California Dairy Industry Headline News

 

Monday, July 21, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Congressman optimistic Obama will grant immigrants legal status - - In a fiery speech at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said he was confident after meeting with President Obama last week that the president will move forward in the coming months with an executive order that would grant legal status to millions of immigrants in the country illegally, possibly including the parents of American-born children. <more> July 19, 2014 LA Times

  • Deploying Drones To Get An Overview Of Factory Farms - - An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution. Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based author and blogger, recently raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy the drones and other equipment to investigate animal agriculture in the U.S. <more> July 20, 2014 NPR
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • America's Move to Soy Hobbles Dairy - - Shoppers' zeal for healthier foods and beverages has turned the tables on a small soy-milk supplier and its former parent, America's largest milk processor. A little over a year ago, Dean Foods Co., a nearly 90-year-old dairy giant, spun off its Silk plant-based milks and Horizon-brand organic milk into a separate company, The WhiteWave Foods Co.In the past 12 months, WhiteWave shares have jumped 62% while Dean's are off 17%. WhiteWave's profit and sales are climbing as U.S. consumers embrace plant-based milks. <more> July 18, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

  • Corn Declines to Four-Year Low on Favorable U.S. Weather - - Corn futures fell to the lowest in four years on mild temperatures forecast for crop regions in the U.S., the worlds largest producer. Soybeans dropped, and wheat extended a slump to the cheapest since July 2010. <more> July 21, 2014 Bloomberg

  • U.S. June milk production up 1 percent - - Fridays USDA Milk Production report showed just a modest 1 percent gain in milk production over 2013, although the 23 major states grew 2.0 percent over June 2013. The major 23 states totaled 16.2 billion pounds of milk for June 2014, while all states totaled 17.3 billion pounds of milk. <more> July 21, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

  • WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August and September - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August and September on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 12 workshops held throughout August and September throughout the WUD membership areas. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops are open to anyone interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 21, 2014 WUD news

Environmental News

  • Cap-and-trade could aid preservation of California farmland - - Abandoning the farm that he had worked for three decades, and that his wifes family had owned for over a century, was never an option for Dan Port. Port and his family had continued to squeeze a profit out of their 180 acres near the small town of Ione, raising grass-fed beef to sell through farmers markets. Determined as he was to keep the farm running, Port said he recognized the constant pressure on farmers to give their land over to developers. So Port embraced a novel approach: in exchange for a payment from state bond money worth about half the value of his land, he agreed to an easement requiring the property to remain farmland. <more> July 19, 2014 The Sacramento Bee

     

Water News

  • West-side San Joaquin Valley water calamity may be unfolding - - After the water table below Stratford dropped an astounding 100 feet in the past two years, it set off a slow-motion collapse of the ground underfoot, crushing part of a town well. Repairs were made quickly, but the crumpled well holds significance beyond this Kings County town of 1,200. After three dry seasons -- the last one being one of the driest on record -- summer havoc has begun for west San Joaquin Valley groundwater. <more> July 19, 2014 Fresno Bee

  • California drought will only get worse, experts say - - California is probably headed into a deeper drought this summer, making it harder to escape in the future, an expert says. With more than 80% of the state in an extreme drought, dry conditions will probably continue and won't improve much in the next few months, said climatologist Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. New National Weather Service data show that more than 80% of California is now in an extreme drought. <more> July 19, 2014 LA Times

  • Agriculture chief visits water-starved families - - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited drought-stricken homeowners on Friday in Central California, saying drought and climate change would require major investment to secure future water supplies. Vilsack also announced $9.7 million in new emergency drought aid to help rural Californians hurt by the state's three-year drought. A drought monitor sponsored by the federal government says 81 percent of the state is experiencing major agricultural losses and widespread water shortages or restrictions. <more> July 18, 2014 AP

  • New Survey Says Californians Overwhelmingly Support Statewide Groundwater Plan - - An overwhelming majority of likely California voters say they favor a statewide groundwater management plan over the status quo. The results are part of a new survey released Thursday. The survey was commissioned by the non-profit California Water Foundation. It finds the prolonged drought has focused public opinion on the need to regulate groundwater. Pollster David Metz says few Californians think the state is doing an adequate job of managing the resource. <more> July 17, 2014 Capital Public Radio

  • Stanislaus County irrigation districts pumping record amounts of groundwater - - Despite widespread concerns about declining groundwater levels, some Stanislaus County irrigation districts have dramatically increased well pumping this year. Modesto Irrigation District wells pumped 311 percent more groundwater this January through June than they did during the same months last year. <more> July 19, 2014 Modesto Bee

  • Californias new water-waste penalty also applies to government, but who will enforce it? - - When California water officials last week passed new regulations making wasting water a crime, they also handed a new tool to government watchdogs. In a little-noticed provision of the regulations adopted Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board declared that public agencies in addition to individuals and businesses can be prosecuted for a criminal infraction and fined $500 per day for certain categories of water waste. <more> July 21, 2014 The Sacramento Bee

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  •  WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August and September - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August and September on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 12 workshops held throughout August and September throughout the WUD membership areas. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops are open to anyone interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 21, 2014 WUD news
  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
     
  • Dairy margin management seminar in Las Vegas Aug. 20-21 - - A two day program designed to help dairy producers identify and protect forward profit margins is set for Aug. 21-21 in Las Vegas. The seminar is sponsored by Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH.) Registration is available by calling 866-299-9333 or on-line at http://www.cihedging.com/education/dairy-margin-seminar/?product_id=cih_event_136_1  July 18, 2014 CIH Notice
     

 

Friday, July 18, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Is Vermont the solution to the border crisis? - -  In its efforts to figure out what to do with the many Central American unaccompanied minors coming to the United States -- about 60,000 in recent weeks -- the White House has been asking several states if they have the resources to house some of these children. The office of Vermont's Democratic Gov. Pete Shumlin (D) told a local newspaper, "We've let HHS know that we are willing to investigate locations and logistical requirements and work with them to determine if Vermont would be an appropriate host state." It's perhaps unsurprising that the state would be willing to help. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) has been a vocal proponent of immigration reform -- as has fellow Vermonter Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.). The fact that their constituency back in Vermont is a big part of that support is less well known; about 1,500 undocumented immigrants live in Vermont, many working on dairy farms. About 80 percent of Vermont's farm production is just milk. There used to be more cows in Vermont than people. Most of these migrant workers spend their day milking or shoveling manure. <more> July 18, 2014 Washington Post
     

  • In E.U. claims about cheese names, a whiff of hypocrisy? - - A sticking point in the trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union is American cheese producers’ use of the traditional European names for cheeses. Bottom line: The Europeans don’t want U.S.-made feta called “feta.” Same goes for cheddar and Gruyere, etc.  But Michael Punke, the U.S. deputy trade representative and the ambassador to the World Trade Organization, detects some hypocrisy in all the Euro-whining. During a trade hearing Wednesday, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), whose state is synonymous with cheese, asked Punke whether disagreements over “geographic indicators” — the technical term for the name of a product connected with a specific place — would make a trade deal with the E.U. “insurmountable.” “I have discovered something quite interesting in my time in Europe over the last four and a half years that we’re injecting into that conversation. This will be of interest to you, I think, congressman, and that is I’ve discovered the phenomena of something called German feta cheese. And I’ve also discovered the phenomena of something called French Gruyere,” he said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “And I’m not an expert on cheese the way that people from your state might be, but I do know that Gruyere is not in France. [It's in Switzerland, by the way.] And so that’s the type of anomaly that we’re pointing out to our European colleagues in trying to address this issue of geographic indications in the context” of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. <more> July 8, 2014 Washington Post

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Strong finish to the week in dairy markets - -  Cash cheese and butter increased again on Friday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Dairy Market News says milk production has slowed across the country from a combination of hot weather and seasonal declines.  Cheese plants report spot loads are available but hard to find.  Some are using condensed skim to increase vat yields. It was a very busy week at the CME; 21 loads of barrels sold and 19 loads of blocks.  Barrels increased 8.25 cents, blocks added 5.75 cents, and butter is up 9.75 cents while nonfat dry milk decreased 4 cents.  Class III futures for July up 11 cents on the week, August up 63 cents, September is 48 cents higher and January is unchanged. <more> July 18, 2014 Brownfield Ag News  
     

  • April Fluid Milk Sales Data Revised, Still Down 4.5% from 2013 - -   April 2014 packaged fluid milk sales totaled 4.15 billion lbs., down 4.5% from April 2013. (Sales were not adjusted for calendar considerations as in previous monthly reports). April sales of conventional products, at 3.94 billion lbs., were down 5.1% from a year ago; organic products, at 205 million lbs., were up 7.6% Organic represented about 5.2% of total sales for the month. January-April 2014 total packaged fluid milk sales, at 17.04 billion lbs., were down 2.2% from the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales of conventional products, at 16.21 billion lbs., were down 2.9%; organic products, at 828 million lbs., were up 13.5%. Organic represented about 5.1% of total sales. July 18, 2014  Dairy Market News
     

  • Dairy margin management seminar in Las Vegas Aug. 20-21 - - A two day program designed to help dairy producers identify and protect forward profit margins is set for Aug. 21-21 in Las Vegas. The seminar is sponsored by Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH.) The program includes a Dairy Margin Management simulation which allows producers to make adjustments to positions so they can make pricing volatility work for them. Registration is available by calling 866-299-9333 or on-line at http://www.cihedging.com/education/dairy-margin-seminar/?product_id=cih_event_136_1  July 18, 2014 CIH Notice

Environmental News

  • AFBF isn’t buying EPA’s defense of ‘Waters of U.S.’ proposal - - Although EPA has been trying to ease controversy surrounding the agency's proposal to re-define “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the effort has had little effect on the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).  EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released the proposal in March, and have extended a public comment period until Oct. 20. Agricultural organizations including AFBF and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have asked EPA to withdraw the proposed rule, saying the new language could give EPA broad jurisdiction over dry land features and typical farming practices.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made a trip to Missouri last week to defend the agency's perspective and other EPA officials have recently ramped up communications with agricultural stakeholders in response to widespread criticism of the rule.  AFBF responded to EPA's campaign in a 16-page document this week that attempts to rebut a blog posted earlier this month by Nancy Stoner, EPA acting assistant administrator for water. Stoner also hosted a webinar this week to outline her points, in an attempt to “clarify confusion” about the rule. AFBF, in its point-by-point retort, said many of her comments are “inaccurate and misleading.”  <more> July 18, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

  • USDA withdraws GMO disclosure rule  - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is backing down from a GMO disclosure rule that would have provided state regulators with critical information about the genetically modified organisms that farmers use to spray their crops. In February 2013, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposed sharing information with state regulators about genetically engineered organisms that are released in their jurisdictions. But the USDA withdrew the rule Thursday, because it said it found "potential vulnerabilities" that would have put farmers' businesses at risk. "We have decided to withdraw the proposed rule to ensure that our ability to protect confidential business information from disclosure is maintained," the USDA wrote in the Federal Register. <more> July 18, 2014 The Hill  

Water News

  • River ruling could boost regulation of groundwater - - An attorney said Thursday he expects to appeal a potentially precedent-setting court finding that could make local governments responsible for controlling the largely unregulated pumping of groundwater in the state. The issue is especially critical as California goes through the worst drought in a generation. As much as 60 percent of the water used in the state comes from underground sources in drought years, according to the nonprofit California Water Foundation. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner ruled Tuesday that Siskiyou County had to evaluate the impact of groundwater pumping on the Scott River. Fishing associations and the Oakland-based Environmental Law Foundation sued the county and the state Water Resources Control Board, charging that groundwater pumping was drawing down water in the Scott River. "The court has fundamentally changed some basic principles of California water law," said Rod Walston, Siskiyou County's attorney in the case. <more> July 18, 2014 AP  
     

  • Rural Valley homes' dry wells draw attention of U.S. ag secretary Vilsack - -  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Farmersville on Friday to announce emergency funds to help rural communities where drought has caused water wells to go dry. He visited two homeowners in the Cameron Creek rural subdivision near Farmersville. Carlen Overby, 60, told Vilsack her well went dry, and that she still has running water in her home only because her neighbor let her attach a hose to his well. She uses the running water for showers. "When you get up in the morning and turn the faucet on, you wonder if the water is going to come out," she said. <more> July 18, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

  • 80% of California is now in extreme drought, new data show - - More than 80% of California is now in an extreme drought, according to new data by the National Weather Service. The NWS' Drought Monitor Update for July 15 shows 81% of California in the category of extreme drought or worse, up from 78%. Three months ago, it was 68%. The map shows that drought conditions worsened in parts of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The new data comes as officials are getting tough on water wasters. Saying that it was time to increase conservation in the midst of one of the worst droughts in decades, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted drought regulations that give local agencies the authority to fine those who waste water up to $500 a day. <more> July 18, 2014 LA Times

Stories of Interest

  • Passing: Petrus Vander Werff, Escalon - - Petrus “Pete” Cornelia Vander Werff, 88, peacefully went to be with the Lord at his home in Escalon on July 7, 2014. Pete was a long time member of Western United Dairymen. He was born December 10, 1925, in Zoeterwoude, South Holland.  In 1987, he was honored to be the recipient of Escalon's Outstanding Farmer of the Year award. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Cornelia.  He was a devoted father to Yvonne (Jim) Heryford of Murphys; Caroline (Keith) Rigg of Escalon; and Steven (Vickie) Vander Werff of Melba, Idaho.  A  loving Opa to Darren, Brittany and Kristi of Escalon; Haley, Jaymie and Ryan of Murphys; and Clayton, Blake and Luke of Melba, Idaho. Survivors also include his brother, Johannes (Carolina) van der Werff of Escalon, half sister, Mien van Kempen and half brothers, Sjon van der Werff and Gerard van der Werff of Holland, along with many nieces and nephews in California and Holland. Services were conducted July 16 in Escalon. Remembrances can be made to Men of St. Patrick's and mailed to 19399 East Highway 120, Ripon CA 95366. Click here to read the complete obituary.  July 18, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

  • Dairy showmanship is about learning as well as winning - - Sarah Zonneveld looked over the assembled 4-H members as they brought their dairy cows into the ring, paraded them around and then stood in line with them. Zonneveld, judging the 4-H dairy showmanship competition at the Stanislaus County Fair on Wednesday, was looking for several very specific things: “How they exhibit themselves and the animal, the cleanliness of the animal, whether they move in unison, in sync.” The competition was the culmination of months of feeding, bathing and generally caring for the animals. The human participants have to look good, too, with their white uniforms crisp and clean. Because the competitors she was judging ranged from 9 to 11 years old, Zonneveld said, her job is to educate as well as to score each participant. <more> July 18, 2014 Modesto Bee  
     

  • Drones Adapt to Civilian Life - - Drones are a hot new technology for the agriculture industry. But as Tim Spalla explains, the idea of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is anything but new. "The history of drones in the military go back a lot farther than most people realize," says Spalla, a special projects manager at CSG solutions. Spalla and CSG CEO Rob Ferriol, were featured speakers at Farm Journal’s Drone Fly-In event on July 17 in Heyworth, Ill.  "Public perception usually tends to be negative," he says. But drones are set to enjoy a more peaceful existence stateside, especially pending FAA clarification on rules for commercial use. By 2025, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) predicts an $82 billion injection into the U.S. economy, with $75 billion of that anticipated to land in the agriculture industry. <more> July 18, 2014 AgWeb.com  
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  •  WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August and September - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August and September on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 12 workshops held throughout August and September at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 15, 2014 WUD news
     
  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
     
  • Dairy margin management seminar in Las Vegas Aug. 20-21 - - A two day program designed to help dairy producers identify and protect forward profit margins is set for Aug. 21-21 in Las Vegas. The seminar is sponsored by Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH.) Registration is available by calling 866-299-9333 or on-line at http://www.cihedging.com/education/dairy-margin-seminar/?product_id=cih_event_136_1  July 18, 2014 CIH Notice
     
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.

     

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Water News

  • Drought Threatens To Dry Up California Farm Wells - - Farmers in pockets of California hardest hit by the drought could begin to see their wells run dry a year from now if rain and snow remain scarce in the agriculturally rich state, according to a study released Tuesday. Richard Howitt, a University of California, Davis professor emeritus of agriculture and resource economics, urged farmers to take the lead in managing groundwater to irrigate crops and sustain California's $44.7 billion farming industry. Farmers are accustomed to having a seeming endless supply, Howitt said. <more> July 16, 2014 Insurance Journal
  • Valley districts blamed for ignoring water conservation law - - After largely ignoring a conservation law passed during the last drought, some of California's largest agricultural water districts are facing a lawsuit that would force them to measure how much water farmers use. The 2009 law was designed to push the state's biggest water users to conserve by closely monitoring their use. Then, the state's agricultural water districts are supposed to charge the farmers, at least in part, based on that use. <more> July 17, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Sacramento agencies: Our water waste rules are tough enough - - Large water agencies throughout the Sacramento region have no intention of imposing criminal penalties for water waste, despite a new state regulation that allows them to do so. The State Water Resources Control Board adopted the unprecedented measure on Tuesday in response to the ongoing statewide drought. Starting Aug. 1, it means water agencies can cite residents and businesses with criminal infractions for certain kinds of water waste and impose fines of up to $500 per day. <more> July 16, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Drought takes aim at farms - - California farmers are taking a huge economic hit as the droughts impact deepens, with crop and livestock losses estimated at $1 billion this year alone, and an additional out-of-pocket cost of some $454 million to pump groundwater to partially replace surface supplies, according to a new study. The report by the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis put the total economic impact at $2.2 billion, a figure that includes the loss of 17,100 seasonal jobs and the fallowing of more than 400,000 acres. <more> July 16, 2014 Capitol Weekly
  • Biggest water saving, guzzling districts - - Despite the governor's call for conservation amid a historic drought, California water agencies across the state collectively reported a 1 percent increase in water use in May 2014 compared to the same month over the previous three years. <more> July 16, 2014 U-T San Diego

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Proposal to Split California Into 6 States Moves Forward - - Supporters of a long-shot measure that would split California into six states plan to submit 1.3 million signatures to election officials on July 15. The quixotic effort, spearheaded by venture capitalist Tim Draper, needs officials to deem at least 807,615 of those signatures valid in order to qualify for the November 2016 election. <more> July 15, 2014 TIME
  • Splitting up California: 6 times they've tried to break up the Golden State - - The latest initiative to split up California is not the first. Or the 10th. Or even the 100th. There have been at least 220 efforts to hack California up into smaller states, with at least five just since 2000. Here's a list of six interesting efforts, including the latest, with maps of how California could have been divided. <more> July 16, 2014 KPCC
  • GMO food labeling law pressure mounts - - Congress could face pressure to establish a uniform, nationwide law on the labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients as early as next year, as more states regulate the controversial technology found in much of the U.S. food supply. <more> July 16, 2014 Des Moines Register
  • 57,000 Reasons Immigration Overhaul May Be Stalled for Now - - The crisis on the border with Mexico is rapidly overtaking President Obamas plans to use executive action to reshape the nations immigration system, forcing him to confront a new set of legal, administrative and political complications. The influx of 57,000 migrant children from Central America is leading Mr. Obama to crack down on deportations at the moment he was preparing to allow more people who are in the country illegally to stay. <more> July 16, 2014 The New York Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Man-made cows milk may soon be a reality - - Biohackers Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi are working on crafting a plant-based concoction thats nearly identical in makeup to whats found in grocery milk. To achieve this, theyve gone so far as modifying sunflower oil so that it can take on a structural composition similar to milk fats, substituted lactose with galactose, a nearly indistinguishable sugar, and culturing yeast to release casein, a natural animal milk protein. If successful, the process theyve developed could someday be used to churn out a wide range of dairy products, such as cheese, butter and yogurt. <more> July 16, 2014 The Washington Post
  • Drought shrivels Fresno County, Calif. Ag values - - The latest victim of Californias multi-year drought is Fresno Countys long-standing run as Americas leading Ag-producing county. For the moment, Tulare County, Calif. now has those bragging rights. Fresno County agricultural values continued their two-year slide in 2013 but remained above $6 billion for the third consecutive year according to the annual crop report just released by County Ag Commissioner Les Wright. <more> July 15, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • India to China: You Keep your Dairy Products - - The Daily Dairy Report says India reaffirmed its ban on Chinese milk and dairy products, extending the sanction through June 22, 2015, according to USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The prohibition includes: chocolates, chocolate products, candies, and other foods made with milk or milk solids. Indias ban on Chinese milk and dairy products has been in place since 2008. In that year, Chinas dairy industry suffered from a scandal related to milk tainted with melamine that killed four children and sickened thousands of others. Since 2008 China has been taking steps to improve product safety and regain consumer confidence. The road to recovery for Chinas dairy industry has been peppered with setbacks and has been slow to materialize. July 17, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Corn Drops as U.S. Crop Outlook Boosts Global Supply Prospects - - Corn declined in Chicago, trading near a four-year low, on expectations that a bumper U.S. harvest will maintain ample global supplies. Soybeans were little changed. Corn crops in the U.S., the biggest producer and exporter, are developing in the best shape in 20 years in the countrys main growing areas, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. <more> July 17, 2014 Dairy Today

Environmental News

  • Sacramento Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Ruling On Groundwater Regulation - - A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County. Attorneys on both sides say it's the first time a California court has ruled the "public trust doctrine" applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people. The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows - limiting the public's use of the river and harming fish habitat. <more> July 16, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • Survey says Californians want groundwater protection - - Californians want immediate action to protect the states dwindling groundwater supplies, according to a new poll paid for by the California Water Foundation and released today by the Groundwater Voices Coalition. The coalition says the survey shows support for a package of proposals pending before the Legislature that include expanded local authority to manage groundwater supplies, backed by statewide standards. <more> July 17, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     

interestStories of Interest
 



 
  • Cargill to end use of growth-promoting antibiotics in turkey - - Cargill said independent farms that supply it with turkey would stop giving the birds growth-promoting antibiotics. Cargill, which worked with the Agriculture Department to develop a three-part verification standard for its turkey production, said some of its products will be free of growth-promoting antibiotics by Thanksgiving with the rest of its flocks following by the end of 2015. Antibiotics would still be used to treat illness and prevent disease. <more> July 16, 2014 Des Moines Register
  • Taco Bell jumps aboard the protein power wagon - - The Paleo or Paleolithic diet is all-the-new craze across all ages and walks-of-life. Fast food giant, Taco Bell has finally caught on. Starting tomorrow Taco Bell will unveil their new Cantina Power menu, spearheaded by the $5.19 steak Power Bowl. Other items include a steak Power Burrito with a double serving of meat and 29 grams of protein and a chicken Power Bowl with 28 grams of protein. <more> July 16, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 11 workshops held throughout August at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 15, 2014 WUD news
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.
     

