef, I have always believed that the completed dish will only be as good as the ingredients used. The bounty of the 12-month growing season is the main reason we decided to open our restaurant here in Sacramento. Because of our close relationships with local farmers, our supply chain is basically a truck and the farmers market. We can see how the drought has affected their crops. <more> Sept. 14, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Bonnie Mohr Children's Book Release: ONCE THERE WERE NO COWS - - Bonnie Mohr Studio, of Glencoe, MN, announces the release of Bonnie Mohr's first children's book, titled 'ONCE THERE WERE NO COWS'. A well known rural American and Inspirational artist, Bonnie is most well known for her real-life paintings of cows, cows, and more cows!! She now authors and paints her first children's book. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • A dairy daughter follows in female family footsteps - - While toy companies still use male figures to represent dairy farmers, in real life, women working in dairy farm positions are more common than is often depicted. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2014 Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, women comprise approximately 24.5% of the estimated 944,000 farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers in the United States. Annually, more than 7,900 jobs in agriculture and forestry occupations, as well as over 6,200 jobs in education, communication and governmental operations involved with agricultural and food systems, renewable resources and the environment are expected to open. <more> Sept. 13, 2014 North Valley Gazette
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 
 

  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

     

 

Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Grain, Soybean Futures Fall to 4-Year Lows on Record Crop Forecasts - - U.S. grain and soybean prices tumbled to their lowest levels in four years after federal forecasters predicted record-setting harvests that topped analysts' expectations. Corn prices slumped 2.1% after the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that domestic farmers will harvest a record 14.395 billion bushels this autumn, up from its forecast last month of 14.032 billion bushels. Greater-than-normal rainfall across much of the nation's Farm Belt this summer has improved soil moisture, helping crops thrive. The USDA also said in its monthly crop report that yields in the U.S.t he world's largest corn producer and exporter will reach 171.7 bushels an acre, which would shatter the record of 164.7 in 2009. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Milk Futures Rise to Record Highs - - Milk futures rose to a record as exports by the U.S. climbed amid shrinking inventories of cheese and butter, signaling higher costs for pizza and pastries. The U.S. shipped a record 17 percent of milk production in the first half, according to Alan Levitt, a spokesman at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Cheese stockpiles in July dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, and butter supplies tumbled 42 percent, the Department of Agriculture said last month. U.S. dairy costs are higher than world prices, signaling imports will increase, said Jon Spainhour, a partner at Rice Dairy LLC. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Bloomberg
  • High prices slow U.S. dairy exports - - U.S. dairy exports are slowing due to high U.S. prices that are discouraging buyers on the open market. Exports in July were down 9 percent from June on a volume basis and down 10 percent on a value basis. U.S. dairy exports in July of 171,516 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose were down 5 percent from a year ago, 9 percent from June and the lowest in six months. Export sales slowed across all categories in July, reflecting price disadvantages for U.S. suppliers and more competition from Oceana and the EU, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 Capital Press
  • CME Butter Hits $3 per Pound - - Cash butter made history again this morning at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, skyrocketing to an all time high of $3 per pound, up 15 1/2-cents on the week and an unbelievable $1.47 above a year ago when it jumped 10 cents, to $1.53 per pound. The key question now is; will spot butter top $3/lb.? Next week will provide the answer but Id say the chances look flavorable. Sept. 12, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • How Chinese babies and Mid-East pizza tip US markets - - This year in the US, milk futures leapt 26% and butter prices 62%. The rising cost of milk can affect thousands of products, including yoghurt, ice cream and even cheeseburgers. The cause of the price surge is far from straightforward, however. The world is currently engaged in a delicate dairy dance, with the whims of one nation causing significant changes for all the others. It's the butterfly effect, but with butter. Here are five international factors influencing US milk prices. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 BBC news
  • Europe Takes Emergency Measure to Soften Dairy Price Slide - - The Russian ban on dairy product imports from the European Union, United States and Australia could not have come at a worse time for Europe. The one-year ban implemented on Aug. 6 has collided with Europes large milk supply and falling milk prices. "Within a month of Russia implementing the ban, European dairy prices have fallen sharply with little signs of slowing," says Sara Dorland, analyst with the Daily Dairy Report and managing partner at Ceres Dairy Risk Management, Seattle. "European milk buyers have been lowering prices paid to farms to try to stem the flow of milk in coming months as world dairy prices continue to show weakness." <more> Sept. 11, 2014 Ag Web
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • McNerney bill would bar federal money from Delta plan - - U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, has introduced a bill to block any federal money from being used for the states twin tunnels project. The water users who stand to benefit are expected to pay for the tunnels themselves. But the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as its formally known, also calls for more than $3.5 billion in federal money to pay for other parts of the plan, including the restoration of wetland habitat in the Delta. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Sept. 25 hearing set on proposed heat standard changes - - The Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) Standards Board will hold a public hearing on September 25 to get feedback on proposed changes to the heat illness prevention standard. The event is open to all stakeholders. There are two ways to participate. 1. Attend the hearing in person. It will be held from 10 am to 5 pm at the San Diego County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310, San Diego. 2. Submit comments in writing. Comments must be received no later than 5 pm on September 25, 2014. Comments should be mailed to the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95833 OR faxed to 916-274-5743 OR emailed to oshsb@dir.ca.gov AgSafe has summarized the proposed changes or you can read the complete official document provided by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. WUD news

