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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | June 3, 2013

Eliminate Onerous and Inefficient Commodity Check-off Programs
Including New Proposed Organic Check-Off Tax on Organic Farmers and Ranchers


Call your senators now to tell them to
 support
SA 1083. Mr. CRUZ amendment to the farm bill:

SEC. __XX. PROHIBITION ON MANDATORY OR COMPULSORY CHECK OFF PROGRAMS.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no program to promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to 1 or more specific producers or brands (commonly known as a "check-off program'') shall be mandatory or compulsory."

This amendment allows farmers to voluntarily choose whether or not they pay into Federal “checkoff” programs. Currently, anytime a farmer sells a cow, a gallon of milk, corn or soybeans, or any other covered commodity, the producer is required to pay a fee to industry-run organizations. These funds are used to pay for marketing campaigns such as the “Got Milk?” and “Pork, The Other White Meat” or "The Incredible Edible Egg."  The problem is that advertising of this nature primarily benefits processors, marketers and retailers, not the farmers—but the farmers are stuck paying the bills!

Starting on Monday June 3rd the full Senate will continue their discussion of the 2013 Farm Bill as recommended by the Senate Ag Committee

Please call your Senators’ offices
(on or before Tuesday, June 4, 2013)
and 
ask to speak to the Staff who deals with agriculture – 

BE SURE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE IF YOU DON’T GET A PERSON!!

Tell them Your name, Your Location, Your Farm or business and  your interest in sustaining family farms

  • Many small and mid-sized farmers oppose these check-offs due to problems in oversight and because money is spent on programs that do not benefit them
  • Tell them that you want farmers to have the freedom to decide how they spend their hard earned dollars.
  • Farmers do not want to be forced to pay into federally mandated check-off program
  • They do not trust them and they do not see them as beneficial to their business
  • This amendment would effectively prevent the creation of a mandatory Organic Check-off Program. Many organic farmers--as well as small businesses that make and market organically certified product and consumers--do not want an Organic Check-off Program!
  • This amendment would allow organic farmers and processors to decide whether they pay into the conventional check-off programs and or use this money to benefit organic and local production

By supporting this amendment you will be giving family farms the freedom to choose how their money is spent
For more information on the organic check-off please go to:

http://nodpa.com/checkoff_opposition.shtml

An Introduction to Holistic Management

As a Whole Farm/Ranch Planning process, Holistic Management helps farmers and ranchers better manage agricultural resources in order to reap sustainable environmental, economic, and social benefits. This “triple bottom line” of benefits can be achieved by more effectively managing resources. There are two key principles and 6 key practices that help people manage holistically. These principles and practices, as a comprehensive adaptive management process, have helped thousands of people around the world achieve some pretty amazing results. For more information on Holistic Management go to the article written by Ann Adams, Director of Education for Holistic management International (HMI):

production_economics_holistic_
management_intro_060313.shtml

Raw Milk as a Pasture Biostimulant

The cost to renovate poor quality, low productive pastures can be very high for organic farmers. To manage this problem, some graziers are experimenting with highly active biological compounds known as positive plant growth regulators, metabolic enhancers, and biostimulants. These compounds, which are neither fertilizers nor pesticides, promote efficient plant nutrient uptake and enhance plant growth and development through a wide variety of mechanisms. They are typically applied in very small amounts to the soil or sprayed directly onto the plant. Humic acids and seaweed extracts are well known examples. Raw cow milk has been suggested as an effective pasture biostimulant. Raw milk has been used as a crop amendment for centuries. It contains proteins and other compounds which are established fungicides and viricides. For more information on the use of raw milk on pasture please go to the article by Bridget Jamison and Sid Bosworth from the University of Vermont:

research_ed_milk_as_biostimulant_060313.shtml

On-line Resources
for the Organic Dairy Producer

As the World Wide Web (www) has become more dynamic and accessible, organizations and educational groups are taking advantage of this dynamic technology. It is getting easier than ever to go on-line, search, and find very useful information on organic dairy production and grazing management –both in video and written form. At NODPA we appreciate the virtual world but we have heard from farmers that these resources do not replace the written word presented on paper so we will continue to publish our bimonthly newsletter as well as working hard on keeping our web site current and resources up to date. For ease of reference we have compiled some resources in one article, and will continue to share others in future issues.

research_ed_online_dairy_resources_060313

GMO’s – coexistence not working as Unapproved, Genetically Engineered Wheat is Found in Oregon Farmer's Field