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Water News

  • California agriculture industry facing $1 billion in drought losses - - Californias agricultural industry is facing $1 billion in lost revenue this year from the states worst drought in decades and could pay about $500 million for additional groundwater pumping, a new study said.  The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences said in a report released Tuesday that the states drought has reduced river water for Central Valley farms by roughly one-third their normal level, increasing the need for groundwater pumping. <more> July 15, 2014 LA Times
  • Drought drains $2.2 billion from farm economy - - Drought will cost California farmers and ranchers $2.2 billion this year and put 17,100 people out of work, UC Davis experts estimated Tuesday. The dollar figure is just 5 percent of the state agriculture industrys $42.6 billion in gross income in 2012, but the losses are greater in some parts of the state, including much of Merced County and the west side of Stanislaus County. Its not good here, but its better than the southern part of the Valley, said Turlock-area dairy farmer Ray Souza, a TID customer. The drought has squeezed feed supplies, including alfalfa purchased from around the West and homegrown corn that needs water through summer, he said. We have had to take measures now to live with less water, Souza said. That includes sowing feed varieties with shorter growing seasons and lengthening the time between irrigating, both of which reduce yields, he said. <more> July 15, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Groundwater pumping propping up farms in California drought - - Consumers will see no shortages of California-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables this year despite one of the worst droughts in state history, but that's because farmers are draining groundwater reserves and leaving no insurance should heavy rains fail to materialize next winter, UC Davis researchers said Tuesday. <more> July 15, 2014 San Francisco Gate
  • California drought threatens to dry up farm wells - - Researchers say farmers in pockets of California hardest hit by the drought could begin to see wells run dry next year. The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, released the study Tuesday on the possible impact if the next two years remain dry in California. The study also says farmers will leave nearly 430,000 acres unplanted this year, costing California $2.2 billion. <more> July 15, 2014 AP
  • California seeks to send message to water-wasters - - Reservoirs are running dry, the Capitol's lawn has turned brown, and farmers have left hundreds of thousands of acres unplanted. Even so, many Californians aren't taking the drought seriously. State water regulators are trying to change that by imposing fines up to $500 a day for wasting water. The State Water Resources Control Board acted Tuesday amid warnings that conditions could get worse if it doesn't rain this winter. City and suburban residents often are not fully aware of the seriousness of the three-year drought the worst in California since the mid-1970s, board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said in an interview after the 4-0 vote. The vote is historic, she said, not only because the steps are unprecedented in California but because the board is trying to spread the burden of the drought beyond farmers and agencies that are trying to protect wildlife. <more> July 16, 2014 AP
  • Westlands buying water from Placer County - - The struggle to find additional irrigation water for Kings Countys parched Westside was on full display Monday as the comment period closed on a proposed 35,000 acre-feet water transfer from Placer County Water Agency to thirsty Westlands Water District, 80,000 acres of which are in Kings County. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the Central Valley Project that is contracted to supply Sacramento River water to Westlands, is brokering the deal. <more> July 15, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
  • Oakdale Irrigation District suggests selling water to outsiders to subsidize district costs - - The Oakdale Irrigation District hasnt raised its water rates in 30 years, and it was obvious Tuesday that OIDs directors resent a state law requiring them to charge farmers more to irrigate. All of this is getting forced on us, board Chairman Steve Webb repeatedly stated. Virtually every other California irrigation district has complied with the Water Conservation Act of 2009, which requires farmers to pay for water based on how much they use. <more> July 15, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • MID, Gallo reach settlement in water dispute - - Years of legal wrangling and negotiations over water rights between a prominent Merced County farmer and the Merced Irrigation District ended abruptly Tuesday when both sides cut a deal to end the long-standing feud. Mike Gallo, owner of the Gallo Cattle Co. in Livingston, sued MID and Hunter Farms over access to irrigation water. The civil jury trial, which began late last month, ended Tuesday with Judge Donald J. Proietti dismissing the jury, attorneys on both sides confirmed. <more> July 15, 2014 Merced Sun-Star
  • Lady Gaga joins California water conservation effort - - In partnership with the State of Californias drought awareness program Save Our Water, international pop superstar and five-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) asking Californians to join the effort and take extraordinary measures to save water during the drought. The PSA is available on SaveOurWater.com, a new site designed to help Californians find ways to conserve at home and at work every day. <more> July 16, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
  • Governor Brown Announces Appointments to Water Commission - - Gov. Jerry Brown on July 14 announced several reappointments to the California Water Commission as well as the new appointment of Armando Quintero, president of the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors. <more> July 15, 2014 ACWA

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Fresno County falls behind Tulare County as state's king of agriculture - - Fresno County was dethroned as California's leading agricultural producer in 2013 despite the rise of almonds as the county's second billion-dollar crop. The ongoing drought contributed to declines in crop values. Last year, Fresno County's overall gross value fell 2.2% to $6.4 billion. In 2012, it dropped 3% to $6.5 billion. The county slips to No. 2 behind dairy rich Tulare County, whose agriculture value jumped to a record $7.8 billion on robust dairy prices. <more> July 15, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Poll: Obama, Republicans face broad disapproval over handling of migrant crisis - - A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds widespread public disapproval of the way President Obama and Republicans in Congress are handling the influx of unaccompanied foreign children at the southern border as the two sides engage in a fierce debate over how to stem the crisis. Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans are not happy with Obamas performance in dealing with the tens of thousands of minors who have arrived from Central America in recent months, overwhelming Border Patrol stations. All told, 58 percent disapprove of his management on the issue, including 54 percent of Latinos. <more> July 15, 2014 Washington Post
  • One in six say immigration most important U.S. problem - - Americans' perception of the main problem ailing the country is continuing its gradual shift away from the economy and healthcare to immigration, according to new polling by Gallup Inc. Immigration has clearly captured public attention, given the political and humanitarian crisis building at the border with the influx of thousands of children from Central and South America seeking refugee status, Gallup says. <more> July 16, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Cheese prices a little higher - - Another day of higher cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday. Barrels increased three-quarter-cent to $2.04 and blocks added a quarter-cent to $2.0025 per pound. Butter and nonfat dry milk were unchanged but Class III futures increased in concert with the cheese prices. <more> July 16, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • California Powder Price Down 1.2 Cents - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced its latest surveyed nonfat dry milk prices at $1.8043/lb. for the week ending July 11, on sales of 11.7 million lbs. The price was down from $1.8161/lb. the week before, on sales of 14.23 million lbs. July 16, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Western United Dairymen to Host Margin Protection Program Workshops in August - - Western United Dairymen (WUD) will host a series of informational workshops in August on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 11 workshops held throughout August at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 16, 2014 Dairy Today

Environmental News

  • House panel clears bill targeting EPA - - A $30.2 billion natural resources bill cleared the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday after a spirited, sometimes brass knuckle fight over dozens of Republican riders challenging President Barack Obamas environmental and wildlife agenda. The Environmental Protection Agency was the chief target, together with its proposed rule to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. But the list stretched to include trade in African ivory, the future of the Western sage grouse and even a minor EPA rule seeking to garnish the wages of 14 individuals said to owe the government an estimated $228,000. <more> July 15, 2014 Politico
  • Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots - - Opponents of hydraulic fracturing or fracking have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. With those efforts stalled in the state legislature, activists are taking the fight to the county level. <more> July 14, 2014 KQED

interestStories of Interest
 



 
  • Brittany Gerez of Bakersfield Selected as District 10 Dairy Princess - - Brittany Gerez of Bakersfield was selected as the 2014-2015 Dairy Princess for the California Milk Advisory Boards (CMAB) District 10 The crowning took place on June 26, 2014 at Benjis in Bakersfield, CA. July 15, 2014 CMAB
  • Kids From Dairy Farms Have Lower Allergy Risk, Study Finds - - Children raised on dairy farms are much less likely to develop allergies than other youngsters, a new study finds. Researchers tracked children who lived in rural areas of Sweden, half of them on dairy farms, from birth until 3 years of age. Children on dairy farms had one-tenth the risk of developing allergies as other rural youngsters. <more> July 15, 2014 Health Day
  • Marketing an Alternative to Greek Yogurt - - Stonyfield Farm wants to give yogurt lovers a new high-protein treat with a twist: It doesn't include the word "Greek." Hoping to steal some of Greek yogurt's thunder, Stonyfield plans to start selling Petite Crème, a yogurt-like fresh cheese similar to French fromage blanc. It will come in seven, mostly fruit flavors and boast many of the same attributes as Greek yogurt, like plenty of protein and a creamy texture even in low-fat varieties. <more> July 15, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Passing: Adrian Diepersloot, Visalia - - Adrian Diepersloot of Visalia passed away July 12. He was a longtime member of Western United Dairymen and a former director of WUD. Visitation will be held Thursday July 17, 2014, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Miller Memorial Chapel in Visalia. On Friday, July 18, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. the interment service will be at the Visalia Public District Cemetery, followed by the memorial service at 10:30 a.m. at the Visalia Christian Reformed Church (1030 S. Linwood Ave, Visalia). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation, 216 S Johnson Street, Visalia 93291; or Sierra Village, Inc. - Building Fund, One Molenstraat, Visalia, California, 93277. Arrangements are being made by Miller Memorial Chapel, 1120 W. Goshen Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291 (559) 732-8371. To read the entire obituary, please click here. July 16, 2014 Fresno Bee

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 11 workshops held throughout August at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 15, 2014 WUD news
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.
     

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Water News

  • Drought impact study: California agriculture faces greatest water loss ever seen - - A new report from the University of California, Davis, shows that California agriculture is weathering its worst drought in decades due to groundwater reserves, but the nations produce basket may come up dry in the future if it continues to treat those reserves like an unlimited savings account. The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences study, released today at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., updates estimates on the droughts effects on Central Valley farm production, presents new data on the states coastal and southern farm areas, and forecasts the droughts economic fallout through 2016. The study found that the drought -- the third most severe on record -- is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture, with river water for Central Valley farms reduced by roughly one-third. <more> July 15, 2014 UC Davis
  • UC Davis Drought Study Assesses Current Losses and Potential Future Impacts - - Groundwater pumping is expected to replace most river water losses, with some areas more than doubling their pumping rate over the previous year, the study said. More than 80 percent of this replacement pumping occurs in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin. The results highlight California agriculture's economic resilience and vulnerabilities to drought and underscore the states reliance on groundwater to cope with droughts. <more> July 15, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
  • California approves fines for water-wasters - - California water regulators have voted to approve fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing. The action on Tuesday by the State Water Quality Control Board came after its own survey showed that conservation measures to date have failed to achieve the 20 percent reduction in water use sought by Gov. Jerry Brown. Survey results released before the 4-0 vote showed that water consumption throughout California had actually risen by 1 percent this past May compared to the same month in previous years. <more> July 15, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Rural San Joaquin Valley reeling from drought - - In rural areas of the San Joaquin Valley, folks are turning on the tap and getting black water, bacteria, chemicals and sometimes just a little dribble of water . Statewide, Californians have cut back water use by only 5% this year, but here the drought is creating its own cutbacks in places like Seville in Tulare County, Stratford in Kings County and Parkwood in Madera County. Counties, volunteers and state agencies have been reacting, warning people to boil their water, delivering bottled water and working on fixes. <more> July 14, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Oakdale Irrigation District water rate change being proposed - - The Oakdale Irrigation District provides some of the cheapest water in California, but a plan to increase how much farmers pay for it will be unveiled Tuesday morning. The proposed rate increase is part of a state-mandated conservation effort that requires farmers to start paying for water based on how much they use.  OID now charges farmers a flat rate of $19.50 per acre, no matter how much water they use to irrigate their crops. Its 2,800 landowners typically use about 4 acre-feet of water per acre. That means theyre essentially paying only about $5 per acre-foot of water. <more> July 14, 2014 Modesto Bee

State/Federal News and Politics

  • NMPF Endorses Draft U.S.-Canadian Plan for Regionalization of Trade If Countries are Confronted with Outbreak of Serious Animal Disease - - The National Milk Producers Federation on July 14 endorsed a draft plan for allowing the U.S. and Canada to cope with an outbreak of a serious foreign animal contagion, such as foot-and-mouth disease, suggesting the plan is a template for similar plans involving other important dairy export markets.The plan, drafted by the Agriculture Departments Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, calls for the United States and Canada to recognize each others efforts to control an outbreak, while regionalizing how the outbreak is handled, so as to allow continued trade with disease-free areas of the country. <more> July 14, 2014 NMPF press release
  • Which States Are Considering Labels for GMO Foods? - - The movement to require food companies to label products that were genetically engineered is heating up in the U.S. this year. Thirty-five bills have been introduced in 20 states on the issue, and ballot initiatives are set in Colorado and Oregon. A number of polls have shown over 90% of Americans would prefer GMO foods to be labelled as such. That desire is starting to translate to action, as Connecticut, Maine and Vermont which is currently being sued by the food industry have already passed labeling laws for genetically engineered foods, often called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). <more> July 14, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

Pricing/Commodity News

  • WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 11 workshops held throughout August at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 15, 2014 WUD news
  • U.S. corn, soy crop conditions rated best in 20 years  - - Conditions ratings for the U.S. corn crop unexpectedly improved while soybean ratings held steady, with both crops off to their best start since 1994, the U.S. Agriculture Department said in a weekly report on Monday. The corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from last week, while the soybean crop was rated 72 percent good to excellent. <more> July 14, 2014 Reuters
  • Dairy milk product market likely to see 25 per cent growth by 2019-20 - - The share of value added dairy products (VADP) in the milk and milk derivatives segment is expected to grow by around 25 per cent till 2019-20, Care Ratings said. The profitability in liquid milk space ranges from 4-5 per cent, whereas the profitability in VADPs ranges from 12 to 18 per cent, attracting private participation in the industry. <more> July 15, 2014 The Economic Times
  • Global Dairy Trade Average Plunges 8.9% - - Todays Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction saw the weighted average for all products drop 8.9%, following the 4.9% decline in the last session. The price index has pretty much seen declines since reaching its high on February 4. The downfall today was led by a 10.9% plunge in whole milk powder, which was down 5.4% in the last event. Anhydrous milkfat was down 10%, following a 7.4% decline last time. Skim milk powder was down 7.1%, after a slippage last time of 0.9%. Rennet casein was down 8.9%, following a 2.1% drop in the last event. Cheddar cheese was down 1.6% after a 2.9% drop in the last session. GDT butter was down 1.1%, following the 13.6% plunge in the last event. Buttermilk powder was down 4.6%, after being up 4% last time. July 15, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Environmental News

  • Debate heats up on proposed EPA water-quality rule - - Discussion has intensified about proposed changes to the federal Clean Water Act. As farmers and ranchers express increasing concern about enhanced permitting requirements, land-use restrictions and legal liability that the proposal could cause, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched its own campaign to defend the proposal. Agricultural leaders want the EPA to scrap the proposed rule changes, terming them a poorly orchestrated attempt to expand agency jurisdiction. The proposed rule was published in April, and remains open to public comment until October. <more> July 16, 2014 Ag Alert
  • West Sacramento flood risk reduction plans announced - - A plan to reduce flood risk around West Sacramentos perimeter is being announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District. The proposed project would implement a variety of flood risk management improvements throughout West Sacramento, which is almost completely surrounded by water ways. The plan includes installing cutoff walls, raising levees, providing increased bank protection, as well as the construction of a setback levee, berms and relief wells to help update the regions flood control system. <more> July 14, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

     

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • District 7 Crowned Its 2014 Dairy Princess - - Alexis Mello was crowned Dairy Princess and Emily Rosa was crowned as First Alternate Dairy Princess during a ceremony at the Kings County June Dairy Month Dinner on Friday June 27, 2014, at the Hanford Civic Auditorium. A crowd of 400 dairy families and industry members were in attendance at the coronation to support Alexis and Emily as they begin their reign to promote the California and Kings County dairy industry. June 30, 2014 CMAB news
  • PETA sheep abuse video prompts Colorado investigation; state sheep industry condemns 'rogue' shearer - - An undercover PETA video showing shearers punching, throwing and abusing sheep has prompted investigations in two Colorado counties. Wool industry leaders said what happened in the video is indefensible. "The person who did this should be prosecuted," said Bonnie Brown with the Colorado Wool Growers Association. "Everything about that was wrong." <more> July 11, 2014 KMGH-TV
  • Police recover stolen VW cheese buses - - Three stolen Tillamook Cheese microbuses valued at $300,000 were located in Copperopolis Monday night by a county-wide law enforcement team led by Manteca Police Department officers. <more> July 15, 2014 Manteca Bulletin

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • WUD to host Margin Protection Program workshops in August - - Western United Dairymen will host a series of informational workshops in August on the new Margin Protection Program, which is part of the 2014 Farm Bill signed into law earlier this year. There will be 11 workshops held throughout August at dates and locations which will be announced soon. The first workshop is set for Aug. 11 in Orland. The workshops will be open to anybody interested: WUD members, nonmembers, their bankers and CPAs as well as allied industry members. <more> July 15, 2014 WUD news
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.
     

 

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Water News

  • Fresno judge denies move to stop water transfers - - A federal judge in Fresno on Friday rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction against irrigation water transfers from Northern California to the San Joaquin Valley. A fishing group and a Northern California environmental advocacy group in June asked the court to stop water transfers, saying federal leaders are jeopardizing the protected delta smelt. The plaintiffs are AquAlliance and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, both nonprofit groups. <more> July 11, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • New Report Calls for Tighter Groundwater Management - - A newly released report from the California Water Foundation highlights the need for tighter groundwater management throughout California, especially as the state grapples with increased groundwater pumping due to drought. The report, titled An Evaluation of California Groundwater Management Planning, assesses the current condition of groundwater management planning in the state and finds that many groundwater management plans are outdated and lacking important details. <more> July 10, 2014 ACWA news
  • Rural San Joaquin Valley reeling from drought - - In rural areas of the San Joaquin Valley, folks are turning on the tap and getting black water, bacteria, chemicals and sometimes just a little dribble of water. Statewide, Californians have cut back water use by only 5% this year, but here the drought is creating its own cutbacks in places like Seville in Tulare County, Stratford in Kings County and Parkwood in Madera County. <more> July 14, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Scientists to forecast California drought impacts through 2016 at July 15 Newsmaker - - University of California scientists will update and expand their forecast of the California droughts economic impacts on agriculture at a Newsmakers news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, in the clubs Zenger Room. Californias Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will also speak at the event. New data shows where the drought is hitting California growers hardest and how the states system of groundwater pumping threatens further losses in farm production, income and jobs in the nations richest agricultural state. <more> July 10, 2014 The National Press Club
  • Unusual water deals struck in drought-stricken Central Valley ag country - - In drought-scarred farm country, coffee shop talk turns obsessively to water and its cost which several months ago hit a shocking $1,000 per acre-foot and then climbed to more than $2,000. But it's far too simple to say drought-buster deals in the San Joaquin Valley are all about making a pile of money. A sale in the last week featured a compassionate offer of San Joaquin River water at only $250 per acre-foot. <more> July 12, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Brown urges GOP to work with Obama on immigration - - Breaking his public silence on the recent surge in illegal immigration, Gov. Jerry Brown called on Republicans in Congress on Friday to work with President Obama on solving the human tragedy rather than trying to gain political advantage. An earlier version of this post quoted Gov. Jerry Brown as saying, "And, by the way, accidentally, of some of the policies of the last 20 and 30 years. He actually said: "And not, by the way, accidentally, from some of the policies of the last 20 and 30 years. <more> July 11, 2014 LA Times
  • Heat a risk for Valley workers, crops - - Valley residents aren't the only ones wilting from triple-digit temperatures these days. The excessive heat is troublesome for field workers, livestock animals, vineyards and fruit trees. Above-average temperatures can cause tree fruit to ripen slowly, dairy cows to produce less milk and workers to harvest in potentially dangerous conditions. <more> July 11, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • A fresh GOP voice from the San Joaquin Valley - - The San Joaquin Valley may be struggling to grow food because of the dust-bowling drought. But it's having no trouble producing Republican leaders. OK, that's a non sequitur. But maybe not so much. The latest Republican leader to emerge from the San Joaquin is Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto, a conservative with an appealing moderate tone, who nevertheless has strong views about water development. <more> July 13, 2014 LA Times
  • Fresno County supervisors to reconsider high-speed rail stance - - Fresno County supervisors have supported high-speed rail for the past seven years, but that support is waning and could change Tuesday. That's when supervisors will discuss whether the rail program still is following its original plans and meeting voters' intentions, and whether they can continue to support it. Officials with the California High-Speed Rail Authority learned about the planned discussion on the meeting agenda and will be in Fresno on Tuesday to address supervisors, state officials confirmed. <more> July 11, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • The demise of the small family-owned dairies - - Heres yet another sign of the times. The demise of family-owned dairy farm operations. In many cases, the dairy farm has been handed down from one generation to the next. Cold statistics chronicle the sad stories from the local, state, and national scene. One does not have to go far, though, to get the stories. They are in and around Manteca and Ripon. They are practically right next door to us. <more> July 12, 2014 Manteca Bulletin
  • Border crisis scrambling the politics of immigration policy - - Until now, the politics of immigration have been seen as a no-lose proposition for President Obama and the Democrats. If they could get a comprehensive overhaul passed, they would win. And if Republicans blocked it, the GOP would further alienate crucial Hispanic and moderate voters. But with the current crisis on the Southwest border, where authorities have apprehended tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children since October, that calculus may be shifting. <more> July 12, 2014 Washington Post

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Double whammy hits proposed Tulare cheese plant - - Supporters of more economic development in Tulare suffered a set back in recent weeks as the start-up cheese maker CaliCheese, which expects to hire 200 employees, was hit by a double whammy. About a month ago the president of the company, Jeff Lee, became ill with breathing problems while staying in Tulare County, was seen at Kaweah Delta and flown to a Los Angeles hospital, where he later died. It was a tragic irony on the eve of seeing his dream come true, said Robert Moultrie, a friend and fellow investor in the project who will now be spearheading it. <more> July 11, 2014 The Business Times
  • California milk meets global demand - - There is a good reason these days why California has happy cows, as touted in the Milk Advisory Board-backed television advertising. Its the same reason that could put a happy smile on the faces of dairy farmers in the Golden State. The price of milk is moving up after a years-long slump in the market. The rapidly expanding global demand for milk is what is behind the todays rising milk prices, according to extensive data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture on the states dairy industry. <more> July 12, 2014 Manteca Bulletin
  • Corn prices fall near levels that would trigger subsidies - - The U.S. government increased its forecast on Friday for a surplus of corn, raising the prospect that prices will tumble to levels that would trigger subsidy payments to farmers. Corn supplies in 2015 will reach 1.801 billion bushels, 4.3 percent larger than forecast last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, even as it cut the estimate for the size of this years crop. <more> July 11, 2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Everyone's eating butter again -- if you can afford it - - Butter is back. This past spring, U.S. per capita butter consumption was at its highest levels in around 40 years. "There has been a complete resurgence of butter since at least 2008, and it really has everything to do with 'real food,' " Melissa Abbott, culinary insights director at the Hartman Group, a consumer market research firm, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "There's been a backlash against margarine and other processed spreads." <more> July 14, 2014 CBS Money Watch
     

Environmental News

  • Study of Organic Crops Finds Fewer Pesticides and More Antioxidants - - Adding fuel to the debates over the merits of organic food, a comprehensive review of earlier studies found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared with conventionally grown produce. It shows very clearly how you grow your food has an impact, said Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England, who led the research. If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, you can be sure you have, on average, a higher amount of antioxidants at the same calorie level. <more> July 11, 2014 The New York Times
  • State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program Deadline Extended 2 Weeks - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has extended its deadline for applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) by two weeks, until July 29, 2014. An estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding, authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103), will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. <more> July 14, 2014 CDFA
  • Delta smelt on the scaffold of extinction, says new report - - Cable TV and talk radio bloviators and politicians may soon have no more Delta smelt to ridicule. The minnow-like fish, which lives only in the waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is on the precipice of extinction, says a report Monday from the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. Its analysis of government data says the population of the small fish has dropped to near-extinction levels. <more> July 14, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Farm to warfare: UC Davis institute stands watch against agroterrorism - - California agricultural catastrophe could start with a single handkerchief. In the hands of a clever terrorist, the handkerchief could be contaminated with the foot-and-mouth disease virus, then dropped in a pen of livestock. Cattle, which are curious by nature, would soon start sniffing the handkerchief, potentially creating a ground zero for one of the most feared diseases in farming. <more> July 13, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Cheese bus heist in Manteca - - A Tillamook Cheese sales tour caravan was disrupted when five of its vehicles were stolen from a Manteca hotel parking places Saturday with two of them being torched a day later by thieves. The professionally restored Volkswagen buses are painted a bright orange and used for product advertising. They were part of a sales tour traveling from city to city. Tillamook Cheese has posted a $10,000 reward for the return of the three VW buses. <more> July 14, 2014 Manteca Bulletin
  • Farmers markets abound in S.J. County - - Shoppers say the markets not only offer freshness, but they find many things on their lists are cheaper too. On nearly every day of the week, there is a farmers market in San Joaquin County where shoppers can find an array of freshly picked produce, and so much more. There are two main groups that operate outdoor markets in the Stockton and Tracy areas, according to Wes Rhea of Visit Stockton. <more> July 12, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Food expo to feature several local companies - - Hoping for a slice of Kings County at the upcoming Fresno Food Expo on July 24? Youre in luck. No fewer than nine local businesses will be hawking their wares to commercial buyers and the general public at the fourth-annual event. They include the L.T. Sue Co., Rosa Brothers Milk Co., Dairy Goddess, Nichols Farms, Farmers Fury Winery, Crisp California Walnuts, Summerhill Dairy, Homegrown Organic Farms and Pa Paws Killer BBQ Sauce. <more> July 11, 2014 Hanford Sentinel

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.
     