 

Environmental News

  • Pesticide Levels in Waterways Have Dropped, Reducing the Risks to Humans - - The development of safer pesticides and legal restrictions on their use have sharply reduced the risk to humans from pesticide-tainted rivers and streams, while the potential risk to aquatic life in urban waters has risen, according to a two-decade survey published on Thursday. The study, conducted by the United States Geological Survey and published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, monitored scores of pesticides from 1992 to 2011 at more than 200 sampling points on rivers and streams. In both of the last two decades, researchers reported, they found insecticides and herbicides in virtually all of the waterways. The results nevertheless documented a striking decline in dangers to humans from pesticide pollution. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 The New York Times
  • Trench Warfare - The feds want to define waters of the United States scientifically. Farmers are freaked out. - - Everyone wants clean water, but not everyone agrees on how to make sure it stays pollution-free. The Clean Water Act is one of the most successful pieces of environmental legislation in American history: Forty years ago, only a third of the countrys lakes and rivers could support fishing or swimming. Now two-thirds do. But when a bill for the CWA was offered up in 1972, Richard Nixon vetoed it, complaining that it would cost too much. It took a bipartisan congressional override to enact the law. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 The Slate
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Class 45 Fellows Selected for California Agricultural Leadership Program - - Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 45 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders. The new fellows will be inaugurated on Oct. 16 at Fresno State. Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 17-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence, and complex social and cultural issues. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 AgNetWest.com
  • How Millennials Spend - - Just how different are millennials? - - So far, quite. They are spending money differently than previous generations, preferring to throw cash at new experiences and adventures and to reward socially responsible companies that they can connect with and that they deem authentic. It's easiest to see this change in the food industry, where millennials are helping to disrupt the landscape of casual restaurants and boosting the earnings of chains such as Chipotle or Panera. As 2013 research from the Boston Consulting Group found, millennials anticipated spending the greatest amount of money in the coming year on fresh fruits, organic food, and natural products. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 The Atlantic
  • Napa wine industry sustains $80M damage from quake - - Napas 6.0 earthquake in late August revealed at least two things about California: seismic activity is part of life and humans can be resilient. While estimates are quite preliminary, Napas famed wine industry likely suffered between $70 million and $100 million in damage from the Aug. 24 temblor, according to a report commissioned by the County of Napa and Napa County Vintners Association, a non-profit trade association. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Raimondo establishes his own law firm in Fresno - - Anthony Raimondo, Group Legal Counsel to Western United Dairymen, has left the law firm of McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth to establish his own law firm, Raimondo& Associates. The firm includes Mr. Raimondo, associate attorneys Jasmine Shams and Gerardo Hernandez, office administrator Carol Williamson, and office assistant Sarah Beye. The firm will continue to offer discounted rates and free consultation to WUD members, and we continue to value and cherish our relationship with the dairy industry. Dairy producers with labor and employment questions can reach the firm at: Raimondo & Associates, 7080 N. Marks, Suite 117,Fresno, California 93711 Phone: (559) 432-3000 Fax: (559) 432-2242. WUD news
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 

  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

     

