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NODPA Needs YOU

NODPA depends on the memberships of farmers, consumers and businesses for support of all its efforts--regionally and in Washington--on behalf of the organic dairy farmers.

If you're an organic dairy farmer, consider one of the following: a milk check-off membership or an annual newsletter membership or choose your own level of annual dues to support NODPA. Learn more >

If you're a business
, consider our high-value business membership.

If you're an interested consumer or educator, look into our associate membership.

You can now make easy, secure online credit card payments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NODPA’s Mission:

To enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the well being of the organic dairy industry as a whole.

Please share our website!

NODPA NEWS & NOTES

Payprice Summary Chart: 2006 to 2013

Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.

Organic Milk, Pay,
Retail and Feed Prices May 2017

Added May 31, 2017.

The latest USDA AMS national data reports total organic milk products sales for March 2017 were 231 million pounds, up 8% from the previous March.  January-March 2017 sales are up 2.7% from January-March 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for March 2017, 89 million pounds, were up 17.4% compared with March last year and up 10.6%, January-March compared with the same period of 2016.

Pay prices are tumbling and all transitioning dairies are being told to wait for a year before they can transition.

Feed & Pay Price May 2017

Check Out All The Businesses Supporting NODPA's Work

Over 20 businesses have signed up for our business membership directory, helping support our newsletter, web site, advocacy work, and more. Check them out.

5 Ways You
Can Support NODPA

Ten years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2014 NODPA is the only organization whose mission is to represent the interest of organic dairy producers no matter who they sell their milk to.

Click here for a summary of the many ways you can support NODPA and the farmers it represents.

Recent Classifieds

For full classifieds, click here.

Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >

Animals

7 Normande heifers - 1 fresh and 6 due summer/fall. NOFA-NY certified.
Added July 1, 2017
Name: Scott & Traci Laing
Email: Tracilaing@aol.com
Phone: 315-261-2212
Location: Potsdam, NY

18 Certified Organic Milking cows, 9 Holstein and 9 Cross bred, 55+,$1800 OBO, Call Eric!
Added May 16, 2017.
Name: Eric Evans
Email: eecowman@yahoo.com
Phone: 801.430.2738
Location: Lancaster, PA

FOR SALE: 56 Milking Cows,14 Pregnant Dry Cows, 36 Heifer Calves(Avg Age 6 Months), 12 Bull Calves(Avg Age 8 months). Mainly Jersey/Holstein Crosses. All certified organic and 100% grass fed. Alabama. Jonny (334)726-3204. Added May 12, 2017.
Name: Jonny de Jong
Email: jonny@workingcowsdairy.com
Phone: 334-726-3204
Location: Slocomb, Alabama

Forage and Grains

2017 4 x 4 wrapped hay bales, certified organic. $40.00 per bale, will load. Call 802-254-6982, leave a message. Added July 1, 2017.
Name: Phillip Cutting
Email: neros75@comcast.net
Phone: 802-254-6982
Location: Guilford, Vermont

CERTIFIED ORGANIC HAY and FORAGES
Added June 14, 2017.

Are you planning for your 2017 hay needs? Order your 2nd/3rd cutting now … Marz Farm is offering the following products:

- Small square bales: 1st cutting $4.00 per bale or $220 ton; 2nd/3rd cutting $5.00 bale or $275 ton
- Large square bales (3' x 3' x 7'): 1st cutting $60.00 bale or $180 ton; 2nd/3rd cutting $80 bale or $250 ton
- Bedding or mulch hay large: at $35 bale or small at $2.50 bale
- Balage bales: 1st or 2nd cutting at $50 a bale
- Dry round bales: Custom orders only

All square bale hay is stored in doors. Forage tests will be available. Quantity discounts. We ship throughout the country and have multiple delivery quantities available or pickup at the farm. Free samples.

Located in NY Southern Tier between Binghamton and Ithaca, Tioga County. Contact Tony Marzolino: 607-657-8534 farm, 315-378-5180 cell, or tmarzolino@yahoo.com

Marz Farm
3624 Wilson Creek Rd
Berkshire, NY 13736
www.marzfarm.com

NOFA-NY Certified Organic SEED - OATS and CLOVER. Cleaned and bagged on farm. $10/bushel for Oats, $3.25/# for Clover. Call Jeff @ 607-566-8477 or email at Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com.
Added May 10, 2017.

For Sale: NOFA-NY Certified Organic Feed -- BALEAGE (1st clover, Oatlage, 2nd grass mix, grass/alfalfa mix), Heifer HAY, and BEDDING. Also for sale -- Hesston BP25 TUB GRINDER, NI 40' Hay ELEVATOR, JD 494A & 1240 CORN PLANTERS. Call Jeff (Mitchell Farm - Avoca, NY - Steuben County) @ 607-566-8477 or email Mitchellorganics@hotmail.com. Added April 14, 2017.