 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Water News

  • New report expected to show drought impact worsening - - Scientists from the University of California, Davis, next Tuesday will update and expand their forecast of the California drought's economic impacts on agriculture at a news conference. They are expected to show new data about where the drought is hitting California growers the hardest and how the state's uniquely unmanaged system of groundwater pumping threatens further losses in farm production, income and jobs in the Central Valley. <more> July 11, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Film shows human cost of irrigation cuts to agriculture - - Oseguera is a film maker. His interest in water issues came in 2009 when farmworkers and farmers marched through a dust storm along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). The 50-mile march from Mendota to San Luis Reservoir was in response to the frustration and outrage over federal decisions to cut water supplies to farmers. I thought this was just a small issue, Oseguera said. I eventually realized this was bigger than I could have imagined. <more> July 7, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Saving Water in California - - California is in the third year of its worst drought in decades. But you wouldnt know it by looking at how much water the states residents and businesses are using. According to a recent state survey, Californians cut the amount of water they used in the first five months of the year by just 5 percent, far short of the 20 percent reduction Gov. Jerry Brown called for in January. In some parts of the state, like the San Diego area, water use has actually increased from 2013. Without much stronger conservation measures, the state, much of which is arid or semiarid, could face severe water shortages if the drought does not break next year. <more> July 9, 2014 The New York Times
  • Groundwater management plans needed across California - - Communities across California are sorely lacking in strategies to sustain their groundwater, and many dont even have any plans in place. Thats according to Andrew Fahlund, deputy director of the California Water Foundation, as he discussed the Sacramento-based nonprofits release on Thursday of its Recommendations for Sustainable Groundwater Management report. <more> July 10, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Quota discussion draws packed house in District 3 - - Western United Dairymen District 3 members and guests packed the house Thursday as they gathered in Two Rock Valley to listen to a presentation on quota proposals recently brought before the California Dairy Task Force. The meeting was requested by dairymen concerned about how proposed changes might affect operations in Sonoma and Marin Counties. Similar to other high cost of production areas of the state, many dairy producers in District 3 have attempted to mitigate their higher costs by investing in quota. Further, many producers in attendance indicated that in their area, due to urbanization and competition from wine grape production, that their decision to invest in quota was due in part to the fact that expansion of their herds was difficult due to land cost and availability. Quota investment was incurred to maintain the viability of their farms. The session was moderated by WUD Directors Lucas Deniz and Domenic Carinalli who organized the meeting in response to requests from producers in their area. A presentation was made by Western United Dairymen CEO Michael Marsh who chairs the Quota Working Group. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • USDA: Record Milk Production, Continuing Strong Dairy Prices This Year - - Although USDA lowered its 2014 U.S. milk production estimate slightly from last month, its new forecast of 205.9 billion pounds still would be a record high. If U.S. dairies achieve USDAs latest projection, released in Fridays World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, their output would soar 4.7 billion pounds over 2013s level. That's close to what Arizona produces in an entire year. It would also exceed 2012s milk production figure of 200.5 billion pounds by 5.4 billion pounds. <more> July 11, 2014 Dairy Today
  • USDA lowers corn estimate, raises soybeans - - USDA has lowered its production outlook for corn, while raising the projection for soybeans. This years corn crop is now estimated at 13.860 billion bushels, down 75 million from June on a lower harvested area estimate, based on the June 30 acreage numbers. The average yield guess was left unchanged and old and new crop ending stocks were both up on the month. <more> July 11, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Top global dairy companies battle challenging conditions - - Giant dairy processing companies have been "paddling hard in slow-moving water," faced with stagnant sales in many key markets, weak economies and supply constraints, according to Rabobanks annual Global Dairy Top 20 report, released July 9. Nonetheless, the worlds largest dairy companies remain reasonable entrenched, with Nestle, Danone and Lactalis again topping the list, said Tim Hunt, Rabobank analyst and co-author of the report. <more> July 10, 2014 Capital Press
  • Global demand for farm commodities seen rising through 2023 - - Global meat prices will keep rising for the next decade with beef continuing to set record highs. And the production and consumption of biofuels is expected to increase by 50 percent. These are some of the forecasts in the 2014-2023 Agricultural Outlook released today by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The study sees a generally positive outlook for agriculture with strong markets driven by diversifying diets. <more> July 11, 2014 Agri-Pulse

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Adelson, Gates, Buffett: Lack of immigration reform is 'depressing' - - Three billionaires who have donated to opposite parties teamed up Thursday to urge Congress to pass immigration reform, saying current policy is irrational. The current stalemate in Congress on immigration reform is depressing the rest of the country, wrote Sheldon Adelson, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. <more> July 11, 2014 The Hill
  • Immigration and border crisis: Possible compromise emerges in Congress - - Outlines of a possible compromise over President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency border spending request are emerging on Capitol Hill. They involve making policy changes to allow the minors streaming to the border from Central America to be sent home more quickly. The top House and Senate Republicans both said Thursday that they don't want to give the president a blank check and want to see the law changed to speed the children's deportations. <more> July 10, 2014 San Jose Mercury News
  • Ben & Jerrys new flavor fuels Food Fight over GMOs - - Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's promoted a special flavor, Food Fight Fudge Brownie, on Capitol Hill today, to support labeling mandates for genetically modified food. The company committed earlier this year to phasing out any ingredients in its products derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Company co-founder Jerry Greenfield said the flavor will appear this month in Vermont Ben & Jerry shops, where $1 of every purchase will go into a legal fund to defend against challenges to the state's GMO labeling mandate passed in April. <more> July 10, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Environmental News

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • Farmers see threats growing - - Every year, an average of 30,000 acres of irrigated California farmland is converted to other uses. Hoping to stem these losses, a coalition of environmental and farm interests Thursday called on state officials to reinforce and renew existing and recently lapsed programs that monitor and conserve farmland as well as set overarching policies to discourage urbanization and improve the viability of California agriculture. Edward Thompson Jr., state director of American Farmland Trust, said the state needs a breakthrough in policy to protect the nation's leading agricultural industry. <more> July 11, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Discovery could cut use of fertilizer by farmers - - A discovery by a scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service could help farmers use less fertilizer, saving money and helping the environment. Richard Haney, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientist in Temple, Texas, has developed a soil test that replicates some of the natural processes that occur in a field and accounts for that microbial activity, along with measuring nitrate, ammonium (NH4), and organic nitrogen. <more> July 10, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Secretaries Ross, Laird Issue Joint Statement on CRAEs Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land - - The California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE), of which CDFA is an institutional member, has published a report entitled A Call To Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land The reports recommendations are are intended to provide a maximum amount of flexibility, incentives, tools, and options for landowners, government agencies, and communities to confront the challenges posed by the rapid conversion of agricultural land while simultaneously protecting and balancing these private rights and the public's interest. <more> July 11, 2014 CDFA press release

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp - - Do not be alarmed, but you may be eating wood pulp. Or at least an additive that started out as wood. If you buy shredded cheeses, including brands such as Organic Valley and Sargento, or hit the drive-through at McDonald's for a breakfast sandwich or a smoothie, or douse some ribs with bottled barbecue sauce, there's likely some cellulose that's been added to your food. Cellulose is basically plant fiber, and one of the most common sources is wood pulp. Manufacturers grind up the wood and extract the cellulose. <more> July 10, 2014 NPR
  • New Fair Oaks restaurant takes farm-to-table to the extreme - - Farm-to-table is a pretty popular concept these days, and a new restaurant takes it about as far as it can go, growing and raising almost all its food right outside. Fair Oaks Farms has opened The Farmhouse Restaurant and Conference Center, an $8 million expansion at the popular agritourist destination in Newton County. The 20,000-square-foot complex includes a local craft beer pub, a conference center that seats 280, and a sit-down restaurant with an emphasis on American Farm Cuisine, and will add a fresh food market and bakery later this summer. <more> July 10, 2014 Northwest Indiana Times
  • Health company joins Fonterra for interesting China partnership - - Why would a global healthcare company join forces with the worlds most prominent dairy exporter to build dairy farms in China? Good question. But, thats whats happening, according to a joint press release issued by the companies, Fonterra and Abbott. The dairy hub as the farm is termed by Fonterra, would include joint investment of $300 million for 5 dairy farms and 16,000 head, producing up to 160 million liters (over 350 million pounds) of milk yearly. <more> July 10, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Organic foods have more antioxidants, U.K. study finds - - Organic crops have higher levels of antioxidants associated with better health than conventional crops, according to a study led by scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. The researchers say they found statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops. <more> July 11, 2014 Agri-Pulse

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Strip till tour set for Aug. 5 in Merced, Madera counties - - A tour of dairies in Merced and Madera counties that are using strip till methods for reliably producing quality silage corn is set for Tuesday, Aug. 5. The tour will depart from the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center, 9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar at 7 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and grower panel discussion on return to visitor center. The cost of the tour and luncheon is free for those who RSVP by Friday, July 25. More information is available from Ladi Asgill at lasgill@suscon.org (209) 576-7729 and Mikel Winemiller mike@calagsolutions.com, (209)626-6440. July 11, 2014 WUD news
  • SAVE THE DATE: WUD South Valley Golf Tournament  - Monday, Sept. 15th at the Visalia Country Club.
     

ifornia Dairy Industry Headline News

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pricing/Commodity News

  • California August Class I Milk Prices Up $5.07 from 2013 - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced its August Class I milk price today at $25.28 per hundredweight for the north and $25.55 for the south. Both are up 15 cents from July, $5.07 above August 2013, and 10 cents shy of the record high set in March 2014. The eight-month northern average now stands at $24.70, up from $19.87 at this time a year ago and compares to $17.82 in 2012 and $20.27 in 2011. The southern average, at $24.97, is up from $20.14 a year ago, $18.09 in 2012 and $20.54 in 2011. The August Federal order Class I base price is announced by USDA on July 23. July 10, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Bumper crops to take a bite out of U.S. farmer revenues - - U.S. revenues from corn and soybean farming look set to slump to their lowest levels in five years despite projections for record soybean production and the second-largest corn crop in history. Lower corn and soybean prices are the chief driver behind the sinking sales receipts, with new-crop corn values recently slumping to their lowest levels since the summer of 2010 and new-crop soybean values at close to five-month lows. <more> July 10, 2014 Reuters
  • Northwest hay growers doubt acreage reports accuracy - - While U.S. hay acreage has dropped slightly compared to a year ago, increased acreage reported in individual states last week by USDAs National Agricultural Statistics Service comes as a big surprise to growers. Nationwide harvested acreage of all hay at 57.6 million acres is down 611,000 acres from 58.3 million acres in 2013. But acreage is up 160,000 in Washington and 30,000 in Oregon, according to the report. <more> July 8, 2014 Capital Press
  • U.S. Powder Sales Set New Record High - - As the U.S. dairy industry focuses on butter, U.S. exports of nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder surged 10% in May from April levels to post a new all-time monthly high. In May, U.S. exporters sent 60,358 metric tons, or 133 million pounds, of nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) overseas, a 7.8% increase from May 2013 levels, according to USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service. <more> July 10, 2014 Dairy Today
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Lack of communication is to blame in biotech debate, according to House panel - - The heated public debate over genetically modified foods shows the agricultural industry is not doing enough to communicate biotechnology's benefits to society, according to a group of witnesses hosted by the House Agriculture Subcommittee Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture on Wednesday. <more> July 10, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Water News

  • California Hopes Fines up to $500 Slow Water Waste - - Bo Cuketieh inadvertently let a fine mist from a leaky hose soak the front lawn of a Southern California home Wednesday before considering that such water waste could merit a $500 fine under unprecedented restrictions proposed by California regulators. Cuketieh, a 35-year-old welder living at the Glendale home, said conservation is necessary, but he chafed at the maximum fine. "That's the difference between me making my house payment or not," said Cuketieh, who was shirtless and hunched over in the 98 degree heat as he filled his car radiator. "I live from one week to the next, and I have a pretty decent job." <more> July 9, 2014 AP

Environmental News

  • GOP: EPA water rule could harm farmers - - House Republicans clashed with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials Wednesday over the agency's controversial plan to regulate small bodies of water, which the GOP says could hurt American farmers. Repubilcans fear the EPA's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule would expand the agency's authority to include small rivers, streams and ponds around the country, which they say could hurt farmers whose lands are strategically surrounded by water. <more> July 9, 2014 The Hill
  • Obama's EPA chief calls farm bureau worries hogwash - - The Obama administration's environmental chief, Gina McCarthy, is coming to Missouri to try to calm troubled waters. The source of the storm: a proposed rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to clarify the federal agency's authority to regulate streams, wetlands, and other waters. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, EPA Administrator McCarthy acknowledged that the rule has sparked strong opposition among some farmers and agriculture groups who worry the proposal gives the EPA the power to regulate ditches, streams, and other water on their land. <more> July 9, 2014 Gannett News Service

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Americas price of food more budget friendly than other countries - - Its no secret that the price of groceries is on the rise, hitting American consumers deep in the pocketbook. In a recent USDA Economic Research Service report, the average American spent 6.6 percent of their household budget on groceries for home or 11 percent when eating out costs are factored in. Sound steep? Pakistanis shelled out 47.7 percent of their household budget on food costs. <more> July 9, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

 

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Dems vow fast work on $3.7B border bill - - Senate Democrats on Tuesday moved to quickly pass a $3.7 billion package that provides funding to care for but also more quickly deport the thousands of children illegally flooding into the country at the southwest border. Hours after the White House revealed the package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said his goal was to finish a bill by Congresss August recess. <more> July 8, 2014 The Hill
  • Obama's $3.7-billion border request reflects deepening concern - - President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding Tuesday to help confront what he called an urgent humanitarian situation: the unprecedented influx of children and teens arriving without parents on the Southwestern border. The figure was nearly double what the administration had signaled might be necessary, and it showed the deepening concern at the White House about the more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, who have flocked across the border since October. <more> July 8, 2014 LA Times
  • Soda Tax's Last Stand? Bay Area Preps for Showdown - - If two of the most progressive U.S. cities don't pass a tax on sugary drinks, will the idea finally fizzle out? Sugary drinks have been under fire for years, with many blaming them for rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases. Yet efforts to curb consumption by imposing taxes and other measures have failed, in part because the beverage industry has spent millions to defeat the efforts. Now, the question of whether a bottle of Dr Pepper with 64 grams of sugar should be treated like a pack of cigarettes is being considered in San Francisco and Berkeley, with the two California cities aiming to become the country's first to pass per-ounce taxes on sugary drinks. <more> July 8, 2014 AP
  • Another record year for Tulare County agriculture - - Combined sales of Tulare County crops, livestock and other agricultural goods totaled more than $7.8 billion in 2013, the third straight year they hit record levels. That's more than a 25 percent increase $1.59 billion over agricultural sales in 2012, according to the 2013 Tulare County Annual Crop and Livestock Report that county Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita presented to the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. <more> July 8, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • USDA Reminds Producers of 2014 Acreage Reporting Requirement - - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini reminds agricultural producers that July 15, 2014, is the deadline to file an acreage report for spring seeded crops. Planted acres must be reported to FSA by July 15, 2014. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) requires producers on a farm to submit annual acreage reports on all cropland. <more> July 8, 2014 FSA news release
     

Water News

  • Valley irrigation leaders warn against states river flow proposal - - Irrigation districts pledged to keep up their fight against a state proposal to boost flows in the lower Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. They said the proposal, aimed at improving conditions for salmon and other fish, would hit hard at the regions agriculture and lead to an increase in well pumping. <more> July 8, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Urban water use restrictions expected for entire state - - Every Californian will soon face water use restrictions as the State Water Resources Control Board imposes new controls backed by stiff fines. <more> July 9, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Corn crop off to best start since 1999 - - It hasnt been smooth sailing for all crop-producing states over the last week, but for most of the Corn Belt, milder weather helped push the corn crop to its best conditions in 15 years. According to the USDAs latest Crop Progress report, 75 percent of U.S. corn is in good to excellent condition, virtually unchanged from last week and well-above last years report of 68 percent in these same conditions. <more> July 8, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
     

Environmental News

  • EPA: Assumptions About Clean Water Act Changes Are Ludicrous - - John Barrett is a Texas farmer and environmental steward. He cares for his land so that it's here for generations to come. Now he fears removing the word "navigable" out of the Clean Water Act could prohibit him from doing his job. American Farm Bureau recently launched a campaign called "Ditch the Rule." The goal is to prevent EPA from implementing what the group fears is too much overreach with proposed changes to the Clean Water Act. <more> July 9, 2014 Ag Web
  • As farm interests line up against water regs, EPA officials begin the hard sell - - The Environmental Protection Agency, admitting that we havent had the best relationship with the agriculture industry in the past, is beginning a push for a proposed new water rule that has generated strong opposition from farm communities. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be in Missouri Wednesday and Thursday to talk up the rule with farmers and agribusiness leaders. Included will be a farm visit in Rocheport, Mo., on Wednesday, and a speech on Thursday at the Kansas City Agribusiness Council Luncheon. <more> July 9, 2014 McClatchy News Service
  • Delta water getting saltier, fish kills show - - Sardine-like fish that spend most of their lives in the ocean were sucked by the thousands into the south Delta export pumps near Tracy this spring. While your life might not hinge on the wellbeing of Pacific herring, their presence deep in the Delta is evidence that the estuary is becoming saltier, which could be bad news for farmers if the drought persists. <more> July 9, 2014 Stockton Record
     

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Valley premium ice cream makers churn out unique flavors - - It's July, it's hot, and so it's time to indulge in some creamy, locally made ice cream. Throughout the central San Joaquin Valley, ice cream makers are producing some interesting flavors from peach cobbler to cinnamon bun. And it isn't just ice cream shops that are dishing out the icy goodness. One of the newest local ice cream makers is scooping it out of a food truck. Among the fastest growing producers is Rosa Brothers Milk Co. in Tulare. <more> July 7, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Red tape may be slowing dairy growth - - How much time does it take you to cut through red tape in your locale? The answer could be the reason your region is thriving or diving in terms of dairy farm investment. A recently released Small-business friendliness map by The Economist, using data from Thumbtack and the Kauffman Foundation, asked thousands of small businesses about local issues around hiring, regulation, zoning, licenses, health insurance and training. Thumbtack/Kauffman felt comfortable enough with the compiled data for 38 U.S. states to assign grades on how states treat small businesses. <more> July 8, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company - - Spears is an early adopter who upgrades his equipment every 12 months (next years tractor will have a fridge in the cab, he says) and who just bought a drone to monitor his fields. He can afford to: Corn prices are high, and farmers like him can take home hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Still, he thinks such technologiesthe smart planter software and sensor array, the iPad app offering planting and growing adviceare only going to get more common. So does the company that makes many of those tools, as well as the high-tech seeds Spears is planting: Monsanto, one of the most hated corporations in America. <more> July 3, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Jerry Brown signs bill allowing wine tasting at farmers markets - - Californians can start sipping wine at farmers markets. Immediately. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday he has signed an urgency measure allowing winegrowers who bottle their own wine to conduct instructional tastings at Californias numerous farmers markets. Assembly Bill 2488, by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, was approved by both houses of the Legislature without dissent. <more> July 8, 2014 Capitol Alert

 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Emergency Drought Relief Money Still Unspent - - Its been four months since Governor Jerry Brown signed what he and Democratic lawmakers called emergency drought legislation. It promised nearly $700 million in immediate drought relief. But nearly 90 percent of that money has yet to be spent. This is a call to action, Brown proclaimed in late February at a visit to the state's emergency operations center. What needs to be done will be done and is being done. <more> July 7, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • First Lady Bucks GOP on School Lunch Rules - - First ladies typically avoid getting into public scraps, but Michelle Obama has jumped into perhaps her biggest battle yet. She's fighting a House Republican effort to soften a central part of her prized anti-childhood obesity campaign and says she's ready "to fight until the bitter end." Mrs. Obama even mocked the GOP effort in an opinion column and argued her case on Twitter. <more> July 5, 2014 AP
  • Agency's control over modified crops is limited - - Oregon agriculture officials say the state has no authority over genetically modified crops once federal regulators deem them safe for commercial use. In a letter to Gov. John Kitzhaber, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said state law allows it to create "control areas" for genetically engineered crops to deal with pests and disease. But it can create such areas only for GE crops that are in the trial phase. Officials say once a GE crop is "deregulated" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is deemed not to be a carrier of pests or disease and the state loses authority over the crop. <more> July 7, 2014 AP
  • Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves - - A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria. As we've reported, the legal treatment of raw milk varies state by state. In some places like California, it's sold in stores. In other states, it's outlawed entirely although folks get around regulations by buying a "stake" in a cow so they're drinking what amounts to their own milk, or selling it as a pet food. But this patchwork of permissions and workarounds means that, as a nation, we don't have any national standards when it comes to raw milk testing and safety. <more> July 7, 2014 Valley Public Radio
  • California Milk Advisory Board Joins Kids LiveWell as Sponsor - - The National Restaurant Association announced that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has become the first commodity board sponsor of the Associations award-winning Kids LiveWell program, a voluntary industry-wide initiative designed to help make the healthful choice the easy choice when dining out with children. <more> July 8, 2014 QSR Magazine
  • MOO Milk disbands - - An effort by organic dairy producers in Maine to market their own milk is shutting down. Maines Own Organic or MOO Milk is disbanding leaving the producers to pursue contracts with other processors. The co-op had stopped processing milk in May after equipment problems put them in a situation where they needed to make some major investments. The announcement stated the company was not filing for bankruptcy and had sufficient cash on hand to pay all of its obligations to farmers, vendors and employees. <more> July 8, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
     

Water News

  • A California Oil Field Yields Another Prized Commodity - - The 115-year-old Kern River oil field unfolds into the horizon, thousands of bobbing pumpjacks seemingly occupying every corner of a desert landscape here in Californias Central Valley. A contributor to the states original oil boom, it is still going strong as the nations fifth-largest oil field, yielding 70,000 barrels a day. But the Kern River field also produces 10 times more of something that, at least during Californias continuing drought, has become more valuable to many locals and has experienced the kind of price spike more familiar to oil: water. The fields owner, Chevron, sells millions of gallons every day to a local water district that distributes it to farmers growing almonds, pistachios, citrus fruits and other crops. <more> July 7, 2014 The New York Times
  • S.J. paints grim picture of twin tunnels' impact - - Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed twin tunnels "will effectively destroy the Delta as it exists today," and will forever alter San Joaquin County's economy, county officials warn in a new report. The staff report sums up the county's highly critical comments on the $25 billion tunnels plan. Supervisors will consider approving those formal comments this morning at their meeting in downtown Stockton. <more> July 8, 2014 Stockton Record
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • California milk price relief expires - - Temporary adjustments to Californias minimum milk pricing formula, which added 12.5 cents per hundredweight to producers pool price, expired last week with no official objection from the states dairymen. The temporary price relief was an extension of an earlier measure put into place July 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, and expired June 30, 2014. The measures were ordered by California Department of Food and Agriculture Director Karen Ross. <more> July 8, 2014 Capital Press
  • Corn Falls as Favorable Weather Continues - - Corn for delivery in September fell 9 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.06 a bushel, its lowest price since August 2010. As recently as April 29, corn was trading at $5.22. The price of corn has slumped in the last two months as the right combination of sun, rain and moderate summer temperatures has boosted the chances of a record crop this year. U.S. corn is currently entering its pollination stage, a critical point of its development. The prices for wheat and soybeans also fell. <more> July 7, 2014 AP
  • Out-of Sight Beef Prices Pose Opportunity - - Record high cattle and beef prices are actually making rebuilding herds a good bet, at least for some beef cattle producers, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. "Out of sight is a good term for the prices," said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension specialist in livestock and food products marketing. "And it doesnt really matter whether were talking about retail prices to consumers, the wholesale beef market or at sale barns for calves and feeder steers." <more> July 8, 2014 Dairy Today
  • CWT Sending More Dairy Products Offshore - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 21 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America, Land OLakes, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 15.615 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack cheese, 1.246 million pounds of butter (82% butterfat) and 837,757 pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and Oceania. The product will be delivered through January 2015. Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 74.377 million pounds of cheese, 48.767 million pounds of butter and 15.406 million pounds of whole milk powder to 41 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.926 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. July 8, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Environmental News

  • NMPF Asks EPA to Withdraw Guidance that Could Hinder Water Conservation on Farms - - The National Milk Producers Federation on July 7th asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw recent guidance concerning when farmers must seek Clean Water Act permits for a long list of normal farming activities near wetlands.NMPF, the voice of more than 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, said the EPAs proposal could have the perverse effect of discouraging water conservation, by changing the long-standing relationship between farmers and the Agriculture Departments Natural Resources Conservation Service. <more> July 7, 2014 NMPF news release
     

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • California has worlds eighth-largest economy, beating Russia, Italy - - Californias economy has overtaken Russia and Italy, with the state now ranked as the worlds eighth-largest economy. The states $2.203 trillion gross domestic product in 2013 put California slightly ahead of Russia and Italy and just behind the No. 7 economy, Brazil. The rankings were calculated by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto and based on annual statistics from the World Bank. <more> July 8, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Trader Joe's caught in COOL crosshairs - - The head of a California-based organization has filed a lawsuit against Trader Joes Co. over the retailers alleged noncompliance with country-of-origin labeling (COOL) laws, particularly of meat products. <more> July 2, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Clare Hasler-Lewis on the Future of Agriculture - - What will the future of agriculture and food production look like? Most of us are aware of some sobering statistics: With the planet's population expected to approach 10 billion by 2050, and incomes rising, demand for food is likely to double. Demand for water, meanwhile, is projected to grow roughly 55%, according to the 2014 U.N. World Water Development Report, while more than 40% of the world's population will be living in areas of severe water stress. Those are daunting challenges, to be sure. But from where I'm sitting, I also see a steady stream of new farming technologies, practices and ideas that are increasing our ability to use limited resources efficientlyparticularly water. <more> July 7, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Drought Assistance Workshop in  Tulare, July 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering a free drought assistance workshop to dairy producers in Tulare tomorrow. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Attend the workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. at the Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Water News

  • Senate Democrats put forth $7.5 billion water bond plan - - Senate Democrats knocked $3 billion off their water bond proposal Thursday, putting forth a $7.5 billion plan just as the Legislature adjourned for its month-long summer recess. The measure is a scaled-back version of the $10.5 billion bond by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) that failed to pass the Senate last week. The revised plan would allocate $2 billion for surface and groundwater storage projects, $850 million for Delta levees and habitat restoration, and $1 billion for groundwater cleanup. <more> July 3, 2014 LA Times
  • California restricts access to water well records - - A decades-old law barring the public from viewing records of water wells throughout California is drawing criticism amid the states drought from those who believe the information locked away could help scientists and water policy specialists better protect the groundwater supply. While other Western states make well logs widely available, the Sacramento Bee reported Sunday that the California law makes a narrow group of state officials and researchers privy to facts and figures on each wells depth, diameter and the geological material bored through to hit water. <more> July 7, 2014 AP
  • Nearly 80% of California now under 'extreme' drought conditions - - Harsh, dry conditions continue to drive more of California into the highest possible category of drought, the National Weather Service announced Thursday. Nearly 80% of the state was under "extreme" drought conditions in June, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. Within that area, the amount considered to be in the highest category of drought -- "exceptional" -- grew from 33% in May to 36%. <more> July 3, 2014 LA Times
  • California drought imperils a dream - - For the first time in the more than half a century that the federal government had been diverting Sierra Nevada water to farmers, there would be no deliveries to most Central Valley irrigation districts. In the third year of drought, there wasn't enough water to go around. It was a blow to the entire region, but a possible death knell to Terra Bella, whose pistachio and citrus groves are watered only by rain and the government's canals. <more> July 4, 2014 LA Times
  • California lawmakers to work on drought plan during summer recess - - California lawmakers on Thursday pledged to work over the summer recess to agree on a plan to shore up the state's water supply that has been mired in party politics for months despite a three-year drought that has slammed farms and towns. The plan to build three new reservoirs, underground water storage and finance environmental clean-up projects ran aground last month after Republicans said it did not do enough to bring water to the state's parched agricultural breadbasket, and Governor Jerry Brown said it was too expensive. <more> July 3, 2014 Reuters
     

    Environmental News

  • Dairy group asks EPA to pull CWA guidance as comment period ends - - The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has joined several agricultural groups in asking EPA to withdraw its interpretive rule concerning Clean Water Act (CWA) permit exemptions for certain farming activities near wetlands. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released the rule earlier this year at the same time as their proposal to define Waters of the U.S. The agency closed a public comment period for the interpretive rule on Monday, but comments on the Waters of the U.S. definition can be submitted until Oct. 20. <more> July 8, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • Perea bill would delay California cap-and-trade for gas - - Democratic fissures over California's cap-and-trade mandates deepened on Thursday, with a key moderate Democrat introducing a bill to push back a looming rule expected to cause a spike in prices at the pump. Assembly Bill 69 by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, would delay for three years a rule requiring the energy industry to purchase permits for transportation fuels. Lawmakers and critics have been warning for months about a resulting price bump. <more> July 3, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • California rice farmers could get pollution credit - - Californias evolving cap-and-trade market may soon have a new player: rice farmers. A proposal by the California Air Resources Board staff, up for board approval in September, would allow rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley to sell carbon emission offsets as part of the states effort to combat climate change. Rice farmers would flood their fields for shorter periods, which would reduce the decomposition process that emits methane a potent greenhouse gas. Businesses seeking to offset their own greenhouse gas emissions could buy credits from the farmers who had made gains in curbing pollution. <more> July 5, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Legal, political and humanitarian concerns raised over child migrant crisis - - The legal, humanitarian and political constraints facing the Obama administration as it copes with thousands of Central American children entering the country illegally came into sharp focus in a series of interviews Sunday. A George W. Bush-era law to address human trafficking prevents the government from returning the children to their home countries without taking them into custody and eventually through a deportation hearing. Minors from Mexico and Canada, by contrast, can be sent back across the border more easily. The administration says it wants more flexibility under the law. <more> July 6, 2014 AP