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

Water News

  • The drought is destroying Californias organic dairy farms - - Ward, Rosie, and their three grown children operate California Cloverleaf Farms and Full Circle Dairy, two organic dairies milking 500 cows each, in addition to a pasture-raised chicken operation and organic olive and almond orchards. Last year was the first in their entire farming history that the Burroughs didnt make enough money to pay the bills, prompting them to close their third dairy operation. And theyre not alone. Californias ongoing three-year drought the worst ever in recorded history combined with slow responses from co-ops, has doomed many of the states dairies, raising questions about how just sustainable this form of sustainable farming really is economically, ecologically, and otherwise. Pastured dairies throughout California, once exemplary models of sustainable and organic farming, are in jeopardy of imminent collapse. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 Grist
  • Californias Water-Starved Farmers Stymied by Fish Protections - - Environmental protections for endangered salmon in Californias rivers and streams are drawing complaints from drought-stricken farmers who say water that could be pumped to them is allowed to empty into the ocean. Authorities have sharply curtailed allocations in the largest U.S. agricultural producing state, with 2012 sales valued at $42.6 billion, forcing growers to leave farmland unplanted or pay escalated prices for water from other sources. The Endangered Species Act does not have any consideration for human impact, and thats a little disturbing, said Joe Del Bosque, 65, president of Del Bosque Farms in Firebaugh, who grows melons and tomatoes. Its already harming us now. It could be worse next year. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Bloomberg
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Missouri battles over amendment granting right to farm - - Americans have a right to bear arms. They have a right to free speech. But a right to farm? Missouri voters and interest groups are locked in a battle over that very question, as some farmers say they need to secure that right in response to animal rights advocates and others that want to restrict the way their profession is done. Missouri voters in August approved a measure that would enshrine the right to farm in the state constitution. However, it passed by such a narrow margin, a recount is now underway.  <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Fox News
  • Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to require paid sick leave - - Employers in California will be required to give part and full-time workers at least three days of paid sick leave each year under a state mandate that takes effect in July 2015. The new law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, gives workers paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked and lets them begin using the accrued time after 90 days of employment. The hours could also be used for time off to care for a sick family member. The law, which advocates say expands paid sick leave benefits to 6.5 million workers, has been a priority for unions and workers' rights groups for years. Business groups oppose the measure, which they say is costly to employers and could hurt hiring. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 LA Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Crop Production Report : Highest Corn Yield on Record - - The Agriculture Department latest Crop Production report, also issued this afternoon, shows corn production is forecast at 14.4 billion bushels, up 3 percent from both the August forecast and from 2013. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 171.7 bushels per acre, up 4.3 bushels from the August forecast and 12.9 bushels above the 2013 average. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 4 percent from 2013. Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.91 billion bushels, up 3 percent from August and up 19 percent from last year. Sept. 11, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • WASDE: Dairy Outlook Darkens - - Record milk production, expensively priced dairy products and slowing exports will darken the outlook for U.S. dairy producers in the coming months, based on USDAs World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) released today. "Revenues wont be what they were this year, thats for sure," said Matt Mattke, commodity consultant for Stewart-Peterson, a commodity price management firm based in West Bend, Wis. Although USDA raised milk price forecasts for 2014, it projected a sharp decline for next year. Class III prices look strong for 2014 at an average of $22.25 per cwt., but are expected to drop to $17.70 next year. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 Dairy Today
  • U.S. grain glut is testing rail and storage system -official - - A stockpile of U.S. Midwest grain will likely increase in the coming months and tax farmers already desperate to house or haul corn, soybeans and other products ahead of an expected record harvest, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on Wednesday. Grain stocks this harvest season are expected to exceed permanent storage facilities by about 694 million bushels, or about 3.5 percent of expected harvest totals, said Arthur Neal, who analyzes market and transportation issues in the agriculture sector. That overstock could fill roughly 174,000 jumbo hopper rail cars with South Dakota, Indiana, Missouri and Illinois among the states most impacted, he said. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Reuters
  • If youve got a beef with higher milk prices, heres why - - Got milk? Cheap milk, that is. The cost of a gallon of milk on supermarket shelves was almost 6% higher in July compared to a year earlier. And prices could soon approach a record. Rising milk and beef prices help explain why many Americans think inflation is higher than official government statistics suggest. Americans go to the grocery store several times a week, and they are quick to take notice when the price of breakfast or dinner-table staples soar. The cost of food used to prepare meals at home, for instance, has climbed rapidly in 2014 to a 2.7% annual pace in July from just 0.5% in January. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Market Watch
  • Cereals Begin to Lose Their Snap, Crackle and Pop - - Cereal, that bedrock of the American breakfast, has lost some of its snap, crackle and pop. For the last decade, the cereal business has been declining, as consumers reach for granola bars, yogurt and drive-through fare in the morning. And the drop-off has accelerated lately, especially among those finicky millennials who tend to graze on healthy options even if Cheerios and some other brands come in whole-grain varieties fortified with protein now. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 The New York Times

 

Environmental News

  • Levels of pesticides in U.S. rivers and streams still a concern - - The levels of pesticides found in many of the nations rivers and streams -- in both agricultural and urban areas -- continue to be a concern for aquatic life, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The study spans two decades (1992-2011) and finds that while fish and other aquatic life can be imperiled, the pesticide levels seldom exceeded human health benchmarks. Over half a billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the U.S. to increase crop production and reduce insect-borne disease, but some of these pesticides are occurring at concentrations that pose a concern for aquatic life, the study says. <more> Sept. 11, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Commentary: Reporters discuss how, and why, they cover agriculture - - As people have become more interested in the sources of their food, they have also become more interested in reading about where their food originates and about the people who produce it: That was the concept behind a seminar conducted in San Francisco last week titled "Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence." Hosted by the Commonwealth Club, the event featured three Bay Area-based reporters and editors who write about agriculture for regional or nationwide audiences. The discussion provided insights into how the reporters view their work, and into the overall interest in agricultural reporting itself: The seminar attracted a nearly full-house audience of about 80 people on a Wednesday night. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Award-winning documentary film, "The Fight for Water", comes out to DVD on September 16 - - The award-winning documentary film, The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle, which put a human face to the California's on-going water crisis, is coming to DVD on September 16 through Amazon and other sites. It is currently available for pre-order on the film's official website: www.thefightforwaterfilm.com. The independently produced film, which documents the struggle farmers and their farm workers had to face in order to fight for their water, has won accolades and international recognition. It has screened at over 10 film festivals worldwide, including environmental film festivals in Malaysia and the Czech Republic. Sept. 11, 2014 Filmunition Productions press release
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry 
 

  • Alfalfa & Forage Field Day, Sept. 12, Parlier - - University of California Cooperative Extension is presenting an Alfalfa & Forage Field Day meeting Sept. 12 at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 9240 South Riverbend Ave., Parlier, Calif. 93648. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Field tour hours are 8 a.m. to about noon. Topics to be discussed include varieties, forage and grain sorghum demonstration plots, forage and grain sorghum irrigation management research, characterizing the nitrogen benefit of alfalfa-wheat rotations, Sharpen and other herbicide options for weed control in alfalfa, distribution uniformity in surface irrigation systems, and importance of soil moisture monitoring. <more> Sept. 12, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

 

 

Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014

Water News

  • Valley legislators: Rushed California groundwater bills hurt local communities by Kristin Olsen and Henry T. Perea - - We represent the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive farming regions in the country. Agriculture is a major reason why California is now the world's eighth-largest economy. But the Legislature recently passed legislation that puts our ag economy and local jobs at risk. We joined together as Democrats and Republicans to oppose recent groundwater legislation. These bills represent the first major rewrite of California's water laws since 1913, but they fail to take the concerns of farm owners and workers, businesses, families and entire communities into account. For example, the bills undermine local control by placing costly mandates on local users. The bills give the State Water Resources Control Board discretion to take over areas where there are no significant problems with groundwater overdraft. They also contain provisions that afford future opportunities to file lawsuits or petitions with the water board to restrict already limited water supplies for farming. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • NMPF and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies Sign Landmark MOU to Increase Collaboration on Watershed Improvement Projects - - The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to promote increased cooperation and communication between the two organizations in their efforts to make watershed-level water quality improvements. This MOU marks an important milestone in efforts to strengthen ties between urban and rural sectors on conservation activities to improve local water quality and the environment.The goal of the agreement is to encourage clean water agencies and nearby dairy farms to work together to improve both water quality and environmental benefits produced on dairy farms. Potential projects include cooperation on building anaerobic digesters, which can use manure to generate electricity and reduce methane emissions, and increasing production of water quality benefits through the use of nutrient separation technologies and land management practices such as planting grass buffers near streams and using no-till planting in fields. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 NMPF press release
  • Field Poll: Majority support water bond - - A majority of likely voters supports the $7.5 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot, but most Californians still know nothing about it, according to a new Field Poll. Likely voters by nearly 2 to 1 52 percent to 27 percent support the bond, Proposition 1. Twenty-one percent are undecided, according to the poll. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Sacramento Bee
  • California water use drops in July amid drought - - California water agencies reported a 7.5 percent drop in monthly water use in July in a survey released Tuesday, falling far short of Gov. Jerry Brown's call for a 20 percent reduction in water use when he declared a drought emergency. The State Water Resources Control Board adopted statewide water restrictions in July and will consider whether more aggressive steps are needed to conserve water in the worst drought in a generation. The figures released Tuesday showed water use fell in July compared with a year ago. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 AP
  • Valley communities lobby Congress one more time for drought help - - Seventeen California cities and counties urged Congress on Tuesday to complete drought legislation that's currently hung up in closed-door negotiations. The municipal resolutions passed in recent weeks by small towns like Dos Palos and counties like Kern and Kings were presented to the House Natural Resources Committee as part of a public drumbeat that included a several-hour long hearing on easing environmental rules. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • As Agriculture Swoons in Drought, West Coast Firms Avoid Worst Effects - - Through the three-year drought ravaging the West Coast, one surprise has been the muted effect on many urban businesses. Thousands of companies, including MillerCoors LLC, Facebook Inc. and Vantage Data Centers Management Co., have put millions of dollars into water-saving technologies and vegetation since the last drought, which ran from 2007 to 2009. The companies' investments have ranged from air-cooled computer servers to low-flow toilets. They also have created education campaigns to change employee behavior. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • GOPs new Obama attack: Got milk? - - Republicans Tuesday seized on the news that milk futures have hit record highs, saying its the latest indication of a struggling economy and tougher times for average Americans under President Obama. Milk is at an all-time high and the presidents approval rating is at an all-time low, said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Bloomberg news reported Monday that milk futures hit an all-time high, signaling higher prices for butter and cheese in coming months as well. Meanwhile, Mr. Obamas approval ratings have dipped again at the end of the summer as hes struggled with a number of crises, including Islamic militants advancing in the Middle East, Russias aggressive posture in Ukraine, and a surge of illegal immigrants across the U.S. border here at home. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 The Washington Times
  • Urban vote key to GMO campaign - - The fate of Oregons genetically modified organism labeling initiative will hinge on whether heavy spending by opponents can overcome the liberal leanings of urban voters, experts say. Dueling campaigns on Measure 92, which would require labeling of foods containing GMOs, will soon be operating at full throttle now that Labor Day has passed, political analysts agree. Whats far less certain is whether Oregon will buck the trend of biotech proponents defeating GMO labeling initiatives with well-funded campaign efforts, as occurred in Washington and California, experts say. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Portland Tribune