Employment

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC in Binghamton NY is Hiring

Added June 27, 2017.


Dairy Certification Coordinator Assistant
Salary:
up to $30K depending on experience

Primary responsibilities include providing administrative support to the Dairy Certification Coordinator to ensure the timely intake and flow of certification applications through the entire certification process. Key duties include assisting with phones, emails, letter writing, data input, and deadline management.

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to: Lori@nofany.org.

NOFA-NY is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Seeking proficient equipment operator for plowing, harrowing, mowing, raking, tedding, bailing. Salary comensurate with experience. Call 802-497-4290.
Added May 31, 2017.
Name: Tanya Nuzzo
Email: tanyaworkman@icloud.com
Phone: 802-497-4290
Location: Jeffersonville, VT

Organic Dairy Farm Manager sought for startup grass only dairy operation in Livingston, NY. 40+ cow herd, growing up to 140 milking. Competitive salary, benefits and profit-share on milking operation. Application review begins 6/1. Applications taken until filled. Flexible start date late summer or fall 2017. www.dirtpartners.com
Added May 1, 2017.

Events

For additional information on the events below, click here.

August 11-13, 2017
Cultivating the Organic Grassroots Movement: the 2017 NOFA Summer Conference
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

August 15, 2017
U of MN Organic Dairy Day
West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy 329 Morris, MN 56267

September 27 to 29, 2017 SAVE THE DATE
The 2017 Grassfed Exchange
The Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY

September 28-29, 2017-SAVE THE DATE
NODPA Field Days
Truxton Community Center, Truxton, NY

Program information will be available soon online and in the May NODPA News. The Farm Tour will be at Kirk and Kathy Arnold’s Twin Oak Dairy, Truxton, NY. For Sponsorship and Trade Show information, contact Nora Owens, noraowens@comcast.net or 413-772-0444.


Featured Farm:
Green Wind Farm, Fairfield, VT

Green Wind Farm, Fairfield, Vermont is located 50 miles northeast of Fairfield, VT and is owned and operated by Julie Wolcott and Steve MacCausland. It is a farm with a total of 300 acres which produces 6,000 small square bales of hay, 2,000 gallons of Maple Syrup, and has a Somatic Cell Count of 52,000. They started shipping to Stonyfield Farm on January 22, 2017. To read the full article, please go to:

ff_may_2017.shtml


Added May 31, 2017

CowSignals: A Successful Approach
to Putting the Focus on Barn Design and Management on the Cow

One of the best pieces of advice I had from an old Yorkshire, England farmer when I was starting out in farming 47 years ago, was “It is the eye of the farmer that fattens the beast.” With the usual self-righteousness of youth, I dismissed that advice in favor of the benefits of free stall farms with electronic feeders and zero-grazing of grass to save the pasture from being poached. In the age of robotic milking, when we have a full download of cow information on our cell phones and cow pedometers that will tell us how far our cows have travelled in a day, the low stress management system known as CowSignals reintroduces the skills of observation and analysis of the dairy herd by the farmer. These skills were once inherited and are now taught with a more formal approach under the CowSignals program. Jack Rodenburg will be the keynote speaker at the 17th Annual NODPA Field Days where he will lead a lively, hands-on session on CowSignals training. For more details on the program please read the full article by Jack Rodenburg and Joep Driessen at:

production_health_cowSignals_05-31-2017.shtml

Is my milk organic?

The egregious abuses of the organic certification process, with the access to pasture regulation and the importation of organic grain, were again part of an expose by the national media. While the Organic Trade Association, the USDA, and multinational conglomerates have been pushing equivalence agreements and recognition of government accreditation with an increasing number of individual countries and the European Union, they have failed to invest in systems to protect the integrity of the organic seal. Their boasts about the growth of organic sales from $13 billion in 2005 to $43 billion in 2015, which includes $1.2 billion in imports, fail to take into account the inadequate increase in support staff to maintain the integrity of the seal. There are only ten employees within the NOP Compliance & Enforcement Division ensuring compliance from eighty-two certifiers, 61,682 certified entities and $43 billion dollars in organic sales. The NOP budget has been level funded since 2014 at $9 million, which is 0.021% of organic sales. Yet they are still expanding international equivalency agreements. This rookie business mistake, of outgrowing your support infrastructure, has been instrumental in undermining the US organic producers market and threatens the long-term consumer belief in the organic seal.