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Corn Avalanche Coming as Rain Trumps U.S. Planting Slide - - The 8-foot (2.4-meter) corn stalks on Bill Longs farm in southern Illinois are so big, green and healthy that he wishes hed sold more of it sooner. Like many growers across the Midwest, Long expects a second straight record crop that will boost domestic stockpiles already at a four-year high. Output in the U.S. will jump 2.8 percent to 14.314 billion bushels, the most ever, researcher The Linn Group Inc. estimated in a July 1 report. Even after fewer acres were planted, the wettest June on record left fields in the best condition since 2003 and sent prices into a bear market two months before the harvest starts. <more> July 7, 2014 Bloomberg
  • May U.S. female dairy cattle exports bounce back - - Demand for U.S. female replacement dairy cattle bounced back in May. USDAs Foreign Ag Service said 4,938 female dairy replacements were exported during the month, the highest monthly total since December 2013. The January-May total is 19,762 head, down slightly from the pace set over the same period in 2012 and 2013. Jordan was the top market in May, at 2,439 head, followed by Russia, at 1,534 head. Mexico remained the biggest dairy replacement market so far in 2014, taking 656 head in May, for a five-month total of 9,333, or about 47% of all exported female dairy cattle. July 5, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • May U.S. alfalfa exports weaker - - U.S. alfalfa hay exports totaled 137,548 metric tons in May, the lowest total in the past three months, according to USDAs Foreign Ag Service. China was the top foreign hay market for the month, at 50,195 metric tons (MT); followed by Japan, at 35,650 MT; and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 23,688 MT. May 2014 U.S. exports of other hay, at 126,744 MT, were the second-lowest monthly total of the year. Japan was the leading market, at 68,328 MT; followed by South Korea, at 32,285 MT; and China, at 12,066 MT. July 5, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Robin Schmahl: Lower Milk Prices May Not Mean Less Profitability - - The market is weighing the impact that high prices may have on demand as well as how much milk supply will be available. There is much speculation on whether the top is in for milk prices. Seasonally, one would have to say that it is not. Higher prices generally are seen in September and October. However, this year, such may not be the case. Record milk prices were seen in April and have declined marginally since. Current futures contracts hold a discount through mid-2016, with prices hovering at $15.85. That certainly is not a very positive outlook for milk prices. <more> July 7, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • District 4 Crowned Its 2014 Dairy Princess - - Abaigeal Abby Zuppan was crowned District 4 Dairy Princess on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Michelle Ferreira District 4 Chairperson, crowned the new Dairy Princess during a luncheon at the I-5 Café in Orland, CA. Retiring Dairy Princess Mackenzie Gomes ended her reign by turning over the title over to Abby, wishing her well as she represents the California dairy industry throughout the coming year. Abby will serve her reign through 2014 and early 2015. June 26, 2014 CMAB press release
  • Fair acts pack up, fireworks called off - - Crowds were sparse, many of the rides on the midway were empty and the Fourth of July fireworks show was canceled Friday at the San Joaquin County Family Fair. One of the saddest scenes was the sight of a frowning circus clown who removed his face paint, packed up his tent and left the fairgrounds two days early, saying he was pulling out for the first time in his 41 years as a carnival performer. A number of vendors had already left and other entertainers were threatening to do the same amid accusations of mismanagement and fears that performers would not be paid. <more> July 5, 2014 Stockton Record

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Water News

  • California toughens enforcement of water violations - - California's water cops on Wednesday approved emergency drought regulations aimed at forcing water users to act swiftly when told to stop diverting water from streams. The State Water Resources Control Board, after meeting for nearly 12 hours over two days, voted unanimously to approve the new rules package. The emergency regulations mean that for the next nine months, the board can follow a streamlined process to force some water-rights holders to stop diverting from rivers and streams. The action came after the board was told that only 31 percent of nearly 10,000 water-rights holders statewide have responded to curtailment notices issued over the past six weeks.  <more> July 3, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • California water regulators up enforcement powers - - California water regulators voted to give themselves tough new drought enforcement powers after learning that most water rights holders haven't responded to their orders to use less. The State Water Resources Board met for nearly 12 hours over a two-day span before voting unanimously Wednesday to approve the emergency regulations that will be in effect for the next nine months. <more> July 3, 2014 AP
  • Oakdale Irrigation District takes on update of rates, other charges - - The Oakdale Irrigation District provides its farmers about the cheapest water in California, and many of its other service charges haven't increased in more than a decade. OIDs board of directors took a step Wednesday toward updating and justifying what it charges customers for special services, and it will start tackling its overall water rate structure July 15. <more> July 2, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Got milk? Good - - Consumers have a hard time today trying to improve their diets. They are bombarded with conflicting advice, dueling studies and experts on TV hawking their latest book promising miracle results. Eggs are vilified one month and judged not so bad the next. Margarine is deemed healthier than butter, until newer research undercuts long-held views about saturated fat and butter makes a comeback as a pure and natural food. And if thats not enough, here comes the inaptly-named Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, with its animal rights agenda masquerading as nutrition advice. The latest example is Susan Levins op-ed in the June 24 issue of The Hill, urging Congress to steer kids away from milk. <more> July 3, 2014 The Hill
  • New flood of immigrants unsettles some U.S. towns - - A day earlier, angry protesters had blocked buses carrying immigrant detainees from reaching a Border Patrol processing facility here. On Wednesday, while the rancor in Murrieta had eased, some remained adamant that they would fight any attempts to settle, even temporarily, young immigrants and their guardians from Central America who crossed the border illegally. And officials and townspeople in Riverside County and elsewhere in border states wrestled with the correct response to the arrival of those immigrants and the backlash it has created. <more> July 2, 2014 LA Times
  • USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Announces Online Hay and Grazing Acres Locator Tool - - For many years, FSAs Hay Net website www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet has been the go to online resource for agricultural producers to list information concerning the need for hay or the availability of hay. Now, in response to requests from livestock producers and landowners, FSA has expanded the site to include the option to list a need for grazing acres or to list acres available for grazing. <more> July 3, 2014 FSA news
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Global dairy price recovery seen six months out - - Higher global milk production and a reduction in Chinese dairy purchases led to a 10 to 20 percent decline in international dairy commodity prices in the three months leading up to mid-June, according to Rabobank.In its latest quarterly dairy report, Rabobank said the lower prices were expected as global milk production increased in response to almost 12 months of exceptionally high prices. <more> July 3, 2014 Capital Press
  • As storage overflows, China expected to scrap corn stockpiling - - China is expected to scrap its corn stockpiling scheme by as early as next year as it battles to reduce mammoth state reserves that account for more than half of global stocks. That could end artificially inflated domestic prices and curb imports, hurting farmers in top corn producer the United States already hit by a Chinese crackdown on corn cargoes containing an unapproved genetically-modified strain. The death of the scheme would trail the demise of similar programers for cotton and soybeans, which are being replaced with systems of direct subsidies for growers. <more> July 1, 2014 Reuters
  • Chinese turns to US for milk products - - Dairy consumption in the US has over the last decade has slowed, but demand from Asia led by China has been helping offset some of the US' milk woes. US dairy consumption has been growing at an average of about half a percent a year for the last 10 years, but milk production has been increasing at about 1.5 percent. And the 1 percent difference between the two is going overseas, according to Jay Waldvogel, senior vice-president of strategy and global development of Dairy Farmers of America. <more> July 3, 2014 China Daily
  • Meat prices on a record-setting roll - - Red meat prices in the U.S. are at record highs, reflecting historically tight supplies of beef and pork. Strong demand, both domestically and internationally, is butting up against cattle numbers impacted by three years of drought in cattle country and a hog industry hit hard by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. In the meantime, producers are seeing record-high prices for fed cattle and market hogs. <more> July  2, 2014 Capital Press
     

Environmental News

  • EPA issues rule aimed at keeping RINs market liquid - - The EPA today issued a rule designed to maintain liquidity in the market for the renewable identification numbers, or RINs, established under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS.) A second rule was issued listing additional fuels that can qualify for RINs and certifying corn kernel fiber as a crop residue. RINs are generated by renewable fuel producers and importers, representing volumes that meet the requirements for renewable fuel under the RFS program. They can be transferred between parties and used by petroleum refiners and importers to show compliance with their RFS volume obligations. EPA notes that cases of fraudulently generated RINs damage the RIN market, making it difficult for small renewable fuel producers to sell their RINs. <more> July 2, 2014 Agri-Pulse

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • National Ice Cream Month Began in 1984 - - Since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that National Ice Cream Month be celebrated annually, every July has been a focus for greater attention to ice cream in the United States with the 3rd Sunday of July each year being National Ice Cream Day. That according to a posting on Dairy Market News. About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation's dairy industry. July 3, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Amid the BBQ, parades, fireworks, lets remember holidays meaning - - Were there odds makers 238 years ago, the bets likely wouldve been pretty long against the success of the fledgling exercise in democracy and self-government birthed July 4. The very act of those 56 men signing the radical Declaration of Independence itself a lengthy finger-in-your-eye list of grievances against a distant king was considered treason under British law, punishable by death. <more> July 3, 2014 Farm Press blog
  • The Insane Reason We Waste $162 Billion on Food - - Knowing when to throw out milk thats gone sour or bread thats grown mold is a no-brainer, but for many of the foods we eat, its not nearly as obvious when we shouldnt eat them, and manufacturers often dont make it any easier. The upshot is that we throw out tons literally of perfectly good food. The USDAs Economic Research Service estimated that in 2010, we threw out 133 billion pounds of food, which is almost a third of the countrys edible food. Thats embarrassing. <more> July 2, 2014 TIME

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Water News

  • California struggles to manage water rights in drought - - Six weeks after ordering thousands of California water users to stop diverting from rivers and streams amid the worst drought in a generation, state officials say only 31 percent have bothered to respond by sending back the required forms. Now, their efforts to force the rest to comply are prompting threats of lawsuits and economic chaos. <more> July 1, 2014 The  Sacramento Bee
  • State water board puts off decision on conflicting river diversion rights - - After more than 10 hours of often emotional testimony Tuesday by Stanislaus County farmers and other California water users, the State Water Resources Control Board delayed deciding what to do regarding conflicting water rights. The board's staff had recommended taking steps toward regulating river diversions by those who have century-old water rights - including the Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, Patterson, South San Joaquin and Merced irrigation districts. <more> July 1, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • California may step up enforcement of water restrictions amid drought - - California may ratchet up enforcement of drought-related pumping restrictions in slow-moving creeks and lakes under new rules being considered on Tuesday, prompting worry among farmers as the state enters the dry summer season. The widely anticipated move by the State Water Resources Control Board comes during worsening drought conditions and political gridlock that has stalled progress on efforts to raise money to build new reservoirs and other methods for storing water in the future. <more> July 1, 2014 Reuters
  • In dry California, water fetching record prices - - Throughout California's desperately dry Central Valley, those with water to spare are cashing in. As a third parched summer forces farmers to fallow fields and lay off workers, two water districts and a pair of landowners in the heart of the state's farmland are making millions of dollars by auctioning off their private caches. Nearly 40 others also are seeking to sell their surplus water this year, according to state and federal records. <more> July 2, 2014 AP
  • Madera Irrigation District makes $7 million water sale - - The Madera Irrigation District recently sold about 3,200 acre-feet of water to farms outside the district for $7 million. "This year the market is unbelievable," Thomas Grecie, the district's general manager, told The Associated Press, "and this is a way to pay our bills." <more> July 1, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • FDA Secures Full Industry Engagement on Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy - - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the first of its progress reports on its strategy to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. All 26 drug manufacturers affected by Guidance for Industry (GFI) #213 have now agreed to fully engage in the strategy by phasing out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals for food production purposes and phasing in the oversight of a veterinarian for the remaining therapeutic uses of such drugs. While GFI #213 specified a three-year timeframe (until December 2016) for drug sponsors to complete the recommended changes to their antimicrobial products, some sponsors have already begun to implement them. <more> June 30, 2014 FDA news
  • NMPF Statement on White House Announcement on Impasse over Immigration Reform - - It is very frustrating for Americas dairy farmers that our elected officials could not set aside partisan politics this year in order to finally address the dysfunctional policy of our immigration system. The irony is that virtually everyone on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue admits the status quo is unacceptable; yet we seem destined to continue suffering from it, because common-sense reforms remain beyond our reach. <more> July 1, 2014 NMPF press release
  • Food to become a major focus at all UC campuses, UC president says - - An emphasis on food issues will become an intensifying focus among all 10 University of California campuses and its agricultural outreach and public service programs, UC President Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday. Dubbed the UC Global Food Initiative, the effort will be wide-ranging from addressing worldwide food security issues to examining meals served at local schools. The announcement revealed Napolitanos interest in bringing the UC systems scientific, technical and intellectual capabilities to help solve food issues.  <more> July 2, 2014 The Sacramento Bee

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • June FO Benchmark Milk Price Drops $1.21 - - The Agriculture Department announced the June Federal order Class III benchmark milk price this afternoon at $21.36 per hundredweight, down $1.21 from May but $3.34 above June 2013, $2.29 above Californias comparable 4b cheese milk price, and equates to about $1.84 per gallon. The half-year Class III average now stands at $22.68, up from $17.74 at this time a year ago and $15.90 in 2012. The June Class IV price is $23.13, up 48 cents from May and $4.25 above a year ago. Its 2014 average now stands at $23.09, up from $18.17 a year ago and $14.90 in 2012. The four-week, NDPSR-surveyed cheese price used in calculating this months prices was $2.0358 per pound, down 13.5 cents from May. Butter averaged $2.1874, up 14 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged $1.8633, down 1.4 cents, and dry whey averaged 67.89 cents per pound, up fractionally from May. July 2, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Environmental News

  • EPA to reach out to farmers on water jurisdiction rule - - Environmental Protection Agency officials are planning to meet with farmers and agricultural interests this summer about their proposal to redefine the extent of the federal governments water jurisdiction, starting with a visit next week to Missouri. EPA leaders, including Administrator Gina McCarthy, will try to clear up misunderstandings about the proposed rule and encourage the agriculture industry to submit formal comments on it, agency spokeswoman Liz Purchia said Tuesday. <more> July 1, 2014 The Hill
  • Yakima Valley dairy farm to generate natural gas from manure - - Milk means cash for Dan DeRuyter. He's a dairy farmer with thousands of cows. Dan built a system called a digester eight years ago. It can generate electricity from manure. Dan expected to sell that energy, but the gamble didn't pay off. "Our price that they're paying to us has gotten so low that we really can't cash flow it very well." Now, Dan's eyeing a new market: natural gas. Working with Promus Energy of Seattle. The company develops renewable and sustainable energy projects. <more> July 1, 2014 KIMA-TV

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Nutrition Group Lobbies Against Healthier School Meals It Sought, Citing Cost - - When the Obama administration in 2012 announced long-awaited changes to require more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt in government-subsidized school meals, no group celebrated more than the School Nutrition Association. The group had anticipated the changes for three years, and it was enthusiastic in thanking President Obama and his wife for their efforts to expand childrens access to healthy school meals. Two years later, the association has done an about-face and is leading a lobbying campaign to allow schools to opt out of the very rules it helped to create, saying that the regulations that have gone into effect are overly prescriptive and too costly for schools that are trying to replace hamburgers and fries with healthier alternatives. <more> July 1, 2014 The New York Time
  • Chipotle Defends Beef Decision - - Chipotle Mexican Grill recently announced its decision to import some of its grass-fed beef from Australia. This decision caused great concern amongst domestic beef producers. In response to concerns, AgriTalks Mike Adams visited with Chris Arnold, communications director for Chipotle, on the July 1 broadcast of AgriTalk. Arnold says Chipotles goal is to source "responsibly raised beef," which is a trademarked term that defines their preferred protocol for all of the meats they use. "For us, that definition is meat coming from animals raised in a humane way, as sanctioned by one of the animal welfare organizations we work with," he says. <more> July 2, 2014 Dairy Today

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 
     

 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • NMPF Asks FDA to Exempt Dairy Farms from Additional Regulation Under Food Safety Modernization Act - - Efforts to impose added regulations on dairy farms under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are not warranted because milk leaving farms for further processing is not a significant public health risk from intentional adulteration, the National Milk Producers Federation wrote today in comments to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is reviewing comments about the FSMA law, which is the most significant change to food safety legislation in many years. Part of the scope of FSMA is to enhance the safety protocols around foods that may be subject to intentional adulteration, by terrorists looking to threaten or injure people, or cause economic harm to certain companies or industries. <more> June 30, 2014 NMPF press release
  • Obama says he will overhaul immigration without Congress' help - - President Obama, saying he’s convinced that House Republicans will not take action to reform immigration laws this year, vowed Monday to use his executive authority to “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” Obama set an end-of-summer deadline for officials to give him options for changes he can implement on his own and promised he would “adopt those recommendations without further delay.” <more> June 30, 2014 LA Times
  • Obama to take executive action on immigration - - It's their fault, President Barack Obama said Monday in blaming Republican inaction on immigration reform for escalating problems including a surge of undocumented children crossing the border from Mexico. At a hastily scheduled Rose Garden appearance, Obama said the top House Republican -- Speaker John Boehner -- told him last week that the chamber's GOP majority will continue blocking a vote on a Senate-passed immigration bill. In response, Obama said he was starting "a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress." <more> June 30, 2014 CNN
  • Kristin Olsen to be next leader of Assembly Republicans - - Assembly Republicans have chosen their next leader. Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, will take over as head of the caucus from Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare. A spokeswoman for Conway said the transition will take place after November elections. <more> July 1, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • UC system aiming to reduce world hunger, improve food research - - The University of California system is launching an effort to expand and focus research to help reduce world hunger, improve nutrition and aid farmers coping with climate change. UC President Janet Napolitano, in comments to be delivered Tuesday morning, will explain that the system's 10 campuses, its large agricultural programs and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab that UC manages will participate in the University of California Global Food Initiative. Building on UC’s already strong research on such varied topics as soils, citrus fruit and water purity, the effort will work “toward putting the world on a path to sustainably and nutritiously feed itself,” according to a UC announcement. <more> July 1, 2014 LA Times
     

Water News

  • Farmer sues Merced Irrigation District over water rights - - Millions of dollars and thousands of gallons of irrigation water are potentially at stake in a civil trial that opened Monday involving several prominent Merced County farmers and the Merced Irrigation District. The lawsuit, filed by Michael Gallo, owner of the Gallo Cattle Co., seeks at least several million dollars in damages and access to MID water for his Livingston-based farm, Bear Creek Ranch. The specific amount of damages sought by Gallo could not be confirmed Monday. The complex trial is scheduled to end by July 25. <more> June 30, 2014 Merced Sun-Star
  • A plan to help drought stricken farmers involves reversing the flow of water in California Aqueduct - - Kern County water officials are working on an ambitious plan to move water uphill. The plan will use the California Aqueduct to move water 47 miles north to farms that need it. In an effort to keep their crops alive in this record-breaking drought, a group of growers will pay up to $9 million to have water flow up the California Aqueduct. The water will move from Tupman north to several water districts near Lost Hills and even into Kings County. <more> June 30, 2014 KERO 23
  • Assembly drops plan to unveil $8.25-billion water bond; talks stall - - Negotiations for an $8.25-billion water bond stalled Monday night, legislative sources said. The Assembly scuttled plans to unveil the proposal at an Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday morning, but people involved with the negotiations say discussions will continue through the day in hopes of pushing through a new measure before the Legislature goes on summer recess later this week. <more> July 1, 2014 LA Times
  • Stockton wins appeal to pump from Delta - - Stockton can continue to pump water from the Delta this summer, ensuring that its new $220 million drinking-water plant - funded by ratepayers - will not stand idle. The city was one of thousands of junior water-rights holders in the Central Valley ordered to stop taking water in recent weeks because of the drought. That water was needed by those with older, more senior water rights, the State Water Resources Control Board said at the time. <more> July 1, 2014 Stockton Record

Pricing/Commodity News

  • California Cheese Milk Price Drops 27 Cents - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced its June 4b cheese milk price today at $19.07 per hundredweight, down another 27 cents from May after losing $2.39 last month, but is still $3.16 above June 2013. That puts the midyear 4b average at $20.63, up from $16.05 at this time a year ago and $13.83 in 2012. The June 4a butter-powder price is $23.19, up 62 cents from May and $4.80 above a year ago. The 4a average now stands at $22.94, up from $17.94 a year ago and $14.73 in 2012. As I reported Friday and yesterday, today’s prices include the CDFA-mandated price enhancement but this will be the final month of that. As of July 1, all California prices will be under the old formulas. Comparable Federal prices are announced by USDA tomorrow afternoon. July 1, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • 2014 alfalfa hay acreage up 2% - - While corn and soybeans got all of the attention, USDA’s Acreage report, June 30, indicated U.S. producers intend to harvest slightly more alfalfa/alfalfa mixture dry hay in 2014. According to the Acreage report, U.S. producers intend to harvest 57.6 million acres of all hay in 2014, down 1% from 2013. However, the expected harvested area of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures, at 18.2 million acres, is up 2% from 2013. Expected harvested area for all other types of hay totals 39.5 million acres, down 3% from 2013. <more> June 30, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • China developing taste for dairy - - According to a new report from Canadean, China is one of the fastest growing dairy markets and will become the largest global market by 2018, worth $60,639 million. Although dairy is not part of the traditional diet in China, more Chinese are exposed to fast-food outlets, travel and experience of global cuisines and media coverage of western tastes. This leads to more Chinese consuming dairy, such as milk and cereals for breakfast or cheese in pizza and burgers. As lactose intolerance is widespread in Asia, Canadean predicts that lactose-free and low-lactose products will be particularly popular in China. <more> July 1, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • CWT Accepts 20 Export Assistance Requests - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 20 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 7.839 million pounds of Cheddar cheese, 110,231 pounds of butter (82% butterfat) and 972,239 pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and Oceania. The product will be delivered through December 2014 and raises CWT’s 2014 cheese exports to 58.762 million pounds, plus 47.521 million pounds of butter and 14.568 million pounds of whole milk powder to 41 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.753 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Totals have been adjusted for cancellations, according to CWT. July 1, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Environmental News

  • U.S. Supreme Court refuses challenge to California climate rule - - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to California's landmark low-carbon fuel standard, in a blow to out-of-state ethanol and gasoline producers that say the rule unfairly discriminates against their products. A coalition of fuel makers, led by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a grower of corn and soybeans for ethanol in western states, brought a lawsuit to overturn a 2009 rule mandating cuts in carbon emissions. <more> June 30, 2014 Reuters
  • Agriculture recognized by Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards - - What do Joseph Gallo Farms, Gills Onions and Parducci Wine Cellars have in common? Yes, they are all California farms with well-known, high-quality products, but they have something else in common. They are all past winners of a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the state’s highest environmental honor. This year, for the first time, GEELA has an agricultural category titled “Agricultural Ecosystem Services”. This category was designed for farmers and ranchers that demonstrate innovative and sustainable approaches to water conservation, efficiency and protection of working ecosystems. <more> July 1, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog

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  • USDA predicts record California almond crop - - California almond growers will harvest a record 2.1 billion pounds this year, a federal agency projected Monday, further evidence that water is finding its way to this profitable crop. The estimate from the National Agricultural Statistics Service is up 5 percent from last year’s crop and 8 percent from the initial 2014 forecast on May 1. Should the figure hold up as the harvest plays out, it would top the record of 2.03 billion pounds in 2011. <more> June 30, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Hormel to Buy Muscle Milk Maker CytoSport for $450 Million - - Hormel Foods Corp. agreed to buy Muscle Milk maker CytoSport Holdings Inc. for about $450 million to expand beyond Spam canned meat into the kind of protein younger generations crave -- the ready-to-drink bottled version. <more> July 1, 2014 Bloomberg

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Pricing/Commodity News

  • CDFA denies Class 4a hearing request - - The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) denied a dairy cooperative request for a hearing to consider raising manufacturing (or “make”) cost allowances on Class 4a milk. In its petition filed June 17, California Dairies, Inc. asked CDFA Secretary Karen Ross to hold a hearing to consider a proposal to amend the Class 4a pricing formula by increasing the butter and nonfat dry milk manufacturing cost allowances to the weighted average cost for both commodities. <more> June 28, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • California's temporary milk price hike to expire June 30 - - California milk marketing order minimum milk pricing formula adjustments in place the past year are set to expire June 30, meaning the state's dairy farmers will see a slight decline in milk prices. In June 2013, California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross announced the temporary adjustments, resulting in an estimated 12¢/cwt. increase in the milk price paid to the state's dairy farmers for the period July 1-Dec. 31, 2013. Following a contentious period between the state’s dairy farmer organizations and processors in the fall of 2013, CDFA extended the adjusted formulas through June 30, 2014. <more> June 28, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Slowing China Demand for Feed Ingredient Jolts U.S. Grain, Soy Markets - - A tough stance by China on imports of a widely used U.S. feed ingredient is rattling grain and soy markets. The Asian country in recent weeks has curtailed purchases of U.S. dried distillers' grains, a co-product of corn ethanol that is fed to cattle and pigs, amid concerns the shipments may contain a genetic modification that Beijing hasn't approved, said industry executives and traders. The action comes after China also slowed imports of U.S. corn over concerns about the GMO trait. <more> June 27, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Soybean Prices Plunge on Huge Jump in Acres - - Corn and soybeans prices plunged in the wake of USDA’s Acreage report, released Monday, June 30, that showed USDA expects soybean acreage - both planted and harvested - to shatter all records. "We saw heavy selling right out of the gate," says Jonah Ford, senior analyst with Ceres Hedge in Schererville, Ind. "The November soybean contract could slide under $11 pretty easily." Ford was the commentator on a MGEX post-report press call. "We may have seen a top in beans," says Ford. "This could be the beginning of a pretty steep downturn going into harvest." <more> June 30, 2014 Dairy Today
  • Restaurants, Grocers Respond to Rising Beef Costs - - Faced with soaring beef prices, many restaurants and food retailers are shifting strategies to woo consumers and protect profit margins. The record costs are forcing beef purveyors from Ruth's Chris Steak House to Carl's Jr. to choose between asking customers to pay more for steaks and burgers and eating the costs themselves. Many are passing along the higher prices while embellishing their menus with new items, smaller-portion cuts and more sauces, toppings and side dishes. Others are seeking to control costs by locking in beef purchases at current prices as they envision further inflation to come. <more> June 29, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Irish beef could be on sale in US by September - - Inspectors from the US will be in Ireland next week to carry out audits of food safety controls at Irish meat plants. Following these inspections Minister Coveney said today that he expected Irish beef to be on sale in the US by September or October. The US has recently lifted BSE restrictions on Irish and European beef which had been in place since 1999. <more> June 26, 2014 RTE News – Ireland

