Long time NODPA supporter, a great organic dairy farm family is featured in this month's eNewsletter. The Stricker family has been farming their land for 5 generations and for the past 10 years, they have been expanding from wholesale dairy to grass-fed beef, poultry, eggs, value added dairy products, and raw milk. I first met Forrest many years ago at PA State College when he was protesting in favor of stricter grazing standards. Now he is in the forefront of implementing it. Their story and great pictures are at http://www.nodpa.com/ff_march_2011.shtml.
Time to complete the NODPA
survey and win a prize
Ten years into the organization, with many successes behind us, NODPA is actively seeking feedback from as many organic and transitioning dairy producers as possible. The survey looks back on the success of NODPA, who, with the Federation Of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers), led the fight for more defined pasture regulations. We want to know:
NODPA has become a clear force in representing producer’s needs nationally through: membership with the National Organic Coalition and New England Farmers Union; presence at the NOSB meetings; meeting with NOP leaders and USDA appointees; and by working with USDA staff on implementation of programs. As new policies are proposed by the NOP - from Origin of Livestock to EU Equivalency - we want to represent the present and future needs of organic dairy producers no matter how or to whom they sell their milk.
As an incentive and to acknowledge the time spent filling out the survey (shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes), everyone that completes the survey and attaches their name will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Dr. Hue Karreman’s new book, The Barn Guide to Treating Dairy Cows Naturally, Cody Holmes book Ranching Full Time on 3 hours a day and the DVD of the movie ‘What’s Organic about Organic.’ Please go to:
Alfalfa and the GE battle continues
There continues to be universal condemnation of the USDA decision and many organizations are working together to develop strategies and tactics to turn back the GE tide that will deny consumers and farmers the choice of what to eat and how to farm. More news, facts and resources can be found at the following websites:
Feed price and retail demand
both rising for organic dairy
According to the USDA’s “Agricultural Prices” report released on 2/28/11, the profitability of conventional dairy is worse than a year ago with a milk-feed ratio of 1.96 down from 2.36 a year ago. The all milk conventional price has risen to $18.40/cwt but the price of corn used for the February calculations was up 72¢ from January 2011. With feed cost rising more rapidly than the price of milk, the outlook for 2011 is not good.
From all accounts organic dairy has record retail sales, increased by 31 million pounds from December 2009 to December 2010; supply is tight and there is a steady retail price gap between organic and non-organic fluid dairy product which encourages sales. Organic Valley has sent out its 13 month check to its member owners and they are experiencing increased demand for fluid milk and from their Stoneyfield Farm wholesale manufacturing account. Horizon organic is expanding retail sales and the private label market is again expanding. There has been no increase in the base pay price.
On the cost side, the organic grain market has started to respond to increased scarcity of corn and a rising conventional market. The price of feed corn has risen by approximately 60% compared to March 2010 and by 30% on November 2010, and was at $8.60/bushel in February, 2011. Organic soybean and other proteins are slower to rise with an increase of approximately 10% from November 2010, with a bushel price of $18.61 for soybeans and $781/ton for soybean meal. Availability and price for organic feed in 2011-2012, will be determined by the planting decisions of organic crop producers as well as the planting conditions. With the price of non-organic corn currently at $7 + per bushel, predictions for increased acreage of non-organic corn from 88 to 92 million acres with at least 35% going to ethanol, there will be pressure on organic grain growers to question the economics of growing organic with all its increased costs, recordkeeping and risk. The inevitable question is whether there will continue to be enough organically certified feed to supply an expanding organic milk market and at what price.
-- Ed Maltby, Executive Director, NODPA
Feed Prices, March 2011
Price trends and availability as of March 2011. MORE >
Pay Price & Organic
Milk Market Update, March 2011
Record retail sales and rising prices. Learn more >
New Beginning Farmer Website Unveiled
After a year of development, the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project is pleased to unveil a colorful new website with expanded tools and a wealth of new resources. More >
Thinking about frost seeding?
Best steps to doing it right. More >
Springtime Challenges for the Grass Farmer: Homeopathic Remedies
Treatments for everything from milk fever and diarrhea to mastitis and pink eye. More >
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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