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Milk prices at all-time high - - Dairy prices are hitting an all-time high, and it could take a bite out of your budget for a long time. The recent price spike is affecting all products that use milk, from pizza to pastries. "They've actually been going up everywhere like all over the country," said Ruben Villareal, manager at Fresh Food Depot. He said he's doing everything he can to keep the cost of dairy down, even though demand for it is at an all time high. "People need milk, you know. We need milk for all kinds of stuff, not only breakfast, (but) baking and cooking," Villareal said. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 WNEM TV
  • California October Class I Prices are Record High - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced their October Class I milk price for the north at a record high $26.09 per hundredweight and a record high $26.36 for the south. Both are up 70cents from September and $5.30 above October 2013. The northern Class I average now stands at $24.91, up from $20.00 at this time a year ago and $18.25 in 2012. The southern average is $25.18, up from $20.27 a year ago and $18.52 in 2012. The Federal order Class I base price will be announced by USDA on Wednesday September 17. Sept. 10, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • House Votes to Block EPA Water Rules - - The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday approved a bill to block the Obama administration from implementing a rule that asserts regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands an action that critics call a classic Washington overreach. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that it says will clarify which streams and waterways are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act, an issue that remains in dispute even after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Agriculture groups and farm-state politicians call the proposed rule a power grab that would allow the government to dictate what farmers can do on their own land. They said the rule is an example of governmental interference by bureaucrats who don't know as much as farmers and ranchers do about how to be good stewards of their land. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 AP
  • California gets $22 million from USDA for conservation programs - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that $328 million in conservation funding (more than $22 million to California) is being invested to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation. The USDA initiative will benefit wildlife and promote outdoor recreation and related sectors of the economy. Conservation easements help farmers and ranchers protect valuable agricultural lands from development, restore lands that are best suited for grazing, and return wetlands to their natural conditions, Vilsack said. These easements are making a dramatic and positive impact for our food supply, rural communities and species habitat. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Record-breaking sales: Stanislaus agricultural exports soar - - Exports from Northern San Joaquin Valley agricultural producers, processors and manufacturers broke another record in 2013, as foreign markets for local products continue to explode. Stanislaus County farmers and businesses exported nearly $1.8 billion worth of goods to countries around the world last year, new data from the Department of Commerces International Trade Administration show. That was a 20.3 percent increase over 2012, and its nearly triple what was exported a decade ago. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 

  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Water News

  • Opponents ask governor to veto groundwater bills - - Farmers, ranchers, other water users and nearly three-dozen members of the state Legislature have urged Gov. Brown to veto a package of groundwater-regulation bills that reached his desk in the waning hours of the legislative session. The billsAssembly Bill 1739 by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, and Senate Bills 1168 and 1319, both by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hillswould establish a broad, new regulatory framework for managing groundwater. Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the legislation. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Bills regulating state's groundwater not an instant fix for aquifers - - California is finally about to join the rest of the West in regulating groundwater supplies. But the package of bills awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature is not an instant fix for the state's shrinking, over-pumped aquifers. It could be decades, experts say, before the most depleted groundwater basins recover under the legislation, which is a historic step in a state that long resisted managing a key water source. The bills, which Brown is expected to sign, will take years to implement. And they create a weaker regulatory framework than is found elsewhere in the West. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 LA Times
  • Drilling Through the Drought: A Look At Well Drilling Activity In The Central Valley - - In rural areas like California's Central Valley, private wells are a common source of household drinking water. The state of California estimates about two million people in the state rely on private well water or other unregulated underground water sources. Well water is just as important to farmers who use it to irrigate crops, especially when surface water is not available. During the past three years of drought, faced with unprecedented surface water cut backs, the number of homeowners and farmers drilling for water has boomed. The overdrafting of groundwater and the lack of statewide groundwater regulation in California have been widely reported. This summer, California lawmakers were busy re-writing rules that would amount to the first comprehensive state regulation of groundwater. The set of bills are now awaiting action by Governor Jerry Brown. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • California Drought Forces Farmers To Adapt - - The extended drought has been tough on San Diego farmers, growers and ranchers. The dry weather, coupled with high water prices, has forced some to stop watering crops and trees. Cattle ranchers have had to sell off their herd, as pastures dried up and turned brown. And many people who work in the industry have lost their jobs. While the situation is grim, it has pushed area farmers to adapt, by using new irrigation methods and crops that require less water like grapes. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 KPBS
  • Farmer-politician Bill Jones talks water, Westside - - Today, Westside growers Bill Jones and his nephew Darcy Villere are focused on survival tactics including new permanent crop plantings to improve the family farm and offset the effects of zero percent surface water allocations this drought year in the Westlands Water District (WWD). Founded in 1949, J&J Farms LLC is located in Firebaugh in western Fresno County and includes about 4,000 owned and leased acres. The crop mix includes pomegranates, tomatoes, Pima cotton, safflower, wheat, alfalfa, almonds, pistachios, and red and white varietal wine grapes. About 1,400 acres of J&J Farms are currently fallowed, including about 600 acres with drip irrigation. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • How to Drive Home the Drought Message: Make It a Game - - If youve watched your neighbor watering her sidewalk or wrung your hands at the sight of agricultural runoff, now is your chance to allocate the states water resources. A new online game lets California residents control the states water virtually, at least. From desalination investment to mandatory water reductions, the California Water Challenge lets users choose a range of outcomes and see how others voted. Price tags are attached to decisions, which have varying effects on energy consumption and the environment. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 KQED
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Californians among richest members of Congress - - Members of Californias influential congressional delegation were again well represented on an annual list of Washingtons most well-heeled members. It also showed well on a separate rundown of the poorest federal lawmakers. Topping the rich list for the second consecutive year is Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista in San Diego County, the automobile alarm magnate whose estimated wealth includes seven high-yield bonds worth more than $50 million apiece, according to a review of disclosure forms by the publication CQ Roll Call. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Food donations underscore drought impact - - Central Valley farmers and businesses donated and shipped about 30 tons of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts last week to help address food shortages at California food banks. A newly organized grassroots coalition, "California Water Feeds Our Communities," was joined by the California Community Food Bank, Westlands Water District, the California Water Alliance and El Agua Es Asunto De Todos to bring valley-grown produce to those in need across the state. <more> Sept. 10, 2014 Ag Alert