Water News

  • California water project heads to state high court - - The California Supreme Court is set to decide if the state must buy thousands of acres of private property to perform preliminary tests for two massive water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The dispute stems from Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal, which would send river water around the delta system to farms and communities in Central and Southern California. <more> June 27, 2014 AP
  • Homeowners go dry as farmers get permits to drill hundreds of new wells - - Stanislaus County farmers have been granted permission to drill hundreds of new agricultural wells this year, while an increasing number of domestic water wells go dry, a review of permit records shows. A record-breaking 299 new water well drilling permits were issued in the first six months of 2014. That’s nearly as many as were issued during all of 2013, which itself was a banner year for drilling. <more> June 28, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • Fresno's last three years the driest on record - - California got just enough rain to avoid the driest winter in memory, but Fresno still will reach an all-time landmark — the worst three-year drought since record-keeping began in 1878. The last three years here have been drier than the Dust Bowl-era years of 1931 to 1934, the previous worst dry spell in the city's records. <more> June 28, 2014 Fresno Bee

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Jeff Denham presses GOP on immigration - - A House Republican lawmaker said Saturday that the influx of unaccompanied children trying to enter the United States illegally should prompt his chamber to act on an immigration overhaul this year. “It absolutely is a reason that we need tougher border security but the policies that go along with that,” Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) said in a phone interview on Saturday. “I think it’s a key reason why immigration reform is not dead this year - we’ve got a crisis today that we’ve got to solve.” <more> June 28, 2014 Politico
  • Modesto rally wants immigration reform - - Keeping families together was the theme of an immigration rally Saturday that drew some 200 people. The Modesto gathering was part of coordinated protests nationwide this weekend aimed at keeping immigration reform in the spotlight in Washington. A year has passed since the Senate passed a broad bipartisan bill that includes a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. <more> June 28, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

Environmental News

  • EPA water proposal rattles ag industry - - For years, farmers and ranchers have cast a wary eye toward new laws and regulations from Washington that they fear will be costly and burdensome. Agricultural producers argue they know the best way to take care of their land, not only to maximize production but to preserve the acreage they depend upon to survive. Now, a rule being proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency outlining which bodies of water the agency would oversee under the Clean Water Act has again rattled the agriculture industry. <more> June 28, 2014 Des Moines Register
  • California earmarks a quarter of its cap-and-trade riches for environmental justice - - One-quarter of the $872 million generated by California's 18-month-old cap-and-trade scheme will go to housing and public transit programs for poor and minority communities this year, according to the recently approved state budget. The decision caps a long fight by environmental justice advocates over how much of the state's carbon proceeds should be distributed to disadvantaged people, who are more likely to live near power plants and suffer disproportionately from toxic air pollution. <more> June 28, 2014 McClatchy Newspapers
  • Activists say California fighting pollution globally but not locally - - In the Bay Area oil port city of Martinez, where a colossal Shell refinery has long tainted the air, the landmark California law that requires polluters to ease their carbon footprint seemed to some to promise new relief. But one big move by Shell to comply with rules on greenhouse gas emissions won't do much for Martinez. It will instead give a boost to the environment in the pristine Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the oil company is helping preserve a 200,000-acre forest. California regulators are satisfied the forest project will be a sponge for greenhouse gases, helping reduce global warming. It doesn't matter that the trees grow nowhere near California. <more> June 29, 2014 LA Time

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  • CDFA Announces Vacancy on the Cattle Health Advisory Task Force - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Animal Health and Food Safety Services is announcing a vacancy on the Cattle Health Advisory Task Force (CHATF). Food and Agricultural Code Section 10610 provides for the establishment of a task force to advise the secretary of agriculture on the control and management of cattle diseases and evaluate the effectiveness of cattle health programs. The vacancy is for one member representing the cattle research/extension sector. Individuals interested in this CHATF appointment should send a brief resume by July 18, 2014 addressed to:  California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, California 95814, Attention: Dr. Anita Edmondson. The term of office for a member of CHATF is two years. Members of the committee receive no compensation, but they are entitled to reimbursement for per diem expenses such as mileage, lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. June 30, 2014 CDFA notice
  • Many Americans don’t know how to cook chicken, UC Davis study finds - - Most Americans don’t follow even the most basic instructions to prevent illness when they cook chicken at home, a recent study finds. The UC Davis study, funded by contributions from Foster Farms, finds that 65 percent of participants failed to wash their hands before they cooked chicken and another 40 undercooked their bird. Nearly half washed their raw chicken in the sink, another big no-no. The study’s author analyzed videos of 120 Americans preparing chicken dishes at home. <more> June 28, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle
  • California Chrome on 'five star' vacation at Harris Farms in Coalinga - - He is a rock star and, yes, he does know it. California Chrome, the colt who was bred, foaled and spent much of his first year at Harris Farms in Coalinga, won the Kentucky Derby and then the Preakness Stakes and was just two lengths from becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years in the Belmont Stakes, is back "home." <more> June 28, 2014 The Fresno Bee

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Bus ride Tuesday to water rights curtailment hearing in Sacramento - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday, July 1, will consider imposing fines on farmers and other water users to “ensure timely compliance” with curtailment orders. Those fines could impact thousands of San Joaquin Valley irrigators who hold junior rights to water that normally flows down river and streams. That includes those who use water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced and San Joaquin rivers. Violators could be fined $1,000 per day plus $2,500 per acre-foot of water diverted. And farmers would have to stop using water before – not after – they go through the state’s appeal process. The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, the Modesto Irrigation District and the Turlock Irrigation District are sponsoring a bus for those who want to go to Sacramento and attend the hearing. The bus can be boarded at the MID office 1231 11th Street at 7 a.m. Food is on your own. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (209) 522-7278 to RSVP by noon on Monday.
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Water News

  • Bus ride Tuesday to water rights curtailment hearing in Sacramento - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday, July 1, will consider imposing fines on farmers and other water users to “ensure timely compliance” with curtailment orders. Those fines could impact thousands of San Joaquin Valley irrigators who hold junior rights to water that normally flows down river and streams. That includes those who use water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced and San Joaquin rivers. Violators could be fined $1,000 per day plus $2,500 per acre-foot of water diverted. And farmers would have to stop using water before – not after – they go through the state’s appeal process. The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, the Modesto Irrigation District and the Turlock Irrigation District are sponsoring a bus for those who want to go to Sacramento and attend the hearing. The bus can be boarded at the MID office 1231 11th Street at 7 a.m. Food is on your own. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (209) 522-7278 to RSVP by noon on Monday.
  • Government Dries Up California's Water Supply - - Many parts of the country, notably California and Texas, are experiencing intense drought. California rainfall in the Northern Sierra this year was 28.8 inches, 60% the normal amount. Most of Texas is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions. Voluntary or mandatory cutbacks in residential water usage have become common. Yet weather isn't the only problem: Government-dictated prices, coupled with restrictions on the transfer of water, have made a bad situation much worse. <more> June 26, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Tunnel objections formalized - - The lone state agency to oppose Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels plan warns that the project could force marinas out of business and take a big bite out of Delta agriculture. The Delta Protection Commission approved its formal comments Thursday night on the $25 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan, with a letter that says the project "overwhelmingly" focuses on enhancing California's water supply and "almost entirely disregards" legal requirements that the Delta be protected as a unique place. <more> June 27, 2014 Stockton Record
  • State Supreme Court to rule in Delta property-rights case - - The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide an epic battle over whether the state must condemn and acquire parcels on tens of thousands of acres of private property to conduct preliminary testing for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to construct two large water-conveyance tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The two tunnels – nearly 40 feet in diameter – would divert river water around the Delta and ship it south for users in Central and Southern California. <more> June 26, 2014 The Sacramento Bee

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Immigration reform effectively dead until after Obama leaves office, both sides say - - The two-year attempt to push immigration reform through Congress is effectively dead and unlikely to be revived until after President Obama leaves office, numerous lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue said this week. The slow collapse of new border legislation — which has unraveled in recent months amid persistent opposition from House Republicans — marks the end of an effort that Democrats and Republicans have characterized as central to the future of their parties. The failure also leaves about 12 million illegal immigrants in continued limbo over their status and is certain to increase political pressure on Obama from the left to act on his own. <more> June 26, 2014 The Washington Post
  • U.S. dairy industry not insisting on TPP tariff cut - - The U.S. dairy industry does not insist on complete tariff elimination under a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, U.S. Dairy Export Council President Thomas Suber said in a recent interview with Jiji Press. Total tariff elimination under the TPP is “our hope,” Suber said. But “We do not insist on that,” he said. The comments came as the U.S. pork industry has been pressing for Japan’s complete tariff removal. <more> June 27, 2014 Japan Times
  • Farmers hope Kevin McCarthy will fight for California farms - - It's not often Tulare County farmers feel they have support from Washington D.C. power brokers, but with Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Bakersfield) promotion to majority leader in the House of Representatives, many hope their voices will now be heard in the halls of Congress. "I think this is one of our better opportunities to get a proactive farming person in the federal government and to have farmers minds at the forefront of policy making," said Josh Pitigliano, a fourth generation almond farmer who has operations all over the southern half of Tulare County. <more> June 27, 2014 Visalia Times-Delta
  • Feds clear the track for the bullet train - - The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration on Friday issued a “Record of Decision” for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield section of the proposed California High-Speed Rail system. This is the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process and clears the way to break ground on the project. <more> June 27, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Higher Milk Prices Help Offset Skyrocketing Cost Of Feed - - Milk prices hit an all-time in March and April this year. That's some relief for California dairy farmers, who saw their industry shrink from 2,100 to 1,500 farms in the last five years because of low prices and high production costs. Lodi dairy farmer and San Joaquin Farm Bureau President Jack Hamm says what farmers have to worry about now is the skyrocketing cost of feed that is cutting into their profits. <more> June 26, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • CBO predicts higher fuel costs due to renewable mandate - - Gasoline’s price will increase up to 9 percent, and diesel fuel will rise by up to 14 percent by 2017 because of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) if Congress does not repeal it, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday. The CBO’s analysis estimated that, in order to comply with the increasing mandates called for under the Energy Independence and Security Act, fuel refiners would have to more than triple their use of advanced biofuels by 2017, and would have to use much more ethanol in gasoline than the 10 percent blend that older vehicles can tolerate. <more> June 26, 2014 The Hill
  • April Fluid Milk Sales Drop 4.5% - - April 2014 packaged fluid milk sales totaled 4.15 billion lbs., down 4.5% from April 2013. (Sales were not adjusted for calendar considerations as in previous monthly reports). April sales of conventional products, at 3.94 billion lbs., were down 5.0% from a year ago; organic products, at 205 million lbs., were up 7.4% Organic represented about 4.95% of total sales for the month. January-April 2014 total packaged fluid milk sales, at 17.04 billion lbs., were down 2.2% from the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales of conventional products, at 16.21 billion lbs., were down 2.9%; organic products, at 828 million lbs., were up 13.4%. Organic represented about 4.86% of total sales. June 27, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • USDA Announces Rule for Transitioning from LGM-Dairy to the Margin Protection Program - - USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced today one of the rules regarding the transition from the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) program to the government’s Margin Protection Program (MPP). As previously announced, dairy producers will not be allowed to use both MPP and LGM-Dairy insurance, says Ron Mortensen with Dairy Gross Margin, LLC. If a dairy producer has an LGM policy with coverage into 2015, he or she will be allowed to transition in an orderly fashion to MPP. <more> June 26, 2014 Dairy Today
     

Environmental News

  • EPA study of CAFO emissions grinds on with no end in sight - - U.S. EPA's nine-year effort to document air pollution at livestock operations is likely still many years from completion and unlikely to be as useful as industry and environmental groups had hoped. Still incomplete is what EPA promised to do under a 2005 deal cut with livestock producers to identify air emissions for different types of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. The agency has said little about when the work will be done or when it will start three related regulatory tasks, according to sources outside EPA who track the issue closely. The long wait for results is excruciating and frustrating for stakeholders. <more> June 25, 2014 Greenwire
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Court won't reinstate NYC's big-soda ban - - Big Gulps can remain on the menu in New York City. The New York Court of Appeals ruled Thursday not to reinstate the ban on super-sized soft drinks that then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg supported two years ago. In its 20-page ruling, the court said that in adopting the "Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule," which would have capped sugary beverages at 16 ounces, the city Board of Health "exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority." <more> June 26, 2014 USA Today
  • Study shows more information will combat 'food fears' - - GMO's, high fructose corn syrup, ‘pink slime', fat - stoked by the Internet, water cooler talk and news reports, many consumers have found these food ingredients and products the subject of their food nightmares. How are they made? Why are they made? And are they safe? But according to a new study, educators and industry can combat ingredient-based fears if they effectively communicate the substances' history, background, and general usage. <more> June 27, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Bus ride Tuesday to water rights curtailment hearing in Sacramento - - The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday, July 1, will consider imposing fines on farmers and other water users to “ensure timely compliance” with curtailment orders. Those fines could impact thousands of San Joaquin Valley irrigators who hold junior rights to water that normally flows down river and streams. That includes those who use water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced and San Joaquin rivers. Violators could be fined $1,000 per day plus $2,500 per acre-foot of water diverted. And farmers would have to stop using water before – not after – they go through the state’s appeal process. The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, the Modesto Irrigation District and the Turlock Irrigation District are sponsoring a bus for those who want to go to Sacramento and attend the hearing. The bus can be boarded at the MID office 1231 11th Street at 7 a.m. Food is on your own. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (209) 522-7278 to RSVP by noon on Monday.
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Rabobank says dairy prices will decline - - The latest quarterly global dairy outlook from Rabobank says prices softened considerably during the second quarter of the year. Increasing milk production in exporting regions combined with an easing of forward purchasing by China causing the decline. The report says after a period of aggressive buying, China has increased domestic production while sales have weakened causing excess inventories of dairy products. <more> June 26, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • USDA Forecasts Higher Fruit, Dairy Prices Due to Bad Weather, Disease - - U.S. consumers face higher prices for oranges and other fresh fruit because of adverse weather and widespread disease in Florida and California, federal forecasters said Wednesday. The Agriculture Department said fresh fruit prices will rise between 5% and 6% this year, a sharp increase over its estimate last month of 3.5% to 4.5%. The government also elevated its forecast for dairy prices after an especially chilly winter curbed milk output in the Midwest, and it warned that prolonged drought in California could have significant, lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices. <more> June 25, 2014 Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. Corn Reserves Expanding Most Since 2005 - - A bumper harvest in 2013 means stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower, are rising at the fastest pace in nine years, according to traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Ample rains and warm weather boosted early crop development for this season and allowed farmers to plant more than the government estimated in March, a separate survey showed. Prices will fall about 9.5 percent in six months, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts. <more> June 26, 2014 Bloomberg
  • Butter Makes Comeback as Margarine Loses Favor - - Changing views of nutrition are turning butter into one of the great comeback stories in U.S. food history. Americans this year are expected to eat an average of 5.6 pounds of butter, according to U.S. government data—nearly 22.5 sticks for every man, woman and child. That translates to 892,000 total tons of butter consumed nationwide, an amount not seen since World War II. Americans in 2013 for the third straight year bought more butter than margarine, spending $2 billion on products from Land O'Lakes Inc., Organic Valley and others, compared with $1.8 billion on spreads and margarines, according to IRI, a market-research firm. <more> June 25, 2014 Wall Street Journal
  • Milk Production Costs Up Slightly from April - - The Agriculture Department’s National Milk Cost of Production report, issued yesterday, shows May’s total costs were up slightly from April. Total feed costs averaged $13.32/cwt., up 9¢ from revised April estimates and up 28¢ from March. May 2013 estimates were not available due to budget sequestration. Purchased feed costs, at $6.63/cwt., were down 22¢ from April and down 51¢ from March. Total costs, including feed, bedding, marketing, fuel, repairs, hired labor, taxes, etc., at $24.59/cwt., were up 12¢ from April and 24¢ above the March level. Read the complete report <here>. June 25, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Butter Supply Concerns Mount - - To meet domestic demand, which has proven resilient despite high prices, manufacturers have already started to cut blocks of butter into retail-sized portions. Butter stocks are building seasonally but remain well below year-ago levels, when stocks were at 10-year highs. With the ramp-up buying period only a couple of months away, concern over whether stocks can rebuild to levels necessary to meet demand are growing. <more> June 26, 2014 Dairy Today
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Reps. DeLauro, Slaughter urge USDA to declare salmonella an 'adulterant' - - House food safety stalwarts Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. yesterday introduced legislation that would give USDA power to recall any meat, poultry or egg product contaminated by pathogens associated with serious illness or that are antibiotic resistant. The Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act would give USDA the legal authority to declare salmonella, among other pathogens, an “adulterant,” and allowing it to recall infected meats. The term “adulterated” is “ambiguously defined in current law,” according to a release by the two congresswomen. <more> June 26, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • Immigration issue a hot topic in 21st District race - - On paper, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, and Democratic challenger Amanda Renteria seem to have the same position on immigration. They both support comprehensive reform to tighten the border, offer immigrants who came to the country illegally a conditional path to citizenship and streamline visa and guest worker programs. But Amanda Renteria is trying to open up some daylight between herself and the first-term congressman from Kings County. After Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, became House majority leader last week, Renteria’s campaign issued a press release calling McCarthy and Valadao “no friends to comprehensive immigration reform.” <more> June 25, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
  • Bill again boosting California minimum wage fails - - With multiple Democrats not voting, a California Assembly panel on Wednesday rejected a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage beyond the boost agreed to in 2013. <more> June 25, 2014 Capitol Alert
  • Judge Says He'll Decide Ag Filming Lawsuit Soon - - Idaho's law punishing those who secretly film agricultural operations doesn't limit free speech because the First Amendment right does not exempt trespassing on private property, state attorneys argued. They made the argument in front of U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill during a Wednesday hearing. Attorneys representing a coalition of free speech, environmental and animal right activists countered that deception is protected speech as long as it doesn't directly cause harm. <more> June 26, 2014 AP
     

Water News

  • California water board seeks input on curtailment orders - - The California Water Resources Control Board wants public comment on the curtailment orders it recently issued and the proposed emergency regulations to ensure timely compliance with those orders. The comments are sought before the agency’s July 1 board meeting in Sacramento, Calif. The State Water Board (SWB) began issuing curtailment orders to surface water users after it was determined there was insufficient water to meet everyone’s needs. The goal was to protect senior water rights holders, who are first-in-line to surface water under California law. <more> June 23, 2014 Western Farm Press
  • Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal intensifies water bond negotiations - - Gov. Jerry Brown's call for a drastically cheaper water bond set off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol on Wednesday, as lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses the state's myriad water needs without a bloated price tag. Brown's $6-billion bond proposal, which was fleshed out in greater detail Wednesday, marks a significant step up in the governor's engagement with the effort to pass a water bond to replace the $11.1-billion measure now on the November ballot. <more> June 25, 2014 LATimes
  • Emergency drought status in S.J. extended - - It's been dry, and it's expected to stay dry. For the fifth time since it first declared a local state of emergency for the drought, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors continued the state of drought emergency at its regular meeting on Tuesday. <more> June 26, 2014 Stockton Record

Environmental News

  • Supreme Court rejects key elements of EPA GHG regulations - - The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, regarding a challenge to EPA regulations applying Clean Air Act permitting requirements to stationary sources of greenhouse gases. The challenge was brought by the American Farm Bureau Federation and dozens of other industry groups. The court rejected two elements of the EPA rule and upheld one. On balance, the decision is a major loss for EPA on the key aspects of the rule challenged by AFBF. <more> June 25, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Fruit and vegetable prices going up as California drought continues - - Fresh fruits and vegetable prices will go up an estimated 6% in the coming months, the federal government said Wednesday, as California’s ongoing drought continues to hit price tags in grocery stores across the country. "You’re probably going to see the biggest produce price increases on avocados, berries, broccoli, grapes, lettuce, melons, peppers, tomatoes and packaged salads,” said Timothy Richards, a chair at the Morrison School of Agribusiness at Arizona State University. <more> June 25, 2014 LA Times
  • German farm will install 44 milking robots for 2,500 cows - - Lely has been commissioned as many as forty-four Lely Astronaut milking robots to be delivered to Osterland Agrar GmbH in Frohburg, in eastern Germany. After installing the milking robots from October until mid of 2015, this dairy farm will become the largest company in the world with robotic milking. Thanks to robotic milking the 2,500 dairy cows on the farm can be controlled and taken care of on an individual cow basis. <more> June 25, 2014 Dairy Herd Mangement
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Water News

  • Gov. Jerry Brown pushes for scaled-down, $6-billion water bond - - Gov. Jerry Brown told legislative leaders Tuesday that he wants a $6-billion water bond to be put before voters in November — a substantially lower price tag than proposals making their way through the Legislature. Brown also made clear that he has concerns about the $11.1-billion bond now set to go before voters in the fall, according to legislative sources familiar with the conversations. That bond, originally written in 2009, would direct $3 billion for storage projects. But opposition from Brown could seriously harm its prospects if it remained on the ballot. <more> June 24, 2014 Los Angeles Times
  • California officials defend senior water rights holders - - Even as they’re moving to protect senior water rights holders, state officials insist the roughly 4,000 holders of pre-1914 and riparian rights aren’t exempt from their conservation efforts. California’s system of water rights seniority has come under scrutiny since a recent article by The Associated Press suggested that companies, farmers and cities with water rights that pre-date 1914 are exempt from mandatory cuts imposed on others as a result of the drought. <more> June 24, 2014 Capital Press
  • Just how many jobs will Delta tunnels project create? - - California’s drought could translate into jobs, but just how many jobs? That’s a question at the heart of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $25 billion plan to transport more water from Northern to Southern California. The plan calls for two massive tunnels to be built underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The tunnels would deliver water to Los Angeles, among other cities, and Central Valley farmers. A study by the Brown administration, authored by UC Berkeley agricultural and resource economist Dave Sunding, predicts the Bay-Delta Conservation Project would create an average of about 15,500 jobs a year over a decade of construction and habitat restoration. <more> June 25, 2014 Sacramento Business Journal
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Groundwater Bills Clear Senate and Assembly Committees, Talks Continue - - Two ACWA-supported bills aimed at advancing sustainable management of California’s groundwater basins moved out of Senate and Assembly committees June 24, launching what is expected to be several weeks of final negotiations and fine-tuning. SB 1168 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) moved out of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on a 9-4 vote. The bill in its current form would establish a statutory framework to achieve sustainable management of groundwater basins throughout the state. A similar measure, AB 1739, by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, (D-Sacramento), cleared the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on a 7-1 vote. <more June 24, 2014 ACWA news
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Skyrocketing American BBQ prices - - This Fourth of July, Americans will pay more for their backyard barbecues than ever before. The inaugural 2014 Rabobank BBQ Index examines the composition of a ten-person barbecue and how rising commodity prices have impacted the cost over the years, showing an overall price increase from $51.90 in 2004 to $55.62 during the financial crisis in 2007, to a total of $66.82 in 2014.<more> June 25, 2014 Feedstuffs

Environmental News

  • Climate change could burn agriculture economy - - A group of prominent business and political leaders including Cargill Chairman Greg Page said Thursday that agriculture and other major sectors of the economy could face widespread disruptions from climate change in coming decades unless much more is done to reduce the risks. Their report, “Risky Business,” presents a number of scenarios that could reduce yields of corn and other crops drastically in the nation’s midsection, strain utility systems as hotter summers demand more energy for cooling and flood coastal areas as storms surge and sea levels rise. <more> June 24, 2014 Star Tribune
  • California still losing prime farmland to other uses - - Irrigated farmland decreased in California by about 263 square miles from 2008-2010, according to the latest land-use change data, released Wednesday by the Department of Conservation. Although more than 102,000 acres of the highest-quality agricultural soil, known as prime farmland, were included in that decrease, the California Farmland Conversion Report also notes that the amount of urbanization in the state was a record low. <more> June 25, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • The word “natural” helps sell $40 billion worth of food in the U.S. every year—and the label means nothing - - Nothing makes Americans buy a food product quite like the fabulously ambiguous word "natural." The top 35 health claims and food labels include words most anyone who has been to a supermarket in the past five years should recognize—ones like "natural," yes, but also "organic," and "fat free," and "carb conscious," and "100 calories." These phrases helped the food industry sell more than $377 billion worth of masterfully marketed food items in the United States during the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. <more> June 24, 2014 The Washington Post
  • Starbucks sends spent grounds to Japanese dairies - - To close the loop on waste, Starbucks of Japan is now feeding spent coffee grounds to the cattle that make milk for their lattes. The process involves collecting the “coffee bean cakes” from Starbucks locations while those same trucks are dropping off supplies at the stores. The cakes are dried and fermented to be used for feed or fertilizer. The Urban Times reports that there’s no plans currently to expand the program outside Japan. <more> June 25, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Starbucks Testing Greek-Yogurt Smoothies in Push Beyond Java - - Starbucks Corp., which started selling handmade sodas in the southern U.S. today, is now testing three flavors of Greek-yogurt smoothies as it continues trying to broaden its appeal beyond coffee. The sweet greens, mango carrot and strawberry drinks will be sold in about 170 locations in San Jose, California, and St. Louis, the company said in a statement. A medium-sized smoothie has 170 calories to 230 calories, depending on the flavor, and customers can add kale or extra Greek yogurt. While prices will vary by market, a 16-ounce smoothie is $5.95 in San Jose. <more> June 24, 2014 Bloomberg
  • Merced County Fair’s success demonstrated by numbers - - The Merced County Fair is about tradition and family fun, but numbers help reveal the event’s overall success. Fair officials released a list of “fair fun numbers” recently to demonstrate the growth the fair experienced this time around. According to the list, the 123rd annual event gathered more than 70,000 people from all across the Valley. The fair also built a larger fan base online, showcased by 5,630 “likes” on its official Facebook page. <more> June 24, 2014 Merced Sun Star
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Water News