If NOP is not policing organic integrity, then who will? It has become increasingly obvious that the NOP is not up to the job of policing certifiers nationally and internationally, as demonstrated by these egregious mistakes made repeatedly by the State of Colorado and importers. Do state certifiers have the capacity and will to enforce standards in the face of political and economic pressure? Experience shows that is not the case. NOP has repeatedly ignored fully implementing continuous oversight of their accreditation activities. The trade organizations do not want the job of policing their members. They haven’t come out and condemned those members that obviously are breaking the rules.

The certifier is the first line of defense but their capacity and interpretation of regulations vary dramatically in some cases. Following NOP approval, some certifiers allow porches for poultry; others don’t. Some certifiers allow hydroponics; others don’t. Certifiers interpret the Origin of Livestock very differently which allows a continuous transition in the expansion of organic dairy herds. Do we need a scorecard of certifiers that the consumer can check on and a requirement that the name of the certifier is on the label? There needs to be a change in NOP priorities in order for them to do the accreditation work. If they don’t, the public and producers will move onto other certifications.

Except

The words of NODPA President and organic dairy farmer in “I am an organic dairy farmer and I want to tell my story,’ very clearly tells the consumer how they can trust organic and where producers stand.

in_liz-bawden-story-053117.shtml

Save the Date
for the 2017 NODPA Field Days

Embracing Change in Organic Dairy: 17th Annual NODPA Field Days: September 28 & 29, 2017 at the Truxton Community Center, Truxton, NY

Resilience: perhaps the best word to describe farmers. These days, with so many unpredictable patterns, be it weather, global competition, new technology or milk supply, organic dairy farmers need to be more resilient than ever. The 17th Annual NODPA Field Days program will spotlight education and strategies so organic dairy farm families will be well positioned to embrace these challenges. Whether it’s preparing for the health of your farm’s soil, the infrastructure changes at the farm, or the diversi-fication of your crops to manage unpredictable weather patterns, we will be addressing these topics and much more.

If you are interested in sponsorship and trade show opportunities, please contact Nora Owens, NODPA Field Days Coordinator at noraowens@comcast.net or by phone, 413-772-0444. She will be able to send you information and answer all of your ques-tions. More information and registration forms will be available online and in the July NODPA News. For more information about the program and speakers, please go to:

Field Days 2017 Overview

Record retail sales of organic milk as pay price drops

The latest USDA AMS national data reports total organic milk products sales for March 2017 were 231 million pounds, up 8% from the previous March.  January-March 2017 sales are up 2.7% from January-March 2016. Total organic whole milk products sales for March 2017, 89 million pounds, were up 17.4% compared with March last year and up 10.6%, January-March compared with the same period of 2016.

Pay prices are tumbling and all transitioning dairies are being told to wait for a year before they can transition. Organic Valley announced further drops in price with their $1/cwt “inventory management deduction” that went into effect May 1st, and will continue “until conditions warrant otherwise.”  This is on top of the $1 deduction for the spring flush milk surplus in May, June and July and the $2/cwt price reduction last year. The Organic Valley quota which is based on the active base, except for those producing less than 270,000 pounds, grassmilk producers and ‘foundational loads’, went into effect 3/1/17, with the $20 deduct for any milk over the quota volume.  In addition, Organic Valley “strongly request(s)” that members voluntarily reduce production.  Some OV producer owners are now reflecting back on Organic Valley’s knowingly taking on another 400 new members a couple years ago despite record low conventional milk prices that were forecast to continue for the long term.  Organic Valley has also posted a $9.3 million loss on an increase in sales of 5.3% for their first quarter.

Other buyers in the northeast are dropping pay price, including Upstate which has dropped its Market Adjustment Premium by $2 as of April 1st. Maple Hill has dropped its price by $2 for May & June milk.  Maple Hill is giving financial incentives to its producers to reduce milk with payments to cull cows, raise calves on cows, and other production practices.  DanoneWave (WhiteWave/Horizon) has asked for a volume reduction of 3-4% and has dropped its pay price.  We saw this in 2009, and the same is happening again. The answer has always been more attention to supply management which producers have been requesting for the last ten years, rather than rapidly expanding gross sales. DanoneWave appears to have paid better attention to that than CROPP. For more details and charts please go to:

Feed & Payprice May

Anatomy of a Rare, or perhaps not so Rare, Drought in New York

It is clear from the results of this informal Extension survey that NY farmers were seriously affected by the short-term drought that occurred in the summer of 2016. The severely hot, dry, sunny weather stressed many crops and led to extensive crop yield loss due to farmers’ lack of irrigation equipment, water, and time. Most of the farmers surveyed said they would like better seasonal weather forecasting so they could begin taking steps earlier in the season to prepare for drought. Many farmers indicated that they are highly motivated to expand irrigation capacity, but finding the capital to do this is a major constraint.