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Milk Costs Most Ever to Signal Higher Prices for Pizza - - Milk futures rose to a record as exports by the U.S. climbed amid shrinking inventories of cheese and butter, signaling higher costs for pizza and pastries. The U.S. shipped a record 17 percent of milk production in the first half, according to Alan Levitt, a spokesman at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Cheese stockpiles in July dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, and butter supplies tumbled 42 percent, the Department of Agriculture said last month. U.S. dairy costs are higher than world prices, signaling imports will increase, said Jon Spainhour, a partner at Rice Dairy LLC. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Bloomberg
  • New dairy program offers choices - - National Milk Producers Foundation is encouraging dairymen to evaluate the new voluntary margin protection program and at least sign up for the no-premium basic coverage. The new voluntary margin protection program available to dairymen through the new farm bill was five years in the making and largely the product of National Milk Producers Federation. The program insures a margin between a national average milk price and a national average feed cost, paying growers the difference if the actual margin is lower than their insured margin. The basic protection, at no cost to producers, is a guaranteed margin of $4 per hundredweight of milk on 90 percent of a producers historic annual production. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Capital Press
  • CWT Exports More Cheese & Powder - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 8 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 1.210 million pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheese and 11.255 million pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. The product will be delivered through March 2015 and raises CWTs 2014 cheese exports to 85.511 million pounds plus 48.188 million pounds of butter and 31.748 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.105 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis, according to CWT. Sept. 8, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • White House threatens to veto bill to kill EPA water rule - - The Obama administration issued a veto threat Monday for a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward on a rule to redefine its jurisdiction over streams and ponds. Citing the need to protect waterways from pollution and the rules scientific grounding, the White House said it strongly opposes the bill and advisers would recommend that President Obama veto it if it reaches his desk. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 The Hill
  • EPA tries again to explain water jurisdiction rule - - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released seven pages of questions and answers Monday on its proposal to redefine which lakes and streams it can regulate. The explainer is the latest attempt by the EPA to respond to backlash from Republicans and business groups who say the waters of the United States proposal from March would significantly expand the EPAs jurisdiction. The document thoroughly explains what the 1972 Clean Water Act did, how two Supreme Court decisions made the EPAs authority murky and what the new proposal would do to fix it. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 The Hill
  • US to Spend $328 Million on Conservation Easements - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $328 million in funding Monday to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country. The initiative, using money provided in the new five-year farm bill, will buy conservation easements from farmers to protect the environment, help wildlife populations and promote outdoor recreation, the USDA said in its announcement. The agency selected 380 projects nationwide covering 32,000 acres of prime farmland, 45,000 acres of grasslands and 52,000 acres of wetlands. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters on a conference call that the agency received more than 1,450 applications totaling $546 million worth of requests covering 345,000 acres. He said the projects selected cover 129,000 acres, with 60 percent being farmland and grassland and 40 percent wetlands. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 AP
  • NMPF, Clean Water Agencies to Collaborate on Watershed Improvement - - The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to promote increased cooperation and communication between the two organizations in their efforts to make watershed-level water quality improvements. This MOU marks an important milestone in efforts to strengthen ties between urban and rural sectors on conservation activities to improve local water quality and the environment. <more> Sept. 9, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Bursting from its shell - - Federal farm officials predict a record-cracking walnut crop for California; pegging this coming fall harvest at 545,000 tons, up 11 percent from last years 492,000 tons, and 8 percent larger than the previous record, tallied in 2010, of 504,000 tons. That is important to San Joaquin County, which leads the state in walnut production. The countys 2013 crop was valued at an estimated $443 million, second only to almonds at $468 million. Pete Turner, Stockton walnut consultant and chairman of the California Independent Handlers Coalition, said the large crop should help meet strong world demand. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Northern California Oyster Farm Renews Bid to Open - - A coalition of farmers, restaurateurs and others have launched a new legal battle to keep open a popular Northern California oyster operation ordered closed by the federal government. Drakes Bay Oyster Co. closed its retail store on July 31 after the U.S. Department of the Interior refused to renew its 40-year lease along the Point Reyes National Seashore. The department cited environmental concerns. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 AP
  • Starbucks Goes Coconuts In Latest Nondairy Milk Test - - Mooo-ve over milk, Starbucks Corp is testing coconut milk in stores in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Oregon as alternatives to traditional dairy products grow more popular. A Starbucks spokeswoman declined to say how many stores were offering coconut milk. She added that the coffee chain is not testing almond milk, a popular nondairy option, at this time due to the "critically important safety of our customers with nut allergies." Starbucks, which has nearly 11,800 cafes in the United States, regularly tests new products. For example, it recently ran a trial of gluten-free items. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Reuters
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 

  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

     

Monday, Sept. 8, 2014

Water News

  • Bills regulating state's groundwater not an instant fix for aquifers - - California is finally about to join the rest of the West in regulating groundwater supplies. But the package of bills awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature is not an instant fix for the state's shrinking, over-pumped aquifers. It could be decades, experts say, before the most depleted groundwater basins recover under the legislation, which is a historic step in a state that long resisted managing a key water source. The bills, which Brown is expected to sign, will take years to implement. And they create a weaker regulatory framework than is found elsewhere in the West. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 LA Times