  • Water bond measure fails in initial Senate vote - - Senate Democrats on Monday failed in an initial attempt to secure Republican support for overhauling the $11.1 billion water bond on the November ballot. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg brought the legislation to a vote because he said he wanted to force "an honest public discussion" about how to improve water supply in California, which is in a drought after three relatively dry years. SB848 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, fell short of the required two-thirds majority vote needed to pass, but it's not dead. <more> June 23, 2014 AP
  • California Senate deadlocks on $10.5-billion water bond - - The state Senate deadlocked Monday on a $10.5-billion water bond measure proposed for the November ballot when Republicans opposed it for not providing enough for water storage and to protect water rights. Supporters of SB 848 could not muster the two-thirds vote needed to put the measure on the November ballot as a replacement for an $11.1-billion water bond that senators believe has too much pork to win voter approval. The vote on the measure was 22-9, with some members abstaining. <more> June 23, 2014 LA Times
  • Delta tunnels, conservancy in spotlight as Senate bond proposal falters - - With the governor’s controversial Delta tunnel project a key part of the debate, lawmakers on Monday failed to advance a leading Senate proposal to put a revised water bond on the November ballot. The Senate voted 22-9 for the $10.5 billion borrowing measure, five votes short of the required two-thirds threshold, without any Republicans lending support. It marked the first floor vote for any of a crop of new water bond proposals circulating through the Legislature. <more> June 24, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • State’s water crisis taking a toll on dairies - - California’s severe drought is taking a toll on the state’s dairy producers as well as its growers of fruits, nuts and vegetables. The impact is being felt on local dairy farms, where higher prices for commodities such as alfalfa, corn silage and forage are expected to be a by-product of the drought. Those increases boost the cost of production, and cut into the profit margins which producers are recording for the first time since the crisis of 2009. Michael Marsh, chief executive officer for Western United Dairymen, said the drought is prominently on the minds of producers in the field – and is taking a toll on their bottom line. <more> June 20, 2014 West Side Connect
  • As Water Prices Soar, Some Profit From California’s Drought - - Farmers who lack water in California are facing a tough summer ahead, but for those who do have water, it can be a windfall. Water is hitting record prices on the open market, prompting some farmers to pump groundwater and sell it — what some call “groundwater mining.” With groundwater already at record-low levels in parts of the state, concerns are rising that these water sales, known as water transfers, may put pressure on California’s overtaxed aquifers. In other water deals, farmers are selling the water they get from reservoirs or rivers and are using groundwater instead to irrigate their fields, known as “groundwater substitution.” <more> June 23, 2014 KQED
  • Big fines could be imposed on those who don’t stop diverting river water - - Few of the 7,910 landowners who were ordered last month to stop diverting water from California’s rivers have complied. So the state is proposing to “put some teeth” into its emergency drought regulations. The State Water Resources Control Board next week will consider imposing hefty fines on farmers and other water users to “ensure timely compliance” with curtailment orders. <more> June 23, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Organization advocates for dairy producers - - As dairy producers go about their work in the barns, corrals and fields, a Modesto-based organization is providing an array of support services and giving the industry a voice in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Western United Dairymen serves a critical role to its members, who face increased regulatory mandates and have a stake in legislative issues such as milk pricing structure and immigration reform. “We serve the dairy industries of the state of California. We advocate for them on a wide variety of issues in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, and before regulatory agencies,” explained Michael Marsh, chief executive officer of Western United Dairymen (WUD). “We provide assistance on environmental issues and sustainability, and we have resources available to our members in the areas of labor, safety regulations and communications.” <more> June 20, 2014 West Side Connect
  • $9 per hour minimum wage starts next week - - Starting July 1, the California state minimum wage increases to $9 per hour, a hike that growers say will result in more challenges on the farm and higher costs overall. Monterey County strawberry grower Ed Ortega said, "In agriculture, nobody can pay just minimum wage. "People will find a job doing something else that is much easier work than working in agriculture for minimum wage. They'd rather go and flip burgers for nine bucks," Ortega said. "Our work demands more than a minimum wage employee, so every time the minimum wage goes up, the whole ladder in our entire pay structure goes up. There's no such thing as paying the bottom guy more and not the top guy. The whole ladder rises." <more> June 25, 2014 Ag Alert
  • Dairy Council of California releases the Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2014 - - Dairy Council of California develops its Trends newsletter twice a year to update industry leaders on emerging nutrition issues likely to have a positive or negative effect on the dairy industry. The trends tracking system, monitored by a team of staffers, is designed to identify issues early and track their development through multiple communication channels. Highlights include: dairy fat may no longer be a villain in heart disease risk; milk and dairy foods promising in prevention of metabolic syndrome and diabetes; and consumers’ interest in natural, functional, fresh foods grows. Read the full report <here>. June 24, 2014 Dairy Council of California news
  • Amid turmoil, Obama’s approval remains strong in California - - Despite political fallout from his prisoner exchange, the unfolding scandal in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and growing unrest in the Middle East, President Barack Obama has maintained encouraging job ratings in California, where he’s buoyed by a scarcity of Republicans, according to the new Field Poll. Half of California voters support the president’s job performance, with 39 percent disapproving. The figures released Tuesday contrast sharply with the nationwide average that shows 42 percent approving and 54 percent expressing an unfavorable opinion. <more> June 24, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Dairy producers see long-awaited recovery - - After five tough years, marked first by milk prices that plunged below $10 per hundredweight in a disastrous 2009 and later by soaring production costs, producers have seen a long-awaited rebound in recent months. California milk prices began to recover in late 2013, industry experts said, and hit an all-time high of $22.47 in March and while moderating somewhat have remained historically strong. Rising feed costs – tied to California’s severe drought – are a cloud on what otherwise has been a strong six months, but in general the mood on local dairies is one of relief and optimism. <more> June 23, 2014 West Side Connect
  • Why are dairy prices spiking? - - It's shaping up to be a historic year for America's economically important dairy industry. At the end of August, decades-old dairy price supports will change as the federal government ends its milk income loss contract (MILC) program. MILC guaranteed compensation for dairy producers if domestic milk prices fell below a certain level. But dairy producers haven't had to worry too much, at least for the present, about milk prices falling. <more> June 23, 2014 CBS Money Watch
  • CWT Assists with 4 Million Pounds of Dairy Export Sales - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted five requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 158,733 pounds (72 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese, 2.315 million pounds (1,050 metric tons) of butter (82% butterfat) and 1.574 million pounds (714 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered June through November 2014. <more> June 24, 2014 Dairy Today
     

Environmental News

  • Lawsuit contests high-speed rail air quality plans - - A San Rafael-based group that opposes California's high-speed rail project filed a lawsuit Monday contesting the state's plan to fund it with money from a greenhouse gas emissions program, arguing that building the $68 billion bullet train would create more pollution than it would reduce for at least a decade. The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund filed the lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court against the California Air Resources Board, the state agency responsible for ensuring California meets the emissions reduction targets in its landmark global warming law, AB32. <more> June 23, 2014 San Francisco Gate
  • Commentary: State must use caution on groundwater management - - In the face of the California water crisis, many in the state Legislature appear to be rushing toward new groundwater management policy that could threaten certain property rights and the overlying groundwater rights of landowners. Generally, legislation that has been introduced would require groundwater basins to be managed "sustainably" by local entities but would authorize the state government to step in if the local entities do not adopt management plans with certain components by a specified time. <more> June 25, 2014 Ag Alert
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Hannah Van Dyk of Tulare Selected as District 9 Dairy Princess - - Hannah Van Dyk of Tulare was selected as the 2014-2015 Dairy Princess for the California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB) District 9. The crowning took place before a crowd of approximately 225 dairy industry members and their families and friends, on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Heritage Complex International Agri-Center in Tulare, CA. Retiring Dairy Princess Elyse Borba ended her reign by turning over the title to Hannah, and wished her well as she represents the California dairy industry throughout the coming year. The daughter of Chris and Jolene Van Dyk, Hannah is currently attending Tulare Western High School. First Alternate, Baylee Cocagne, is the daughter of Robert Cocagne and Diane Luiz of Tulare. Baylee attends Mission Oak High School.  June 24, 2014 CMAB press release
  • Over-fortified cereals may pose risks to kids - - Young children who dig into a bowl of fortified breakfast cereal may be getting too much of a good thing. A new report says that "millions of children are ingesting potentially unhealthy amounts" of vitamin A, zinc and niacin, with fortified breakfast cereals the leading source of the excessive intake because all three nutrients are added in amounts calculated for adults. <more> June 24, 2014 USA Today
  • The Gluten-Free Craze: Is It Healthy? - - A decade ago, few Americans had heard of gluten. Today, one survey says, almost a third are trying to avoid the element found in grain. In growing numbers, the world's biggest food makers and restaurant chains are retooling recipes and labels to tap into the concern, creating a multibillion-dollar business out of gluten-free products. Yet gluten-free lovers of the world may be in for a surprise. Many health experts say there is no proven benefit to going gluten-free except for a small sliver of the population whose bodies can't process the protein. Indeed, according to nutritional food labels, many gluten-free foods contain fewer vitamins, less fiber and more sugar. It is a point some food makers don't dispute, saying they are simply responding to consumer demand without making health claims. <more> June 22, 2014 Wall Street Journal
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Water News

  • Groundwater out of sight but never out of mind – Jack Hamm, San Joaquin Farm Bureau - - Agriculture is San Joaquin County's leading industry. From our orchards, vineyards and dairies - all the way to the diverse crops grown in the Delta - we consistently produce commodities that are matched only in multiplicity by quality, making our area the envy of the rest of the state. Ask any farmers, and they will tell you that the most important tool they utilize when growing their crop is water. In dry years especially, growers rely on groundwater for irrigation, yet this precious resource is under attack. <more> June 21, 2014 Stockton Record
  • $10 Billion Water Bond Measure Moving Through California Legislature - - Backers of the proposed water bond say it manages to balance statewide urban, agricultural and conservation needs. “This bond would provide funding and support the broadest range of projects and programs that would collectively support the state’s moving forward on its water plan,” says Michael Peterson with the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources. Critics say the bill should be revised to make it easier for local water agencies to pursue their own water recycling, waterway restoration, and water storage programs. <more> June 20, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • As California drought gets worse, water use dips modestly - - Amid signs that California's drought conditions are worsening, the state reported that water consumption in the state has declined modestly. The State Water Resources Control Board reported that water use was down 5% through May. The report was based on a survey of water suppliers. More details on the report can be found here. "While water conservation has been encouraged by urban water suppliers, measured water use hasn’t yet met a 20 percent voluntary reduction of water use called for by Governor Brown in two emergency drought declarations this year," the report said. <more> June 20, 2014 LA Times
  • More of California experiencing most severe drought conditions - - As California enters summer with a below-normal mountain snowpack to feed its streams and reservoirs, the portion of the parched state experiencing exceptionally severe drought conditions is growing, experts said. The most populous U.S. state is in the third year of a crippling drought that has forced ranchers to sell cattle for lack of grazing land, and farmers to let an estimated 400,000 acres normally devoted to crops go fallow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that while all of the state remains in a severe drought, the portion of the state in what is considered an "exceptional drought" increased in the past week from about 25 percent to about 33 percent. <more> June 20, 2014 Reuters
  • Water war bubbling up between California and Arizona - - Once upon a time, California and Arizona went to war over water. The year was 1934, and Arizona was convinced that the construction of Parker Dam on the lower Colorado River was merely a plot to enable California to steal its water rights. Its governor, Benjamin Moeur, dispatched a squad of National Guardsmen up the river to secure the eastern bank from the decks of the ferryboat Julia B. — derisively dubbed "Arizona's navy" by a Times war correspondent assigned to cover the skirmish. After the federal government imposed a truce, the guardsmen returned home as "conquering heroes." The next water war between California and Arizona won't be such an amusing little affair. And it's coming soon. <more> June 20, 2014 LA Times
  • Water supply plan outlines future - - Demand for water has declined as residents and farmers become more efficient. And supply has increased thanks to $700 million spent tapping nearby rivers and streams over the past three decades. Groundwater levels, long believed to be declining precipitously, may be stabilizing. That's all good news. When it comes to water in California, there's always a "but.” <more> June 22, 2014 Stockton Record
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • U.S. Moves to Stop Surge in Illegal Immigration - - White House officials, saying that misinformation about administration policies helped drive a surge of illegal migrants from Central America across the South Texas border, on Friday announced plans to detain more of them and to accelerate their court cases so as to deport them more quickly. In tandem with those measures, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met in Guatemala on Friday with senior leaders of the three countries where most of the migrants come from — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — to secure their help in conveying the message that there are no new legal channels to come to the United States and that those crossing illegally will be deported. <more> June 20, 2014 The New York Times
  • McCarthy's rise helps Valley - - Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the new House majority leader, may be from Bakersfield, but Kings County is likely to benefit too, according to local legislators and political observers. McCarthy’s election to the powerful post could be a boon to freshman Rep. David Valadao and the South Valley concerns he represents. McCarthy’s congressional district borders Valadao’s and includes a large farming sector to go with a booming oil economy. <more> June 21, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
  • Obama, Key aim for completion of Asia-Pacific trade deal by year's end - - President Obama said Friday that he hopes a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal can be completed by year's end. Obama said he discussed wrapping up work on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for about an hour in the Oval Office. "We discussed a timeline whereby before the end of the year, we're able to get a document that can create jobs both for New Zealand the United States and the other countries that are participating, and expand wealth for all parties involved," Obama told reporters after the meeting. <more> June 20, 2014 The Hill
  • California, Amtrak end joint high-speed train bid - - Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority said Friday that they canceled a joint agreement seeking companies to build high-speed trains for them, a proposal billed as a way to save money and lure advanced train manufacturing to the United States. The agencies said their needs are too different and manufacturers are not yet ready to build trains that can run on both Amtrak's 100-year-old rail lines and the high-speed corridors planned for California's system. <more> June 20, 2014 AP
  • Lisa Birrell: One delicious Valley partnership - - Creamy, delicious chocolate milk — it's a favorite of more than 1 million school children in our Valley every week. That's why when Fresno Unified School District approached Richie Shehadey, Producers Dairy director of sales and marketing, concerned that their students' favorite chocolate milk was too high in sugar content, he took notice. From there, a partnership between big dairy and big district formed to benefit the most important citizens of Fresno County — our children. <more> June 22, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • China’s Dairy Appetite Remains Robust - - Even the slowdown in China’s economic growth expected for 2015 won’t be enough to quell the huge dairy needs of the Asian giant, says Brad Gehrke of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). "China’s dairy appetite continues to be robust," says Gehrke, USDEC’s director of global trade analysis. <more> June 23, 2014 Dairy Today
     

Environmental News

  • UC Davis study finds link between pesticides, autism - - Pregnant women who live near areas where agricultural pesticides are applied experience a higher risk of delivering children with autism or other developmental delays, a UC Davis study has found. The study, published today in the periodical Environmental Health Perspectives, found that mothers who lived within roughly one mile of where pesticides were applied were found to have a 60 percent higher risk of having children with any of the spectrum of autism disorders, such as Asperger’s syndrome. <more> June 23, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Fears of EPA ‘land grab’ create groundswell against water rule - - Lawmakers are up in arms over an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that they fear could give federal officials expansive new powers over private property and farmland. The EPA is seeking to redefine what bodies of water fall under the agency’s jurisdiction for controlling pollution. The scope of the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule is of critical importance, as any area covered would require a federal permit for certain activities. <more> June 21, 2014 The Hill
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • USDA announces new measures to help beginning farmers - - USDA on Monday announced the implementation of policy changes and measures authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill designed to help new farmers and ranchers get started in an occupation where the average age is 58 and rising. “The new policies will help give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed,” said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden, who released details of the measures at meeting of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee at the University of California, Davis. <more> June 24, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • Hood announces program to support The Great American Milk Drive - - HP Hood announced its "Do Some Good With Hood®" program in support of The Great American Milk Drive, which gets much-needed milk into the hands of families struggling with hunger across our country. Hood will match donations made through the program, up to 1,000 gallons, to deliver a total of 2,000 gallons of milk to local food banks in New England. <more> June 22, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
  • Bee reporter Mark Grossi honored by Fresno County Farm Bureau - - Mark Grossi, environmental reporter for The Fresno Bee, was honored Thursday by the Fresno County Farm Bureau for excellence in agriculture reporting by print media. Grossi's March 2 story, "For Valley citrus growers, this season has 2 natural disasters," showed how both a damaging December freeze and the ongoing drought and lack of water deliveries have severely hurt farmers in the Terra Bella region of Tulare County. <more> June 19, 2014 Fresno Bee


     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

 

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Governor Brown signs 2014-2015 State Budget - - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed a balanced, on-time state budget that pays down debt, shores up the teachers’ retirement system, builds a solid Rainy Day Fund and directs additional funding for local schools and health care. “This on-time budget provides for today and saves for the future,” said Governor Brown. “We’re paying off the state’s credit card, saving for the next rainy day and fixing the broken teachers’ retirement system.” <more> June 20, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds Blog
  • Governor Signs CA Budget With FFA Funding Included - - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed a balanced, on-time state budget that includes the Agriculture Incentive Grant, despite the governor originally cutting the grant entirely. After his cut to the grant, FFA and other agriculture groups from around the state rallied to tell the governor that funding is vital to the future of agriculture in the state. A group of state politicians also worked to get the funding back into the budget. <more> June 20, 2014 AgNet West
  • Agricultural Output Climbed in 2013, Recovering From Drought - - California is by far the largest agricultural producer, accounting for $46.7 billion, or 17 percent of the total national agricultural output of $269.1 billion. But the state is so large that agriculture makes up only 2.1 percent of its output, less than 16 other states. Iowa, which ranks second in dollar value at $16.1 billion, depends on agriculture for almost 10 percent of its total economic output. The 2013 surge in agriculture ended a string of three years in which that sector did not do as well as the overall United States economy. But since 1998, agriculture outperformed the rest of the economy in nine of the 15 years. <more> June 20, 2014 The New York Times
  • California Milk Advisory Board hires CEO - - The California Milk Advisory Board has tapped a global marketing expert from the almond industry to be its next chief executive officer, it was announced June 19. John Talbot, who most recently was the Almond Board of California’s vice president of global market development, will assume his new duties on July 7, according to a news release. At the almond board, Talbot led strategy and development efforts to build global demand for California almonds, which has boomed in recent years. His consumer product experience also includes positions at Procter and Gamble, PepsiCo and the E & J Gallo Winery, according to the release. <more> June 20, 2014 Capital Press
  • Camp says trade agenda at risk without fast-track - - A top House Republican said Thursday that wrapping up work on the Obama administration’s ambitious trade agenda will be impossible without trade promotion authority (TPA). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said that trade promotion authority, also known as fast-track, must be passed before finalizing any major agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). <more> June 19, 2014 The Hill
     

Water News

  • Despite the Drought, California's Dairies Make Do - - In California, the corn has been planted, cows are making milk, and dairy producers are finally back in the black with $20 milk prices. But first and foremost on every farmer’s mind is the drought, now in its third straight year. Feed prices, especially for forages, are escalating as limited water supplies reduce crop production in the nation’s No. 1 farm state. "Everybody’s relieved with the high milk prices, but the drought is a huge concern," says Devin Gioletti, who, with his family, operates a 2,200-acre farm and 2,200-cow dairy near Turlock, Calif., south of Modesto. <more> June 20, 2014 Dairy Today
  • California's drought getting even worse, experts say - - California's drought conditions have worsened over the past week with the percentage of the state suffering from the highest category increasing, the National Weather Service said Thursday. "Exceptional" drought conditions have spread in Central California since a week ago, weather officials said. Areas in Northern California have also moved into this category since last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Almost 33% of the state faces exceptional conditions. About 25% of the state faced those conditions last week. Every part of California remains in what is considered severe drought. <more> June 19, 2014 LA Times
  • S.J. drought status 'exceptional' - - The federal government on Thursday declared much of San Joaquin County to be in a state of "exceptional drought," the most severe of five categories. Most of the San Joaquin Valley has been in "exceptional" drought for months now, along with the East Bay and Central Coast. But the latest weekly analysis from the U.S. Drought Monitor pushes that most severe designation farther north to include southern and western San Joaquin County. <more> June 20, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Farmers urged to fight attempts to curtail century-old water rights - - They don’t know what’s going to be proposed, but they know they won’t like it. That message was clear at Thursday night’s gathering to fire up opposition to any attempt by the state to curtail river diversions by those with century-old water rights. Assorted state and local politicians attracted about 70 people to the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau office. They offered dire warnings but virtually no details about what regulations are being considered or why. However, they insisted that what’s coming is a threat to farmers and the San Joaquin Valley’s economy. <more> June 19, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • The mysterious case of America’s plummeting milk consumption - - Not long ago, milk was a standard part of Americans' mornings. Now, the calcium-filled fluid would be lucky to find itself on anyone's mind. Americans, on average, drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA. Forty years ago, per capita consumption was nearly one and a half cups per day; now it's nearer to 0.8. While the fallout spans every type of cow's milk—whole, low fat, and skim—it's been most unkind to the full fat variety. Whole milk per capita consumption has tumbled by 78 percent since 1970 (from more than 1.1 cups per day to fewer than .24). <more> June 20, 2014 The Washington Post
  • US milk exports affecting NZ farms - - Fonterra's milk suppliers are wary of the ability of United States feedlot farmers to step up or slow down milk production faster than they can. When grain is cheap and commodity prices are high, as was the case in the soon-to-finish 2013-14 season, this can be to the advantage of operators keeping cows in confined feedlots. As they ramp up milking, this has a bearing on world supplies and the prices Kiwi farmers receive. Logic would say they will ease off as global commodity prices falter, but narrowing down their next move is complicated. <more> June 20, 2014 New Zealand Farmer


     

Environmental News

  • Valley air district gets funds to offset pollution from high-speed rail construction - - The San Joaquin Valley will get up to $35 million over the next 14 years to offset the pollution created by construction of the state's high-speed rail. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board agreed Thursday to accept the commitment from the California High Speed Rail Authority.  <more> June 19, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • House panel takes aim at ‘interpretive rule’ in EPA Waters of U.S. plan - - Members of a House Agriculture subcommittee from both parties had a heated exchange yesterday with a top USDA official over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal for defining exactly what falls under the agency's jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). <more> June 20, 2014 Agri-Pulse
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • USDA chooses Chobani Greek yogurt for school lunch expansion in 7 states - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today selected Upstate New York's Chobani Greek yogurt as the supplier for a school lunch pilot program that will expand to 12 states this fall. The USDA awarded Chobani the first one-month contract to supply Greek yogurt to seven of the 12 states, beginning with the new school year, according to members of New York's congressional delegation, who were notified by USDA officials. <more> June 19, 2014 Syracuse Post-Standard
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Obama signs waterways infrastructure bill into law - - The U.S. waterways infrastructure – crucial to the nation’s farmers as a way to export crops and receive necessary inputs – received a major boost when President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law on June 10. Obama said the legislation that easily passed Congress will “put Americans to work modernizing our water infrastructure and restoring some of our most vital ecosystems." <more> June 17, 2014 Delta Farm Press
  • California’s Kevin McCarthy elected as new majority leader - - House Republicans on Thursday elected Bakersfield, Calif., native Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, giving California’s Central Valley a leg up on Capitol Hill. McCarthy’s election makes the 49-year-old former deli operator the first Californian to reach the House’s number-two position since it was created in 1899. The promotion also puts McCarthy on the spot, raising expectations about what he can deliver for his home state and region. <more> June 19, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • Manuel Cunha Jr.: If farms are to thrive, immigrant labor must have good health care - - In order for farms to thrive, their workers have to be healthy. I know from my vantage point as a grower and as a board member of our local community health clinic that preventive and primary care is critical to achieving this outcome. Workers and their families provide food for our entire country and are part of our community. It makes all the sense in the world — pragmatically, economically and morally — to provide them the health care that will keep them and their families healthy. Despite the $2.7 billion in taxes that undocumented Californians pay to our state and federal government every year and the hundreds of billions of dollars of economic activity they generate, undocumented immigrants, including 400,000 agricultural workers in California, were blocked from health coverage under health care reform. <more> June 18, 2014 Fresno Bee
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • New York's Boom in Yogurt Is Not So Sweet - - At a SoHo cafe run by the yogurt maker Chobani, mini-iPad-toting servers take orders for unlikely lunches, such as plain yogurt topped with hummus, olive oil, a spice mix and lemon zest. At the Chelsea Market stand of Sohha Savory Yogurt, diners customize their bowls of Lebanese-style yogurt with the likes of mint, olives, cilantro and spicy harissa oil. And in Albany, legislators passed a bill this spring to make yogurt the official state snack. <more> June 18, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • High Milk Prices Keeping Dairy Cows in the Herd - - Commercial red meat productionfor the United States totaled 3.95 billion pounds in May, down 5 percent from the 4.15 billion pounds produced in May 2013, according to USDA’s latest Livestock Slaughter report issued this afternoon.  Beef production,at 2.07 billion pounds, was 7 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.63 million head, down 8 percent from May 2013. The average live weight was up 10 pounds from the previous year, at 1,299 pounds. Veal productiontotaled 7.8 million pounds, 14 percent below May a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 46,700 head, down 20 percent from May 2013. The average live weight was up 19 pounds from last year, at 284 pounds. An estimated 209,000 dairy cows were “retired” from the dairy business in May, down 21,000 head from April and 39,000 head less than May 2013. An estimated 1.192 million culled dairy cattle were slaughtered under Federal inspection in the January to May period, 155,000 less than the same period a year ago. June 19, 2014 Dairy Business Update