For those that have been suggesting that co-existence and a form of crop insurance will safeguard those farmers that choose not to use GMO’s – whether they are organically certified or not – got a rude awaking with the discovery of unlicensed genetically modified wheat in Oregon. As different markets are reacting by prohibiting imports, this incident shows the prevalence of GMO contamination and why USDA should  move quickly to prohibit open-air field testing of genetically engineered crops. For more details please go to:

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/2253/unapproved-genetically-engineered-wheat-found-in-oregon-farmers-field

Pay price update

AMS reports this week sales of organic fluid milk were 186 million pounds in March 2013, up 0.1% from March 2012. Bucking the trend in general milk consumption, organic Whole Milk sales for March 2013 were at 49 million pounds, up 7.5% compared with March 2012 and up 5.2% year-to-date compared with last year. Organic Reduced Fat Milk sales for March were 52 million pounds, 1.6% above sales one year earlier and 0.9% above year-to-date. The average retail price for an organic half gallon in May was $3.43 with a $1.80 range in the highest and lowest prices ($2.59-$4.29). The trend in the average retail price for an organic half gallon has been slowly rising from $3.41 in January 2012 to $3.60 in May 2013. Producer are receiving approximately 38% of the retail price while non-organic producers receive approximately 50% of the retail price. For more details on pay price and the organic dairy marketplace please go to:

payprice_update_06032013.shtml

Feed price update

It is reported that larger volumes of organic corn and soybeans are being imported by the boat and car load rather than just by the container. With the outlook moving forward for a continuing $12-14 contracted price for the Fall, US growers are watching the weather while anticipating being undercut by imports. USDA reports that approximately half the planting of organic corn is completed, with the eastern belt being the furthest along. The weather and slow planting of corn might increase the acreage planted to soybeans. In the Midwest there are continuing reports of poor grazing and forage, with questions about how much can be conserved for the winter and predictions of increased costs for those purchasing organic hay and bedding straw. No other new data to report.

-- Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director  

NODPA NEWS & NOTES

The 13th Annual NODPA Field Days, September 26 & 27, 2013 at Mansfield, PA

NODPA’s 13th annual Field Days’ program, Organic Dairy: Innovative Strategies to Stay Profitable is coming together and promises to have activities and educational sessions that will interest everyone. This year’s event will be at the Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall in Mansfield, PA on Thursday and Friday, September 26th and 27th.
This year, NODPA is partnering with Holistic Management International (HMI) to create an agenda that provides the tools for organic dairy farm families to enhance the health, productivity and profitability of their land and family while effectively and significantly increasing annual profits. Sessions will be on New Trends in Cover Crop Cocktails; a ‘Live Odairy’ Q & A session with Veterinarians Susan Beal and Cindy Lankenau; and policy update and news from Washington DC.  Following lunch and the time-honored door prize drawings, the afternoon will be devoted to the on-farm experimental work of growing Sprouted Grains as Fodder. Roman Stoltzfoos, Andrew Dykstra and John Stoltzfus will share their experiences.  

fielddays_2013_june3_
announcement.shtml

Pay price update

AMS reports this week sales of organic fluid milk were 186 million pounds in March 2013, up 0.1% from March 2012. Bucking the trend in general milk consumption, organic Whole Milk sales for March 2013 were at 49 million pounds, up 7.5% compared with March 2012 and up 5.2% year-to-date compared with last year. Organic Reduced Fat Milk sales for March were 52 million pounds, 1.6% above sales one year earlier and 0.9% above year-to-date. The average retail price for an organic half gallon in May was $3.43 with a $1.80 range in the highest and lowest prices ($2.59-$4.29). The trend in the average retail price for an organic half gallon has been slowly rising from $3.41 in January 2012 to $3.60 in May 2013. Producer are receiving approximately 38% of the retail price while non-organic producers receive approximately 50% of the retail price. For more details on pay price and the organic dairy marketplace please go to:

payprice_update_
06032013.shtml

Recent ODairy Discussions

Liz Bawden, Organic Dairy Producer, NODPA President has compiled some of the posts and discussions on NODPA’s Odairy list serve. The Odairy list serve has a great mixture of peer education about livestock disease and preventive health practices, plus production practices as well as well informed and stimulation conversations about the social, economic and political activities with the organic community. To read more about Liz’s summary of Odairy discussion, please go to:

odairy_june3_2013.shtml

Join Our
ODAIRY ListServ

The ODAIRY discussion list is a great resource for producers and industry people covering topics that include current industry news, animal health, crops, grazing management, certification, action alerts, calendar events, job listing, and livestock & feed for sale. The ODAIRY discussion list consists of over 500 members . . . and growing!

If you haven't joined this list yet, we encourage you to give it a try. To Join ODAIRY, please follow these simple instructions.

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