Farmer adaptation could be facilitated by policies that reduced the investment risk for farmers, such as low-cost loans. Since climate projections indicate this type of drought will likely occur more frequently in the Northeast in the future, it is important to understand how famers can adapt and better prepare for future drought risk, as well as to understand what organizations such as Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension can do to provide the help farmers need to sustain both farm productivity and water resources across NY State. Dr. David Wolfe, co-author of this report, will focus on how farmers can be better prepared as climate changes when he speaks at the 17th Annual NODPA Field Days. To read the full report, please go to:

in_NY-drought_053117.shtml

Organic Farmers, Consumers Call for USDA to Reject Organic Checkoff with comments to USDA

The No Organic Checkoff Coalition submitted to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA) a list of 1,888 signatories to a petition urging the agency to reject a proposal to create a new “research and promotion” program, also called an organic checkoff program. The Coalition also submitted a letter opposing the checkoff signed by more than 60 organic organizations asking for the USDA to end the checkoff proposal. Two Coalition partners submitted petitions with a total of 19,592 signatures to stop the checkoff. The coalition represents 31 organizations and more than 6,000 organic farmers from the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States.

NODPA submitted over 17 pages of comments  in opposition to the proposed organic checkoff under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (the Act) and many other organizations submitted detailed comments against the proposed rule.  Over 2000 individuals have written unique individualized letters to the USDA documenting why they oppose the checkoff.
All organic producers need to recognize that as soon as an organic checkoff is established, we will lose the ability to be exempt from paying into checkoffs. The choice would be either paying into an organic checkoff or a conventional one.

The timeline for any decision by USDA on what happens with the organic checkoff is unpredictable. The only prediction is that a decision to move forward or not will take the USDA many months, perhaps over a year to complete the process. We will keep everyone updated on the process and subsequent actions and in the interim, folks can find more information at www.noorganiccheckoff.com.  


Added April 11, 2017

Federal Mandated Checkoff:

No more procrastinating –
we need your comment now

Stop the organic check off program (a Tax) by commenting on the Proposed Rule before April 19th

The OTA’s proposed organic checkoff now translated into a Proposed Rule by USDA is impractical, invasive, bureaucratic, inequitable, undemocratic and ineffective. Comment now to stop the process and the historic division of the organic community. OTA must withdraw their divisive proposal now so we can all work together to protect and grow organic in these tough political times.

The following bulleted points highlight the problems with this rule and can be used in your comments: 

  • Tell USDA you will vote against the checkoff if there is a referendum.
  • One vote per certificate holder - Producers will have to pay a poll tax to qualify to vote – assess all certificate holders to give everyone a vote.
  • You have no confidence in the management, transparency and effectiveness of checkoff programs - putting the word “Organic” in the title of the program does not change the historic and well documented restrictive guidelines, heavy bureaucracy, and lack of accountability and cost of administration of these programs.
  • I think organic is the gold standard and want to say that – the checkoff will not be allowed to say it for me.
  • The method of assessment does not reflect the economics of organic family farms – the definition of organic inputs do not reflect organic production methods, which are based on feeding the soil and building the nutrient value of the soil to increase yield and profitability, not buying inputs.
  • The payment of assessment will not be equal and fair across the organic supply chain - Walmart will not pay any assessments – their co-packers will have to, which will drive down the price paid to producers as retailers have more leverage over price in the market.
  • USDA use of the term ‘de minimis quantity of the commodity’ to exclude 76% of organically certified producers and 12% of the dollar value of organic production is unacceptable.
  • I support the continuation of the exemption for organic producers and handlers that are part of a conventional checkoff – establishing an organic checkoff will end that exemption – I trust organic certificate holders to invest their own money in programs to promote agricultural research and a fair pay price for producers and handlers that will increase acreage under organic production.

Description: checkoff-supporters-040617SUBMIT COMMENTS TO USDA TODAY TO STOP THE CHECKOFF - THE DEADLINE IS APRIL 19

Submit Online: http://bit.ly/organicTAX  (link to Federal comment site)

Mail comments:
Promotion & Economics Div., Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Rm 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, D.C. 20250-0244

Fax comments: (202) 205-2800

For analysis on the organic checkoff, please go to:

in_checkoff-stop-032317.shtml

For ideas on raising money for organic research, please go to:

Alternatives to a Check-off for generating research dollars 2017.pdf

Liana Hoodes blog on the organic checkoff:

Liana Hoodes checkoff Blog.pdf

For more on the organic checkoff:

www.noorganiccheckoff.com

Danone acquisition of WhiteWave
moves forward without Stonyfield

NODPA News, January 2017:

If Danone is required to sell off their subsidiary, Stonyfield Yogurt and retail milk brands, to satisfy the Justice Department approval of their acquisition of WhiteWave, Organic Valley Fresh or some similar CROPP joint venture would be ideally positioned to purchase the brand. This would expand their retail presence and their product mix while securing a market for their producers, particularly those in New England and the Northeast.”