Water News

  • Anti-Delta tunnel groups gear up to oppose water bonds - - California lawmakers haven't finished maneuvering to get a new water bond on the ballot in November, but opponents have already begun mobilizing. Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to build massive water conveyance tunnels under the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta are launching a political action committee to battle any water bond that could facilitate the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Their goal is to raise at least $1 million for the effort. "If there's backdoor BDCP funding, we're going after it," said Steve Hopcraft, a spokesman for the anti-tunnel group Restore the Delta. <more> June 18, 2014 Capitol Alert
     

Environmental News

  • Tricolored blackbird population falling at alarming rate - - The dairy farms of the Central Valley have proven good nesting sites for California's tricolored blackbird. Grains grown to feed the cows resemble the lost tules and cattails that the picturesque songbirds once called home, providing the flocks new sanctuary to raise their young. That is, until harvest time. Scientists say the blades that pluck the feed crops are also mowing down thousands of baby blackbirds and eggs - one reason the bird is in rapid decline. "Literally, in the span of 10 minutes, 10 percent of the global population of this bird can be wiped out," said Daniela Ogden, a spokeswoman for Audubon California. <more> June 18, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle
  • California banning burning on 31 million acres - - Open burning is being banned on 31 million acres of land throughout California because of the threat wildfires due to the lengthening drought. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott announced Wednesday that his 21 unit chiefs and six contract county fire chiefs have been ordered to issue local burning suspensions by July 1. The state firefighting agency has already responded to more than 2,100 fires this year, a 70 percent increase over the average number for the same time period. <more> June 18, 2014 AP
  • Dairy Industry Releases 2013 Sustainability Report - - The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy released its 2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report this morning, showing gradual but continual improvement in identifying energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. You can read the full report here. For example, DMI worked with dairy producers to complete another 188 dairy farm energy audits last year. The total number of completed audits is 667 since the program was started in 2011. Since that time, the audits have identified 55,500 million btus in potential energy savings on these farms and the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11,500 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.<more> June 19, 2014 Dairy Today
  • CDFA Announces Available Funding for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103). An estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. <more> CDFA press release
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Pig business: Can mega-farming become more humane? - - Passing fields of soy, corn and towering bleach-white windmills fanning out across windy plains, I arrive early one morning somewhere between Chicago and Indianapolis at a place that promises “sow much fun”. The Pig Adventure, housing 3,000 sows and producing 80,000 piglets per year, sits alongside a 36,000-cow Dairy Adventure. This is “agro-Disneyland”, a place where rides have been replaced by adorable pink piglets and 72-cow robotic milking parlours.<more> June 17, 2014 BBC
  • Pitching Cereal for Dinner and Late Nights - - Cereal sellers are pinning their hopes on people like Jon Press. Since he's out the door by 6:45 a.m. weekdays, eating cereal in the morning takes too long, the Potomac, Md., resident says. But after his two children are in bed, it's Cinnamon Toast Crunch time, often while he's at his laptop blogging about Washington Capitals hockey. Sugary cereal for dessert "doesn't feel quite as horrible" as cookies or cupcakes, says Mr. Press, a consultant to the federal government. Cereal companies are zeroing in on behaviors they largely ignored in the past: what they call off-breakfast eating. <more> June 18, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods - - Some years back, a small Colorado goat-cheese maker called Haystack Mountain faced its version of a classic growth challenge: National demand was growing for its chèvres and other cheeses, and the company was struggling to find enough local goat farmers to produce milk. The solution came from a surprising source: Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI). Today six inmates milk 1,000 goats twice a day on a prison-run farm. After non-inmate employees cultivate the cheese at a company facility, it’s sold in Whole Foods WFM-3.05% outlets, among other stores.  <more> June 2, 2014 Fortune

     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Bill aims to repeal corn ethanol mandate - - It's not the first and it won't be the last. Legislation introduced by Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., would repeal the corn ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But Lankford's bill would also require the remaining mandates set by the RFS, including biodiesel and advanced biofuels, to be fulfilled with domestic production, eliminating, for example, imports of ethanol from Brazil being counted under the standard. <more> June 18, 2014 Agri-Pulse
     
  • Congress is tackling drought relief to aid California - - Lawmakers working both above and below the surface on California drought relief are making explicit progress this week. While insisting on secrecy for key deal-making, House of Representatives and Senate members are also publicly moving legislation. A $34.2 billion energy and water funding bill approved Tuesday by a Senate panel, and related movement on the House side expected Wednesday, showcase the overt side of the ledger. “The purpose is to help mitigate the impact of severe drought,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said of the Senate bill Tuesday. <more> June 18, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
     
  • The FDA Is About To Release Its Plan To Reduce Salt - - Food companies and restaurants could soon face government pressure to make their foods less salty — a long-awaited federal effort to try to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke. The Food and Drug Administration is preparing voluntary guidelines asking the food industry to lower sodium levels, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told The Associated Press. Hamburg said in a recent interview that the sodium is "of huge interest and concern" to the agency. <more> June 17, 2014 AP
     
  • UC Merced drone gains FAA clearance - - Tucked away in a garage-like room on the former Castle Air Force Base, a team of undergraduate and graduate students toil at making drones better at collecting data, and a recent development could be big step toward that goal. Though there are 18 projects running parallel with each other, none has a military application, and that’s the way the team likes it. “We’re not spying on you,” said Brandon Stark, the lab manager. “We’re spying on cows and plants.” <more> June 17, 2014 Merced Sun-Star
     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • May milk production up 1.4% - - Milk production in the U.S. in May totaled 18.1 billion pounds up 1.4 percent compared to May of 2013. The nation’s dairy herd was at 9.25 million head in May up 10,000 head from April. Production per cow averaged 1,951 up 62 pounds from April. No comparison with a year ago as production per cow and total cow numbers were not recorded during the budget sequester. <more> June 18, 2014 Brownfield Ag News

  • Paleo Dieters Suffer as Panera Fights Protein Price Jump - - Eating like a caveman is getting costlier. That’s dour news for the growing number of Americans adopting diets that mimic the eating habits of their hunter- gatherer ancestors. The Bloomberg Protein Index, which tracks the prices of beef, beans, bacon and nine other protein sources, has jumped 28 percent in the five years through May. The measure has increased 5 percent this year, twice as fast as the gain for all food prices, as beef and pork got more expensive. <more> June 18, 2014 Dairy Today

  • Beef Reaches U.S. Record as Rancher Sees More Gains - - For a guy who just sold some of his cattle at the highest price ever, Missouri rancher Ryan Sharrock is showing less enthusiasm for beef. He says the meat is just too expensive and that the cost probably will keep rising. While he got more than $1,000 each for 23 calves sold at auction a couple of weeks ago, the 33-year-old Sharrock says he’s cut back on steak dinners for his family of five in Patton, Missouri, to less than one a week from three. “It’s not so much a cheap family meal anymore,” he said. U.S. ground-beef prices are up 76 percent since 2009 to the highest on record, after a seven-year decline in the herd left the fewest cattle in at least six decades, government data show. <more> June 17, 2014 Bloomberg

Environmental News

  • California’s blackbird in sharp decline - - The population of California’s iconic tricolored blackbird has suffered a dramatic decline in the past six years, according to a new survey coordinated by the University of California, Davis. The 2014 Tricolored Blackbird Statewide Survey estimates that there are about 145,000 of the songbirds living in the state -- down 64 percent since 2008 when there were about 400,000 birds, and down 44 percent from 2011 when there were roughly 260,000 tricolored blackbirds. Extrapolations from nest estimates put the number of tricolors in the millions in the 1930s. Except for a few hundred birds outside the state, nearly the entire population of tricolored blackbirds is found in California. <more> June 18, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     

Water News

  • California drought plan would build reservoirs, clean up drinking water - - After months of bickering, California lawmakers could vote as early as this week on a plan to shore up the drought-parched state's water supply that would include three new reservoirs, underground water storage and environmental cleanup. The proposal to sell $10.5 billion in bonds to pay for water projects must win support from two-thirds of the Legislature, Governor Jerry Brown and tax-averse California voters. It has been caught in political infighting for months, even as the state entered its third year of a crippling drought, but its backer said on Tuesday a deal was coming together. <more> June 17, 2014 Reuters
     
  • USDA official visits California to discuss drought - - The USDA’s point person on drought resiliency nationwide met with California farmers and decision-makers this week to discuss how the federal government can help meet communities’ needs. Ann Mills, the agency’s deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment, toured a farm here June 17 which has an original homestead document signed by President Ulysses S. Grant. She met June 18 with state Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and with the Delta Stewardship Council and planned to meet with Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought task force during her three-day stay. <more> Jan. 18, 2014 Capital Press
     
  • Meetings to focus on farms v. fish struggle - - People with interests in the Tuolumne River’s future are expected to stake their claims again Wednesday at morning and evening meetings in Turlock and Modesto, respectively. At issue is whether flows should be altered to favor fish, perhaps at the expense of farms. The meetings will center on the La Grange Dam, which the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts have owned since 1883, and its relatively small, 4.9-megawatt hydropower plant, which TID built in 1924. <more> June 17, 2014 Modesto Bee
     
  • Rally planned in Modesto against state effort to limit river water diversions - - Stanislaus County farmers and politicians will rally Thursday in opposition to a state effort to regulate water rights. Because of water shortages caused by the drought, California’s Water Resources Control Board next month will consider curtailing how much more can be diverted from the state’s rivers. That includes limiting the century-old water rights relied on by many northern San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts and landowners. <more> June 17, 2014 Modesto Bee
     

Stories of Interest

  • The generational battle of butter vs. margarine - - The 100-plus year war between butter and margarine, America's two favorite fatty spreads, has been a battle of cultural norms, nutritional headwinds, a bit of circumstance, and, of course, cash rich marketing campaigns. At times the tussle has proved a tad lopsided—for over 50 years margarine seemed markedly outmatched. Back in 1911, the average American ate almost 19 pounds of butter per year, the most ever, according to the USDA. Meanwhile, margarine consumption barely broke a single pound per person per year. <more> June 17, 2014 The Washington Post
     
  • Celebrate June Dairy Month at Dairy Fest - - To celebrate June being National Dairy Month, the International Agri-Center has partnered with the Tulare County Dairy Women and the Tulare Chamber of Commerce to host Dairy Fest. Tulare County Dairywomen will host their annual dairy princess coronation and honor a dairy family on Friday, June 20. In addition, they will award several high school students with college scholarships. The Tulare Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Salute to Dairy Luncheon on Saturday, June 21 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The event will include a trade show and guest speaker, Andy Vidak. <more> June 18, 2014 Hoard’s Dairyman
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  •  UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
     
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pricing/Commodity News

  • California Dairies Petitions for Class 4a Hearing - - California Dairies Inc. (CDI) has submitted a petition for a public hearing to consider changes to the state’s Class 4a pricing formula. They state that “The manufacturing cost allowances for butter and powder and the butter f.o.b. price adjuster were last changed September 1, 2011. However, all of the manufacturing cost data collected and published by CDFA since then indicates that the trend is toward higher costs, and further adjustments to the butter and powder manufacturing cost allowances are both warranted and justified.” The CDFA states that CDI’s proposal amends the Class 4a pricing formula by increasing the butter and nonfat dry milk manufacturing cost allowances to the weighted average cost for both commodities, as published in the November 2013 cost Manufacturing Cost Exhibit, which represent the most recent data to which we have access. The Department’s data verifies that the cost to manufacture butter is $0.1688 per pound, an increase of 53 cents per pound over the current manufacturing cost allowance for butter. Similarly, the cost exhibit verifies that the cost to produce nonfat dry milk is $0.1999 per pound, an increase of 2.36 cents per pound over the current manufacturing cost allowance for nonfat dry milk. Complete details are posted on CDFA’s website <here>.  June 17, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • Hong Kong market reopens for U.S. beef - - The United States and Hong Kong have reached an agreement that could pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Hong Kong. "This is great news for American ranchers and beef companies," says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Hong Kong is already the fourth largest market for U.S. beef and beef product exports, with sales there reaching a historic high of $823 million in 2013. We look forward to expanded opportunities there for the U.S. beef industry now that all trade restrictions are lifted." <more> June 17, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Soybeans Slide Most This Month as Crop Conditions Improve - - Soybeans fell on signs of improving conditions for crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower. Corn fell to the lowest since February. About 73 percent of soybeans were in good or excellent condition as of June 15, up from 64 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported yesterday. Eighty-three percent of the plants had emerged from the ground, compared with a five-year average of 77 percent, the USDA reported. <more> June 17, 2014 Bloomberg
  • CWT Keeps U.S. Dairy Exports Flowing - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 11 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Upstate-Niagara/O-AT-KA and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 669,764 pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheese and 1.199 million pounds of butter (82% butterfat) to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered through November 2014. Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 57.073 million pounds of cheese, 47.924 million pounds of butter and 12.022 million pounds of whole milk powder to 40 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.693 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis, according to CWT. June 17, 2014 Dairy Business Update
     

Water News

  • Leadership of controversial California water program shifts - - San Joaquin Valley towns appear to be finished with the California Department of Public Health, which many have blamed for funding delays that have left residents with bad drinking water for years. Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget, which cleared the Legislature, moves the state's Drinking Water Program from Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board. The move will be made July 1, state leaders said. <more> July 16, 2014 Fresno Bee
  • Drought is a drain on California lake, reservoir tourism - - The drought is disrupting a variety of summer activities that help make up the state's $85-billion outdoor recreation industry, the nation's largest. Experts say it will deal a severe blow to rural communities that rely heavily on skiing, fishing and camping. "In these small places, outdoor recreation becomes the economic engine," said David Rolloff, a professor of recreation and parks management at Cal State Sacramento. "The impact can be felt much more on a local level." <more> June 17, 2014 LA Times
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Cap-and-trade funds fuel bullet train - - Hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s auctions of carbon emission credits are being tapped by the Brown administration to help finance the $68 billion high-speed rail project. The first-year installment, $250 million contained in the 2014-15 budget approved Sunday by the Legislature, will begin flowing to the bullet train beginning July 1. In subsequent years, a fourth of the auction money will go to the train. The budget requires the governor’s signature to take effect. <more> June 16, 2014 Capitol Weekly
  • Long-term money a big boost for California’s high-speed rail - - Gov. Jerry Brown scored a big win for California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project by persuading fellow Democrats to dedicate a steady future funding source for it in the state budget. The $108 billion 2014-15 general fund budget approved Sunday includes $250 million this year from the state’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions fund. More important to rail supporters is the promise of 25 percent of all future cap-and-trade revenue each year, which could eventually total $3 billion to $5 billion a year. <more> June 16, 2014 Los Angeles Daily News
  • FFA funding back in state budget - - State legislators passed a budget Sunday that includes $4.1 million for Future Farmers of America programs. The decision, which reflected broad bipartisan support, drew kudos from an array of agricultural and political leaders in Kings County. Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision in January to eliminate the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant from his budget proposal drew strong opposition in Hanford, Lemoore and Corcoran, all of which have strong FFA programs tied to the area’s strong agricultural economy. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Kings County residents submitted letters expressing support for the grant. <more> June 16, 2014 Hanford Sentinel
     

 

Environmental News

  • Pressure builds against EPA water proposal - - Proposed changes to the federal Clean Water Act have roiled farmers across the nation and created an uproar among many other water users—including cities and counties with parks and recreation areas, golf courses and local water agencies. If adopted, the proposed rule changes would expand the definition of "waters of the United States" to potentially allow federal agencies to regulate virtually every area of ground in the nation that gets wet or has flow during rainfall. <more> June 18, 2014 Ag Alert
  • CDFA Announces Available Funding for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103). An estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. <more> CDFA press release
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain - - It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms. Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over. According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production. There are, of course, mixed feelings about this trend, even among farmers themselves. <more> June 16, 2014 National Public Radio
  • After 75 years, Foster Farms remembers its path to success - - Foster Farms celebrated its 75th anniversary in the poultry business Monday, while reporting progress on salmonella concerns that made the last of those years a rough one. About 125 people turned out at the ranch west of Waterford where the late Max and Verda Foster founded the company in 1939; the exact date is unknown. Foster Farms has since become the top-selling poultry brand in the West. <more> June 16, 2014 Modesto Bee

     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Water News

  • Water bond floats toward November - - After months of negotiations to rewrite the controversial $11.14 billion water bond on California’s November ballot, a compromise has been reached on a $10.5 billion plan that includes $3 billion for reservoirs and groundwater storage, and $1 billion for groundwater cleanup in the L.A. basin. The big question is whether Gov. Brown will approve the deal — and so far he’s not saying. “Everybody is waiting for the governor to show his hand,” said Timothy Quinn of the Association of California Water Agencies. <more> June 16, 2014 Capitol Weekly
  • Drought spurs rush to drill - - Not surprisingly, the drought of 2014 has prompted residential and ag users to seek permits to drill more groundwater wells in the county this year even as most surface water supplies are at record lows. Tulare County Environmental Health department reports that by June 12, the County had permitted 731 new wells including 78 just this month so far. For all last year the County permitted 830 wells,513 in 2012 and 395 in 2011. Fears of lower groundwater levels and even sinking farm land has pushed the state legislature to call for state oversight on groundwater that could happen as soon as this year. <more> June 13, 2014 Visalia Times Delta
  • Twin Tunnels would spell disaster for California agriculture - - The controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, if implemented, would spell disaster for California agriculture, says University of the Pacific economist Jeffrey Michael. The massive, 40-foot in diameter twin water tunnels that are the reason more than $100 million has been spent on the BDCP plan could cost $67 billion, including interest on borrowed money, making the cost of any water the tunnels sent south of the Delta too costly for farming. Water for farming is the ostensible reason for the tunnels. <more> June 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
  • Drought Parches the West, but Americans Shrug It Off - - The severe drought parching states in the Southwest and West is undoubtedly causing hardships:The list includes higher prices for food and water, water-use restrictions, blazing wildfires and billions of dollars in lost productivity. But most people seem to be taking it in stride—even within drought states. A recent poll by the Los Angeles Times indicated that only 16 percent of those surveyed in California say it has personally affected them in a measurable way. That's despite the Golden State being in its third year of drought and in a state of emergency since January. <more> June 16, 2014 NBC news

     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Ben and Jerry's says goodbye to GMOs - - A Ben & Jerry's factory worker feeds chunks of chocolate-covered toffee into an augur, which funnels them into a stream of coffee-flavored ice cream. The newly blended confection is then dolloped into pint containers labeled "Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch." What's rolling off the production line in St. Albans is an old flavor with a new name and new ingredients as the iconic ice-cream maker transforms all of its 50 flavors to non-genetically modified ingredients and Fair Trade certification. "It's no longer Heath bar," notes Ben & Jerry's spokeswoman Kelly Mohr of the coffee crunch motoring through the automated assembly line in front of her. <more> June 15, 2014 USA Today
  • Kevin de León of Los Angeles elected leader of California Senate - - D emocratic state Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles was elected Monday by his peers to become the next president pro tem of the Senate and said his priorities as leader will include restoring public trust in the Legislature after a series of scandals. De León, 47, is scheduled to formally take over from the current leader, Sen. Darrell Steinberg, on Oct. 15, just before Steinberg leaves office. However, de León is immediately stepping in as the chief strategist over Democratic Senate campaigns for the November election in hopes of regaining a supermajority. <more> June 16, 2014 LA Times
  • State budget approved - - The citizens of California are very close to having a state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The Legislature on Sunday approved the $156.4 billion spending plan with a vote of 25-11 in the state Senate and 55-24 in the Assembly. In the Senate, Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, was the only Republican to vote in favor of the budget. <more> June 15, 2014 Central Valley Business Times

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • 2014 projected to be record year for milk prices - - Vermont dairy farmers were paid a record high price for their milk in April and prices remain strong, driven in part by international demand for U.S. dairy products. The extra income is allowing farmers to pay off debt, repair equipment and make other investments, following challenging years in 2012 and 2009. "We have some catching up to do," said Jacques Parent of Parent Family Farm in Highgate. The farm — which has about 700 cows that are milked — is revamping a few of its barns and making repairs and updates to tractors and trucks. <more> June 15, 2014 AP
  • Japan purchases more imported butter - - Japan will buy 25 tons of frozen butter from the U.S. and Belgium as the nation bulks up its supplies due to a shortfall in domestic production. New Zealand, however, will supply the lion’s share, at 4602.4 tons, on tenders selected by Japan’s Agriculture Livestock and Industry Corporation, a state trading enterprise, out of a total request for tenders for 7,000 tons. With 1,892.8 tons, Holland came out second. Other countries winning bids were Australia at 238.8 tons and Germany at 216 tons. <more> June 16, 2014 Capital Press
     

Environmental News

  • Salmon migrate by truck during California drought - - In drought-stricken California, young Chinook salmon are hitting the road, not the river, to get to the Pacific Ocean. Millions of six-month-old smolts are hitching rides in tanker trucks because California’s historic drought has depleted rivers and streams, making the annual migration to the ocean too dangerous for juvenile salmon. <more> June 15, 2014 AP
  • CDFA Announces Available Funding for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Senate Bill 103). An estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. <more> CDFA press release
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Fresno State breaks ground on ag research center - - Fresno State officials and donors broke ground today on the $24-million Jordan Research Center that will serve as a hub of collaboration to solve agricultural challenges. When complete in the fall of 2015, the 30,000 square-foot facility will feature wet and dry labs, lab support space and meeting areas in which students can study as well as collaborate on research projects. <more> June 13, 2014 The Business Journal
  • Modesto-area teachers draw lessons from farming - - The teachers did not flinch at the sight of a chicken being dissected, organs and all. They got out their phones and took pictures. About 20 of them took part this week in a Modesto-based program that aims to get the science behind farming and food processing into the classroom. They heard from experts on botany, livestock, water and other topics over four days. <more> June 13, 2014 Modesto Bee
  • The Milkman's Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More - - You don't even have to get out of your PJs to go to the farmers market now. All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike. Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered. But while we don't yet have the official government numbers on this trend, there's no doubt that bottled milk is once again showing up on stoops in the pre-dawn hours. <more> June 15, 2014 NPR
  • Texas has Beef with Chipotle Buying Australian - - The Texas agriculture commissioner on Monday aired a beef with Chipotle Mexican Grill and wants to talk with its founder after the company decided to import grass-fed beef from Australia. Commissioner Todd Staples in a letter dated Monday says it is "misguided" and "irresponsible" for Chipotle founder Steve Ells to believe that Australian meat is raised more responsibly than cattle in Texas, the nation's leading producer, or other states. Staples wrote he was "shocked" that Chipotle is getting beef from 8,000 miles away when there are producers galore in Texas. <more> June 16, 2014 AP

     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
  • Drought Assistance Workshops in Modesto and Tulare, July 8 and 9 - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering free drought assistance workshops in July to dairy producers in Modesto and Tulare. California is in the midst of one of the driest years since record keeping began in the 1800s. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop (agenda below) will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. Workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The first workshop will be held in conjunction with the UCCE Silage Day, Tuesday, July 8, 1 — 4 p.m. at Stanislaus County Agricultural Center Harvest Hall, ABC Room, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. For more info <click here>. Please contact Jennifer Heguy at 209-525-6800 to RSVP for lunch. The second workshop on Wednesday, July 9 from 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. will take place at Tulare County Agricultural Center UCCE Classroom, 4437 S. Laspina Street, Tulare. Please RSVP to Denise Mullinax at 209-525-6877 to guarantee lunch. June 16, 2014 CDQA news 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Water News

  • Calif. senior rights holders could be next to lose water - - Like many of his fellow California farmers and ranchers, Bruce Miller is worried about his water rights. Miller, owner of Miller Ranch in Shingletown, Calif., draws water from a nearby creek and stream with rights issued before 1914, when the state passed legislation that formalized its surface water permit system. He says he received a notice that the State Water Resources Control Board, which has issued stop-diversion orders to junior rights holders throughout the Central Valley, may consider curtailing senior and riparian rights, too, amid California’s crippling drought. <more> June 13, 2014 Capital Press
  • Lawsuit targets Delta water shipments - - Environmentalists sued Wednesday to block proposed water transfers from Northern California to the drought-plagued south San Joaquin Valley, arguing that the plan fails to protect the fragile Delta. Under the federal government's plan, willing sellers in the north would allow water to flow down the Sacramento River into the Delta, where the giant export pumps near Tracy would deliver it to southland farms, where very little water is available this summer. <more> June 12, 2014 Stockton Record
  • Drought Intensifies Push for Better California Groundwater Management - - Californians are becoming more reliant on underground water during the drought. But policymakers and environmental groups agree better management of the resource is needed. Vic Bruno’s home isn’t connected to a public water system. Like most rural homeowners in Madera County, his water comes from a deep hole in the ground. "It’s a three-quarter-inch pipe that goes all the way down 300 feet," he says. Bruno has lived here for 25 years. His ranch is also home to a whole gang of farm animals. So when his well started pumping up sand, he thought of them. <more> June 11, 2014 Capital Public Radio
  • Study: Valley uses highest share of groundwater - - The Central Valley pumped the most groundwater out of any region in the state, with the share even higher during dry years, a new study showed. According to the study by the Public Policy Institute of California, groundwater typically accounts for about 35 percent of the water used by California's farms and cities, 29 percent during the wettest years and 44 percent in the driest years. That's an average of about 15.2 million acre-feet a year compared to California's overall agriculture and urban water use of 42 million acre-feet. <more> June 12, 2014 The Business Journal
  • Can California Conserve Its Way Through Drought? - - As California enters the hottest months of the summer in the midst of a devastating drought, the state appears to be falling short of Governor Jerry Brown's calls for sweeping cuts in water use. In January, Brown declared a state of drought emergency and called on Californians to slash water consumption by 20 percent this year. Three months later, he stressed that "the driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse." Some municipalities still have a long way to go to hit the goal. <more> June 13, 2014 National Geographic
  • Valley Drought 2014: Citrus Trees Being Yanked Out - - Thousands of acres of almond trees have been dozed over on the Valley's Westside due to the drought and now the same thing is happening to citrus groves on the Eastside.  Thursday grower Lee Bailey watched as a bulldozer pushed over 12 acres of orange trees near Orange Cove. Bailey farms the grove for two nieces.  He says they pulled them out for a number of reasons.  "We've had to pick some lots with low production and this is some of them and we're pushing out two different blocks."  Bailey says they spent 100-thousand dollars for extra water and the gamble didn't pay off.  To make matters worse the oranges on the trees pushed out were frozen in October and the fruit wasn't good enough to be salvaged for juice.  <more> June 12, 2014 KMPH
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Immigration Reform Not Dead Yet - - Despite the primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and hysterical headlines this weed, immigration reform is not dead yet. About 15 dairy farmers from as many states met with Speaker of the House John Boehner Wednesday, just after news of Cantor’s defeat broke. Boehner’s message to the group: Relax. Immigration reform is still possible, he says, if dairy farmers and other reform proponents push hard for it. <more> June 13, 2014 Dairy Today