State/Federal News and Politics

  • President Barack Obama punts on immigration until after election - - President Barack Obama will delay plans to issue an executive order on immigration until the end of the year, heeding the warnings of Democratic senators who feared a voter backlash ahead of the November elections. The decision is a major reversal from June, when the president stood in the Rose Garden and pledged to make fixes to the immigration system by the end of the summer. The delay reflected growing Democratic concerns that a sweeping executive order would further endanger the Senate majority. <more> Sept. 6, 2014 Politico
  • Political Shift Stalls Efforts to Overhaul Immigration - - By the time Senator Angus King called the White House to warn President Obama against taking executive action to overhaul the immigration system, officials were well aware they had a problem on their hands. What had once looked like a clear political imperative for both parties action to grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants - had morphed instead into what appeared to be a risky move that could cost Democrats their majority in the November midterm congressional elections. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 The New York Times
  • Latinos furious at Obama on immigration delay, vow more pressure - - Hispanic lawmakers and immigration advocates harshly criticized President Barack Obama's decision to delay executive action on immigration and vowed to keep pressuring him to make bold changes. Democratic Representatives Luis Gutierrez and Tony Cardenas on Sunday accused Obama of playing politics the day after the president said he would wait until after November's congressional elections to change policy on immigration. The announcement marked a reversal for Obama, who publicly promised to act by the end of summer. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 Reuters

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Corn Price Falls as Crop Flourishes - - U.S. corn prices have fallen to the lowest level in four years as expectations of a record harvest mount. The nation's corn crop is in prime health thanks to near-perfect weather this year, and farmers could see the highest yields in history, according to forecasts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a handful of private firms. "We've reached a point where supply is swamping demand, and because of that we're having a price adjustment like we haven't seen for years," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, a brokerage in West Des Moines, Iowa. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Ethanols Era Ending as Bacon Now Brings Profits Home - - Two lines cross, and an era ends. For the first time since 2005, U.S. farmers this year will make more money from livestock than crops, more evidence that a government-fueled corn boom is over and bacon now rules. <more> Sept. 5, 2014 Bloomberg
  • No crash in U.S. farm land seen despite tumbling grain prices - - David Fullington paid a "ridiculous" price of $13,600 an acre for a 200-acre (81 hectares) farm in Illinois within the last year and says he and his partners would probably bid again for prime land that is in tight supply, despite tumbling grain prices. "No regrets at all," Fullington said of the purchase of his neighbor's land, now farmed by a son of one of his partners. "Very seldom do you get an opportunity to buy something right next door to you. There's always a little extra value there for you." In the 1980s, sharp falls in corn and soybean prices hit farm incomes hard and land prices tumbled, hurting the rural economy in the world's biggest grains producer. The pain spilled into the financial sector as defaults on loans pegged to farmland values rose. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

 

Environmental News

  • El Niño or no this winter, it's adapt or perish - again - - As this desperately dry year turns toward fall, those whose livelihoods depend on rain and snow will seek out any hint of whats to come. Theyll devour complex reports about El Niño, and hang their hopes on the temperature of the ocean thousands of miles away. They are searching for at least some level of certainty. But it seems almost cruel that this year, of all years, there is no certainty to be found. And perhaps the best thing to do is ignore all the predictions and prognostications. <more> Sept. 6, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Temperance Flat plan takes next step: release of draft EIS - - The campaign for a larger reservoir on the San Joaquin River took another step forward Friday with the release of a draft Environmental Impact Study outlining options to build Temperance Flat, northeast of Fresno. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will hold public hearings next month in Fresno and Sacramento to discuss the document, which discusses construction of a 1.33 million acre-foot reservoir at a higher elevation above Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin. The Fresno meeting is planned from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Piccadilly Inn, 2305 W. Shaw Ave.  <more> Sept. 5, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Temperance Flat dam project moves ahead - - A plan put in motion more than 10 years ago that some officials say will help offset the effects of future droughts took a step forward Friday when officials from the Bureau of Reclamation released the draft environmental impact report for a proposed reservoir near Fresno. Pitched as a way to store more water during wet years, the proposed dam would be constructed at Temperance Flat, about 25 miles northeast of Fresno. The public has 45 days to comment on the report, either in writing or at either of two public hearings scheduled in October. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • California to get more than $22 Million to conserve wetlands and farmland - - California has been allocated $22,308,020 out of some $328 million nationwide to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands. The money is being allocated based on the acres of land that will be preserved in easements -- either to continue to stay in farmland/grasslands/wetlands or be restored back to wetlands, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Conservation Service explains. <more> Sept. 8, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible. <more> Sept. 2, 2014 USDA news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Lore might not be best way to predict the future - - The Old Farmers Almanac has been collecting these kinds of stories for generations, though the 213-year-old publication makes it clear that its predictions are based on sunspots, ocean currents and computer models, not old wives tales. The almanac acknowledges that many of these old stories are folklore from the days before computer models and TV forecasters, when all people had were their eyes and ears. But maybe some of their stories shouldnt be entirely dismissed. <more> Sept. 7, 2014 Stockton Record
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 

  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini says farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSAs di-rect farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

 