From the DOJ Press release, 4/3/2017:

“The Department of Justice announced today that it will require Danone S.A. to divest Danone’s Stonyfield Farms business in order for Danone to proceed with its $12.5 billion acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company Inc. “The proposed acquisition would have blunted competition between the top two purchasers of raw organic milk in the Northeast and the producers of the three leading brands of organic milk in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s proposed settlement will ensure competitive marketplaces for both farmers in the northeast that sell raw organic milk and consumers who purchase fluid organic milk in stores nationwide.” 

In the NODPA News November 2016 issue, we did an in depth study and analysis of the proposed acquisition by Danone of White Wave. (LINK to article) In that article and in conversations with the Department of Justice, industry leaders, investor groups and producers we laid out the problem and possible solutions to the reduction of competition between the two leading buyers and top brands in the markets for raw and fluid organic milk, potentially harming dairy farmers in the Northeast and U.S. consumers of fluid organic milk. Working with the Cornucopia Institute and others, the case was made on the effect of the acquisition resulting in a landmark decision about the effect on producers and consumers of the consolidation of the organic industry.  

In looking at the buyers for Stonyfield, Dean’s name has obviously been mentioned as has Uniliver (Ben & Jerry’s), General Mills, Aurora Dairy Group, Chobani and PepsiCo as it is a valuable entry point into organic dairy with an established market and a dedicated supply.

Any prospective buyer will need to identify what supply agreements they intend to enter into once they own Stonyfield. The supply agreement with CROPP has approximately three years to run and the assumption is that any buyer will continue to honor that agreement. In the best possible case, in the future Stonyfield will expand its own pool of milk and increase the number of buyers in the Northeast to three rather than the two, which will be the best interpretation of the DOJ’s ruling. Stonyfield also has the option of working with other smaller buyers and Dairy Marketing Services to source their long term supply. A second option will be to continue with CROPP as their main supplier and maintain the status–quo for the foreseeable future. Whatever way it goes, the DOJ ruling is a good solution for organic dairy producers as it is an opportunity to expand competition for organic farmgate milk and deprive Danone/WhiteWave from any intimidation of CROPP by holding supply contracts as leverage for their cooperation on the supply side and in the organic consumer market. 

For the full DOJ press release please go to:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-requires-divestiture-danone-s-stonyfield-farms-business-order-danone

Dairy Succession Efforts
get Boost from Grant

Help is available for dairy farmers! With support from the Keep Local Farms Fund of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, Land For Good is offering farm transfer planning and succession advising to commercial, cow milk dairy farms at reduced or no cost, for a limited time. Land For Good is a nonprofit organization providing land access, tenure, and transfer services throughout New England. We maintain a network of state-based Field Agents who work with farmers through a customized, personalized, team-based approach to farm succession and transfer planning. We can:

  • Provide information and resources to get started
  • Find appropriate advisors and coordinate your team
  • Help you navigate your farm transfer planning process.

For more information, visit our website at www.landforgood.org, contact us at info@landforgood.org, or call 603-357-1600.

Recent Odairy Discussions

By Liz Baldwin – NODPA President

A producer asked the group for suggestions to control lice in his herd.  Several farmers suggested feeding Agri-Dynamics’ “Flies Be Gone’. Other recommendations included Crystal Creek’s No-Fly, Ectophyte, Sulphur powder, powdered tobacco, and PyGanic.  It should be noted that there was some confusion over whether PyGanic is still allowed for use on livestock; different certifiers may have different interpretations.  So check with your certifier.  One person on the list quoted a NYS IPM Guide for Organic Dairies stating, “PyGanic is the most effective OMRI-approved pesticide available for use against lice in organic production.”  In all the external treatments, producers were reminded that there must be a second treatment, 10 to 14 days after the first, to kill the newly hatched lice. For more excerpts from the ODairy listserve please go to:

odairy_apr11_041117.shtml

Join the active and informative email list serve by going to:

http://www.nodpa.com/list_serv.shtml   

NODPA, 30 Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342 FAX: 866- 554-9483 PHONE: 413 772 0444
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