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • The FDA Retracts Its Stance on Aging Cheese on Wood Boards - - Good news for cheese lovers: On Wednesday night, the FDA, besieged by the outcry over a newly released document suggesting the agency would start banning cheese makers from aging their products on wooden boards, has walked its statement back. Way back. The agency first responded to the furor by stating that its position on wood had been on the books since the 1980s. Now it’s retracting even that assertion, effectively disavowing the staff member who issued what she called a “clarification” on the FDA’s position on the sanitary properties of wood. (In Wednesday’s statement, the FDA argued, “We recognize that the language used in this communication may have appeared more definitive than it should have.”) <more> June 12, 2014 San Francisco Gate
     

Environmental News

  • Farm groups: State should act deliberately on groundwater - - Drought-driven efforts to increase groundwater regulation in California feature a variety of studies, regulatory proposals and legislative solutions vying for attention. But agricultural experts told the state Board of Food and Agriculture last week there's great economic and environmental peril in hastily adopting rules that could come freighted with unintended consequences. During presentations before the board meeting in Sacramento, farm group representatives agreed a rigid, one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme would hinder—rather than help—sustainable storage and use of underground water. <more> June 11, 2014 Ag Alert
  • California seeing hottest year on record thus far - - Remember the 90-degree days in San Francisco last month? How about the triple digits inland this spring? According to a new federal climate report, those were anything but blips. California is baking in its hottest year on record. Temperatures between January and May averaged 5 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, a finding that federal scientists say is further indication that the planet is heating up - and posing greater risks for devastating wildfires, water shortages and rising sea levels. <more> June 13, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • CMAB Marketing Leadership Academy Applications due Wednesday, July 16 - - Applications are now being accepted for the California Milk Advisory Board’s Marketing Leadership Academy. The program provides a deep-dive into dairy marketing for California dairy producers so they can become productive, educated and experienced team members on the district committee or a co-op board or industry board. Any dairy producer in California who is interested in learning more about dairy marketing and willing to commit some time to become active members at the district level is encouraged to apply.  The first session will be July 7-8, 2014 in Modesto. The session will cover: CMAB 101 - who we are, how we fit into the dairy marketing function, marketing orders and an overview of CMAB’s marketing programs; advertising and marketing to include media training; and retail, foodservice and CMAB’s international activities. The second session will cover CMAB’s 5-year plan and dairy industry partners and affiliated organizations. Dates will be determined by the participants at the first session in August. Applications are due Wednesday, July 16, 2014. For information and application, please contact Kris Costa phone: 209.525.6882 or email: kcosta@cmab.net June 13, 2014 CMAB news
  • Coke loses labeling case, is Silk next? - - Coca-Cola sells many beverages to many people in many places. But, it will no longer be selling “Pomegranate Blueberry” made with 99 percent apple and grape juice. The case, brought on by Pom Wonderful, a drink with 100% juice combinations including pomegranate, was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court with a unanimous 8-0 decision (one justice didn’t take part in the case). Coca-Cola and industry partners fear that more litigation could be on the way for individual drink claims, even those approved by FDA. <more> June 13, 2014 Dairy Herd Management

     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Drought assistance on tap at Orland June 12 workshop - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering a free drought assistance workshop to northern California dairy producers on Thursday, June 12, in Orland. The workshop will be held at the Glenn County Farm Bureau Office 831 5th Street Orland, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is included. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. <more> May 30, 2014 WUD news
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
     

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Water News

  • Lawsuit targets Delta water shipments - - Environmentalists sued Wednesday to block proposed water transfers from Northern California to the drought-plagued south San Joaquin Valley, arguing that the plan fails to protect the fragile Delta. Under the federal government's plan, willing sellers in the north would allow water to flow down the Sacramento River into the Delta, where the giant export pumps near Tracy would deliver it to southland farms, where very little water is available this summer. <more> June 12, 2014 Stockton Record
     
  • Groundwater export plan raises ire of California farmers - - While some growers in Central California’s Merced County are none-too-thrilled with a proposal to export water to an adjacent county, others see the deal as vital to keep their permanent crops alive in a year where surface water is unavailable due to state and federal decisions. Permanent crop grower Jim Jasper, owner of Stewart and Jasper in Newman, Calif., says the need for water is paramount. He has trees to keep alive this year. <more> June 9, 2014 Western Farm Press
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Anger by U.S. farmers threatens ambitious Pacific trade pact - - U.S. farmers are in an uproar over signs Japan will maintain some barriers to agricultural exports under a Pacific trade pact, which threatens to unravel a deal that is central to U.S. efforts to retain economic and security influence in the region. Four years into Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, U.S. negotiators are fighting to balance the goal of total tariff elimination with the sensitivities of Japanese and American farmers and the needs of other trading partners. <more> June 10, 2014 Reuters
     
  • ‘Bully’ U.S. wrong to criticize Canada on trade, Ritz says - - Canada’s federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz lashed out at the U.S. for acting like a “schoolyard bully” on trade issues, and said he sees more promise in negotiating a bilateral deal with Japan than the more ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ritz, in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, also said it would take a “sea shift” for Canada to offer significantly more access to its protected dairy, egg and poultry industries. The Conservative minister’s comments highlight growing challenges to completing the TPP deal, which aims to lower trade barriers in member countries. <more> June 11, 2014 Reuters
     
  • Kevin McCarthy makes his move - - On June 19, Kevin McCarthy was scheduled to headline a birthday fundraiser for his friend Eric Cantor on the rooftop of 101 Constitution, a swank office building with sweeping views of the Capitol. Instead, that day will be all about McCarthy. It’s on that Thursday that McCarthy will run to replace Cantor as majority leader in a race that will reshape the House Republican leadership. <more> June 12, 2014 Politico
     
  • CDI Elects Executive Committee Officers - - At its May board meeting, the California Dairies, Inc. board of directors elected the executive committee officers for the 2014-2015 term. John Azevedo was re-elected to serve another year as chairman of the board. Azevedo has served as chairman since May 2013. Other directors elected to the executive committee include: John Moons, former second vice chairman, will serve as first vice chairman; John Bidart, former first vice chairman, will serve as second vice chairman; Edwin Koetsier will join the executive committee as secretary; BJ Schoneveld will join the executive committee as member-at-large; Manuel Machado was re-elected as treasurer; Brian Pacheco was re-elected as member-at-large. Executive committee elections take place each May and officers serve a one-year term. June 12, 2014 CDI news release

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Cheesemakers Sound Alarm Over FDA Stance on Wooden Shelves for Aging - - If headlines over the past 48 hours have been any indication, the world of artisanal cheesemaking has narrowly dodged a huge setback for the centuries-old practice of aging cheese on wooden shelves — at least for now. “Cheese World Fears Crackdown on Wood Boards,” stated one headline, while another asked, “Is the FDA Waging a War on Artisanal Cheese?” Another simply declared, “FDA Bans Wood Aging Boards for Cheese.” The truth, as it was fleshed out by Wednesday, is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) apparently has no plans to crack down on wooden shelves used for cheese aging, as cheesemongers had feared. <more> June 12, 2014 Food Safety News
     
  • Corn Prices Fall to Nearly 4-Month Low on Forecast for Record U.S. Crop - - Corn futures slumped to a nearly four-month low Wednesday after federal forecasters reiterated expectations for a record U.S. crop this autumn and projected higher-than-expected global stockpiles. In a closely watched monthly crop report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said favorable weather to begin this year's growing season prompted it to leave unchanged its forecast last month for corn output of 13.935 billion bushels. That would top last year's record crop of 13.925 billion bushels. <more> June 11, 2014 Wall Street Journal

     

Environmental News

  • EPA’s water rule takes bipartisan beating - - The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to redefine the scope of its authority over the nation’s waters drew a barrage of criticism Wednesday from House lawmakers accusing the agency on trampling on the rights of states and landowners. Deputy EPA Administrator Robert Perciasepe maintained the agecy's draft “Waters of the United States” rule unveiled earlier this year merely clarifies decades-old regulations governing which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction and permitting requirements. <more> June 11, 2014 The Hill
     
  • Deadline nears for California Leopold Conservation Award - - Sand County Foundation, California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are encouraging applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding natural resources stewardship and practice conservation leadership and outreach. But time is running out: Applications must be postmarked by July 11. <more> June 10, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     
  • Application period open for program designed to protect ag lands - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for Agricultural Land Easements through the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program. The ACEP, created through the 2014 federal Farm Bill, provides funding for conservation easements on agricultural land, including grasslands considered to be of special environmental significance. ALE funds are provided to eligible entities to purchase conservation easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of privately owned land. Crop land, range land, grasslands, pasture land and nonindustrial private forest land are all eligible. <more> May 9, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

 

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • USDA and Farm Bureau Co-host Meetings to Answer Farm Bill Questions - - The new 2014 Farm Bill brought changes in conservation, commodity programs, crop insurance, rural development programs, loans, disaster programs, energy opportunities and much more. Many of these changes will take full effect in fiscal year 2015, beginning October 1, 2014.  Interested farmers, ranchers, agencies and organizations are welcome to attend workshops to hear about these and other Farm Bill changes from four USDA agencies.  Most of the workshops will be devoted to answering questions and providing one-on-one assistance to attendees. The June workshops will be held in Yuba City on June 24th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the Farm Bureau 475 Palora Ave and Fresno on June 25th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Farm Bureau 1274 W Hedges Ave. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and Rural Development will be available to discuss new, broadened and ongoing program opportunities and new eligibility requirements. June 10, 2014 NRCS media release
     
  • Drought assistance on tap at Orland June 12 workshop - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering a free drought assistance workshop to northern California dairy producers on Thursday, June 12, in Orland. The workshop will be held at the Glenn County Farm Bureau Office 831 5th Street Orland, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is included. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. <more> May 30, 2014 WUD news
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
     

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Water News

  • MID board balks at paying owners for well water - - The board of the Modesto Irrigation District balked Tuesday at paying private well owners to pump water into canals, but it did approve another plan for stretching the tight supply. Directors voted 4-0, with Nick Blom absent, to allow well owners to pump into nearby canals in exchange for an extra water allocation from the MID system, supplied mainly by the Tuolumne Rver. The idea is to keep as much as possible in Don Pedro Reservoir in case 2015 brings a fourth year of drought. <more> June 10, 2014 Modesto Bee
     
  • Dueling Drought Strategies: Save More Water or Store More Water - - There’s no doubt that in California, water is in short supply this year. How to avoid the same situation when the next drought descends is, on the other hand, a matter of debate. Two competing camps have emerged about how to boost California’s water supplies during dry times: conserve more water or build more water storage. While California has pursued both strategies in the past, two new reports released Tuesday make differing cases for how the state should spend limited resources to solve California’s water woes. <more> June 10, 2014 KQED
     
  • Water-saving techniques should be taught to farmers, study urges - - Farmers need to be more water efficient, and government funds should be used to help train them how, according to a new study. If California approves a water bond, the study’s authors want part of it to pay for “farmer outreach, education and assistance programs for on-farm water-use best management practices.” “Beyond the Irrigation District: Investing in On-Farm Water Stewardship for California’s Future” was released this week by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the California Climate and Agriculture Network. <more> June 10, 2014 Modesto Bee
     
  • The 'Deepest Straw Wins' in Central Valley Scramble for Groundwater - - During a normal year, 30 percent of the water Californians consume comes from groundwater. This year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says groundwater will account for 60 percent. The drought, the increased reliance on groundwater and the patchwork system of groundwater management in California is creating a scramble for water in the San Joaquin Valley. Farmers are seeing unprecedented reductions in their allotments to surface water. Homeowners are watching their private wells run dry. <more> June 10, 2014 Capital Public Radio

     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Eric Cantor loss kills immigration reform - - Immigration reform is almost certainly dead on Capitol Hill this year. Many top sources close to the issue privately acknowledged after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat Tuesday night that the already uphill battle for immigration reform was dealt the knockout blow. Coming off President Barack Obama’s re-election, immigration reform was seen as an issue both parties could deal with quickly. Democrats wanted to deliver on promises made to their Latino backers and Republicans wanted to get the issue off the table to avoid reliving the electoral demographic nightmare of 2012. <more> June 10, 2014 Politico

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Record U.S. ag exports predicted in 2014 - - During fiscal year 2014, agricultural exports will reach $149.5 billion, a new record for American agricultural exports, according to a recent USDA report. The Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report says the growth comes from rising prices, which have driven export numbers in the past, but will come from an increase in the volume of U.S. agricultral exports, too, which is projected to jump by 31 percent over 2013. Fiscal years 2009 to 2013 represent the strongest five years in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $619 billion over those five years. <more> June 4, 2014 Farm Press
     
  • F.D.A. Rule May Alter Cheese-Aging Process - - A decision by the Food and Drug Administration to question the use of wooden planks to age some cheeses has produced a stink that rivals Limburger, prompting an uproar among the artisanal cheese makers and consumers who fear they might lose access to products like obscure blue cheeses from Vermont and imported Parmigiano-Reggiano. <more> June 10, 2014 New York Times
     
  • Complete Coverage of June 11 USDA Reports <here> June 11, 2014 Dairy Today

     

Environmental News

  • Deadline nears for California Leopold Conservation Award - - Sand County Foundation, California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are encouraging applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding natural resources stewardship and practice conservation leadership and outreach. But time is running out: Applications must be postmarked by July 11. <more> June 10, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     
  • Bureau of Reclamation sued over water transfers - - The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is being sued by two environmental groups over what they say are the bureau’s inadequate disclosure, avoidance of impacts, and mitigation of major water transfers from the Sacramento Valley through the Delta to the San Joaquin Valley. The Bureau proposes to transfer up to 175,226 acre-feet of Central Valley Project surface water to San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority. As much as 116,383 acre-feet of that water may be in the form of groundwater, the lawsuit says. <more> June 11, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
     
  • Environmentalists warn of urgent water shortage - - Environmentalists rang the alarm bell Tuesday over the state’s water warnings, saying unless changes are made soon water taps may run dry. They offered specific actions to realize the untapped potential for more water. <more> June 10, 2014 KTVU
     
  • Application period open for program designed to protect ag lands - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for Agricultural Land Easements through the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program. The ACEP, created through the 2014 federal Farm Bill, provides funding for conservation easements on agricultural land, including grasslands considered to be of special environmental significance. ALE funds are provided to eligible entities to purchase conservation easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of privately owned land. Crop land, range land, grasslands, pasture land and nonindustrial private forest land are all eligible. <more> May 9, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • Got milk? From a cow or a plant? - - Just a few years ago, the term “milk” was synonymous with the stuff that came from cows. But now, the dairy market is awash in plant-based alternatives, made from soy, rice, almonds, coconut and hemp, driven largely by consumers’ hunger for low-calorie, low-sugar, lactose-free companions for their morning cereal and coffee. Milk alternatives control just  eight percent of overall milk sales in the United States, but for the past few years, they’ve represented the fastest-growing part of the dairy market, according to Mintel, Inc., a Chicago-based research firm. Sales of milk alternatives rose to nearly $2 billion in 2013, up 30 percent since 2011, driven in large part by the popularity of almond milk. <more> June 10, 2014 Washington Post
     
  • The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School - - Given the current uproar over new federal rules aimed at getting schoolchildren to eat more healthfully, you might think fast food was an endangered species on the cafeteria line. But Domino’s is delivering a pizza it calls the Smart Slice to more than 3,000 lunchrooms in 38 states, up from 3 states in 2010. And one force driving those sales is the new rules themselves. These pies contain fewer of the worrisome ingredients found in regular pizzas. But they also give the students a hefty dose of marketing for the Domino’s brand, and many other companies are following the same path to the lunchroom. <more> June 10, 2014 The New York Times
     
  • ‘Pestaurants’ lure adventurous foodies – from National Public Radio - - If you’re a scientist and you work for a pest control company, you’re used to thinking about bugs as the enemy you’re trained to kill. Now try putting one in your mouth. It took some mental rearranging for Nancy Troyano, an entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control. But on Wednesday she did it for the first time in her life. “I’m used to looking at grasshoppers under a microscope,” Troyano tells The Salt. “I know what their internal organs and the spines on their legs look like, so I was kind of thinking about them.” <more> June 11, 2014 CDFA Planting Seeds blog
     
  • Celebrate National Dairy Month - - June is National Dairy Month. Initially it was stared to help promote drinking milk and has now changed into a celebration for the contributions made to the world by the dairy industry. National Dairy Month is a great way to kick start the summer by consuming nutrient-rich dairy foods. <more> June 11, 2014 Dairy Today


     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Drought assistance on tap at Orland June 12 workshop - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering a free drought assistance workshop to northern California dairy producers on Thursday, June 12, in Orland. The workshop will be held at the Glenn County Farm Bureau Office 831 5th Street Orland, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is included. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. <more> May 30, 2014 WUD news
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news
     
     

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Water News

  • Northern California leaders frame their position on water bond - - Cynical observers of California politics sometimes assume the real reason for a new statewide water bond is to pay for projects that take water from the north and ship it south. But on Monday, a number of Northern California leaders made it clear they are prepared to support a water bond for the November ballot – under certain conditions. About three dozen politicians and water managers representing the North State Water Alliance convened on the Capitol steps Monday to outline for lawmakers five general principles they believe must guide a water bond. They were joined by several collaborators from environmental and business groups. <more> June 10, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water? - - Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200. Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away. The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder. <more> June 10, 2014 Valley Public Radio
     

State/Federal News and Politics

  • Poll: Wide Agreement on Immigration, but Not a Priority - - Support for immigration legislation that includes a chance for citizenship for illegal immigrants remains strong, but the issue is not a priority for most voters, a new poll finds. “Given how polarized our current political environment is, one of the things that stands out is this is a major issue in the country where there is actual agreement across partisan and religious lines. That’s something exceedingly rare in the country today,” said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group that conducted the survey with the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. <more> June 10, 2014 The Wall Street Journal
  • Business Heads Urge Action on Immigration - - Some of the nation's leading businesses are prodding lawmakers to act on immigration legislation as the issue enters a critical phase on Capitol Hill. In a letter to be released Tuesday, the chief executives of Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Loews Hotels, Tyson Foods, Cargill and a half-dozen other national and regional companies write that without action to overhaul ineffective immigration laws and allow lower-skilled workers into the country legally, their businesses cannot ensure the workforce they need. <more> June 9, 2014 AP
  • FDA Puts An End To American Artisanal Cheese - - A sense of disbelief and distress is quickly rippling through the U.S. artisan cheese community, as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced it will not permit American cheesemakers to age cheese on wooden boards. <more> June 8, 2014 RealFarmacy.com
  • White House threatens veto of agricultural appropriations bill - - Citing concerns over school nutrition, potatoes in the WIC program, and a number of other elements of H.R. 4800, the 2015 agricultural appropriations bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House issued a strongly worded veto threat. <more> June 10, 2014 Agri-Pulse

     

Pricing/Commodity News

  • Soybean Farmers See Rally Ending on Record U.S. Harvest - - Production in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, will jump 10 percent this year to an all-time high of 3.631 billion bushels, and inventories before the 2015 harvest will be double a year earlier, a Bloomberg survey of 25 analysts showed. Macquarie Group Ltd. said soybeans may drop 15 percent to $10.50 a bushel, cutting feed costs for cattle, hog and poultry producers that are boosting output because of high meat prices. <more> June 10, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Foreign dairy firms aim to open Japan - - New Zealand’s biggest dairy product maker Fonterra will join hands with the U.S. dairy industry to urge Japan and Canada to take drastic market-opening measures, a company executive said. “We’ll align with the U.S. dairy industry” and push for “ambitious market access into Japan and Canada” by breaking high-tariff barriers and also nontariff barriers in these markets, Fonterra Vice President Fiona Hutchinson said Thursday at a symposium in Washington. <more> June 7, 2014 The Japan News
  • China stops issuing import permits for U.S. distillers grains -trade - - Quarantine authorities in China have stopped issuing permits for the import of distillers dried grains (DDGs) from top exporter the United States due to the presence in some shipments of an unapproved genetically-modified organism (GMO), traders said. Authorities have also asked buyers to re-export earlier shipments that contained MIR 162, a GMO strain developed by Syngenta AG that has not been approved for import by China's agriculture ministry. <more> <more> June 9, 2014 Reuters (Beijing)
  • California Class I Milk Prices Inch Up 3 Cents - - The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the state’s July Class I milk prices this afternoon at $25.13 per hundredweight for the north and $25.40 for the south. Both are up 3 cents from June and $5.54 above July 2013. The northern average now stands at $24.62, up from $19.82 at this time a year ago and $17.79 in 2012. The southern Class I average is now at $24.89, up from $20.09 a year ago and $18.06 in 2012. The Federal order Class I base price is announced by USDA on June 18. June 10, 2014 Dairy Business Update
  • CWT Sends More Dairy Products Packing - - Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 12 requests for export assistance today from Dairy Farmers of America and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 2.138 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, 440,925 pounds of butter (82% butterfat) and 1.250 million pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, South America and North Africa. The product will be delivered through November and raises CWT’s 2014 cheese exports to 56.403 million pounds, plus 46.725 million pounds of butter and 12.022 million pounds of whole milk powder to 40 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.651 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. June 10, 2014 Dairy Business Update

 

Environmental News

  • House spending bill targets EPA’s water jurisdiction rule - - House Republicans’ proposal to fund energy and water programs for fiscal 2015 would block funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction over water pollution. The $34 billion bill unveiled Monday prohibits the Army Corps from using any funds to “develop, adopt, implement, administer or enforce any change to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.” <more> June 10, 2014 The Hill
  • Ag groups want more time on clean water proposal - - An Environmental Protection Agency proposal that would broaden its authority over “navigable waters” to “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act is now in its public comment period, with ag groups calling for more time to dissect the nearly 400 pages of changes. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers contend the proposed change “clarifies” protection for streams and wetlands and does not protect any “new types of waters” that have not been covered historically. But ag organizations aren’t buying it, saying it will give EPA broad and congressionally unintended authority over waters and land uses, particularly on farms and ranches. <more> June 9, 2014 Capital Press
  • EPA extends water rule comment period - - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on its controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule to October 20th. The comment period was scheduled to end July 21st. The rule would expand the number of waterways subject to pollution controls under the federal Clean Water Act. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), one of several ag groups that had requested an extension, says it is pleased with the EPA’s decision. <more> June 10, 2014 Brownfield Ag News
  • Application period open for program designed to protect ag lands - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for Agricultural Land Easements through the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program. The ACEP, created through the 2014 federal Farm Bill, provides funding for conservation easements on agricultural land, including grasslands considered to be of special environmental significance. ALE funds are provided to eligible entities to purchase conservation easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of privately owned land. Crop land, range land, grasslands, pasture land and nonindustrial private forest land are all eligible. <more> May 9, 2014 The Sacramento Bee
  • USDA announces new landmark conservation initiatives - - USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy. <more> May 1, 2014 NRCS
  • California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees - - Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. <more> April 9, 2014 Dairy Today

interestStories of Interest
 


 
  • June Dairy Month holds long History - - June Dairy Month, an annual tradition developed to celebrate the dairy industry and its many contributions to our society, originated in 1937. During its first two years, 1937 and 1938, it was called National Milk Month and ran from June 10 to July 10. The 1937 event, sponsored by chain stores, was given the theme "Keep Youthful - Drink Milk." Originally supported by the National Dairy Council (NDC), June Dairy Month was established to help stabilize dairy demand during periods of peak production when cows were turned out to pasture. To assist in that effort, NDC provided promotional materials to the 6,300 stores participating. <more> June 9, 2014 Dairy Herd Management
     

Meetings of Interest to CA Dairy Industry

  • Drought assistance on tap at Orland June 12 workshop - - The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is offering a free drought assistance workshop to northern California dairy producers on Thursday, June 12, in Orland. The workshop will be held at the Glenn County Farm Bureau Office 831 5th Street Orland, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is included. With short water supplies, dairy producers and farmers are faced with tough planning decisions regarding which crops to grow and the impacts the drought will have on crop yield and quality. Expert presenters at this free workshop will provide helpful information for managing dairy crops, with a focus on maximizing forage quantity and quality under drought conditions. <more> May 30, 2014 WUD news
  • UCCE Silage Day in Modesto - Tuesday, July 8 - - UCCE will hold a Silage Day in the Harvest Hall, Stanislaus Ag Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto. The event is free to attend. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for lunch and handouts. To register call (209) 525-6800 or email jmheguy@ucdavis.edu. The event program begins at 10:00 a.m. with "Are You Paying Too Much for Corn Silage?" by Jennifer Heguy, UCCE Dairy Farm Advisor – Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Other sessions include "California Corn Silage Piles –Adventures in Measuring Real Shrink" by Dr. Peter Robinson, UCCE Dairy Nutrition Specialist; "Silage Management Practices on California Dairies" by Dr. Noelia Silva-del-Rio, UCCE Dairy Production Medicine Specialist; and a grower and custom harvester panel on "Keys to Planning for a Successful Harvest". A CDQAP Drought Meeting will be held after lunch. UCCE news

Monday, June 9, 2014

Water News

  • Fuller, Vidak stand with citrus growers in calli