Friday, Sept. 5, 2014

Water News

  • Pump until its gone? - - Those in the local community who support groundwater regulation hailed last weeks sweeping state legislation as the end of Californias pump as you please policy. But to soften the blow, the plan gives local water agencies and local governments more than five years to come up with a workable strategy. The deadline for high-overdraft areas like the Kings River basin and the Tulare Lake basin to come up with a groundwater sustainability plan that meets the criteria outlined in the law is 2020. <more> Sept. 4, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
  • Almond growers struggle to cope with drought - - Californias almond growers are coping with the drought by drilling more wells, pumping more groundwater, pulling out orchards and delaying new plantings, a just-released survey shows. The California Department of Food and Agriculture study released Thursday found many farmers fear for the health of their trees and expect their nut harvests will suffer this year because of salt damage. The increased use of groundwater is the culprit. Thats because water pumped from aquifers is higher in salinity than surface water from rivers, canals and Sierra snowmelt. <more> Sept. 4, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • California drought causing billion-dollar losses in rice industry - - A continuing drought in California has ruined almost a quarter of the state's $5 billion rice crop, CBS Sacramento reports. The state is America's sole source of rice for sushi and 97 percent of that crop is grown in the Sacramento Valley. California is also one of the nation's largest producers of rice, employing 25,000 people in the industry. "We anticipate about 420,000 acres of rice has been planted and will be harvested this fall, and that's down about 25 percent from last year's crop," said Jim Morris with the California Rice Commission. "The impacts are great not only for the farmers but for the rural communities and also for the wildlife that depend on rice fields." <more> Sept. 4, 2014 CBS news
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • U.S. GMO labeling foes triple spending in first half of this year - - Opponents of mandatory labeling for foods made with genetically modified organisms spent more than $27 million in the first six months of this year on GMO-related lobbying, roughly three times their spending in all of 2013, according to an analysis released Wednesday. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and major food makers such as Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc and top biotech seed makers Monsanto Co and DuPont were among heavy spenders on GMO labeling-related lobbying, among other food issues, according to a report issued by the Environmental Working Group. <more> Sept. 4, 2014 Reuters

Pricing/Commodity News

  • NMPF Launches Online Calculator to Help Farmers Select Coverage Levels under New Dairy Safety Net - - The National Milk Producers Federation today launched an online, downloadable calculator to help farmers select coverage levels under the new federal dairy safety net, known as the Margin Protection Program for dairy (MPP). The calculator is located at www.futurefordairy.com/mpp-calculator.The calculator allows farmers to enter their own milk production and commodity price data to gauge the new programs likely impact on their operations. It complements a similar tool created by a consortium of land grant universities that is available through the Agriculture Department website. <more> Sept. 5, 2014 NMPF press release
  • July dairy export pace slowest in six months - - U.S. dairy exporters shipped 171,516 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in July, down 9% from June (on a daily-average basis), according to a monthly summary from the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Export sales slowed across the board, reflecting pricing disadvantages for U.S. suppliers and more competition from Oceania and the European Union. Compared with June, nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) exports were down 17%, cheese was down 8%, butterfat was off 10%, dry whey was down 14% and lactose was down 11%. <more> Sept. 5, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • More cheese to meet demand - - Cheese production in the U.S. in July totaled 956 million pounds up 7 percent from July of 2013. Italian-type cheese output was 4.4 percent higher at 409 million pounds and American-type cheese production jumped 9.5 percent to 378 million pounds. This is the biggest year-over-year increase in 2014 and pushes year-to-date cheese production to 2.7 percent above January-through-July of 2013. <more> Sept. 5, 2014 Brownfield Ag News

interestStories of Interest
 

  • Have We Reached Peak Burger? - - In recent years, however, the companies that made Big Macs and Whoppers into icons of American pop culture have seen robust domestic expansion disappear from their menus. Sales at restaurants open for at least 13 months slipped 0.2 percent last year in the U.S. at McDonalds and 0.9 percent at Burger King for the U.S. and Canada. Even including newly opened locations, which experience rapid growth rates in their early months, sales at the major fast-food chains grew only 1.1 percent last year, compared with 4 percent in 2012, according to Euromonitor International. Slower sales growth has many industry watchers forecasting the once unthinkable: the peaking of burger joint growth in the U.S. Traditional fast foodMcDonalds, Sonic (SONC), Wendys, KFC, Taco Bellare fairly well-saturated in this country with not a lot more room left for growth, says Peter Saleh, senior research analyst at brokerage Telsey Advisory Group. <more> Sept. 4, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry
 

 

  • Flat screen TV tops WUD golf tourney raffle prizes - - A flat screen television donated by WUD Board President Tom Barcellos is one of the top raffle prizes to be awarded at the 10th annual South Valley Fed-PAC Golf Tournament Monday, September 15 at the Visalia Country Club. All proceeds from the popular event will benefit Western United Dairymen's federal political action committee. The four-person scramble gets underway with a noon shotgun start. The day culminates with a dinner at which awards and prizes will be presented. The cost is $150 per player and includes green fees, golf cart, practice balls, lunch, tee prizes, refreshments and dinner. A registration form is available at www.WesternUnitedDairymen.com or by contacting Heidi Savage at hsavage@westernuniteddairymen.com or (209) 527-6453.
  • Save the Dates! Western United Dairymen Annual Convention - March 18-20, 2015 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
    For more information, visit: www.WUDconvention.com
  • Sept. 30 deadline for direct farm ownership loan program - - USDAs California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolci