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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | October 7, 2014

NODPA 14th Annual Field Days
And Annual Meeting Summary

The message from organic producers and their families at the 14th Field Days was:

  1. The shortage in supply of organic milk is a great opportunity to push the pay price up to help offset high cost of inputs,
  2. The Organic Trade Organization does not represent producers,
  3. NODPA producers voted to oppose a federally mandated check-off – unanimously.

The NODPA Field Days, which were held in the last week of September, took place in the bucolic setting of Stonewall Farm which has a remarkable building, a unique and very relevant mission, and some wonderful staff. All of these aspects made for a great event that some said was the best NODPA Field Days ever. The tour of the Farm, rich in diversity, was very informative and mirrored some of the many ways that organic dairy farms can thrive in the future, including a new mini combine that immediately had the male producers swarming all over it when it was started up.

The Commissioner of Agriculture for New Hampshire, Lorraine S. Merrill, dropped in on Thursday afternoon to welcome the group to New Hampshire and the Stonewall Farm. The keynote speakers for the evening were Miles McEvoy, National Organic Program Deputy Administrator, and Jean Richardson, the new Chair of the National Organic Standards Board, who joined past NODPA President Henry Perkins in a diverse and rich presentation of how unique the national Organic Program is and the important role that producers play in its future.    

This summary cannot do justice to the in depth information shared at all the workshops and session during the two day event. The “Ask the Vets: Q and A” was as lively as ever with Hue Karreman and Cindy Lankenau complementing each other very well. They continued after lunch with a two hour session with hands on education in the dairy barn - which was too short.  Guided by Dr. Hue Karreman, attendees worked on selected cows to perform a physical exam and some emergency techniques; and Dr. Lankenau demonstrated acupuncture and chiropractic care on an aged cow while discussing her use of herbal medicine - the cow most definitely appreciated the session!

The workshop sessions ‘Maximizing farm income’, ‘Planning for the next generation’, and ‘Creating a sustainable farming future’ were presented by national leaders of programs that have a proven track record and provided relevant and detailed information.

There was an excellent panel discussion of grass-fed dairy.  Peter Miller, a representative from Organic Valley, discussed the launching of "Grassmilk" in response to consumer demand. Sarah Flack, a grazing expert from Vermont, discussed her preliminary research on how farms with grass-fed herds are doing and Cliff Hawbaker, a PA producer of grass-fed milk, added his experiences in this style of production. The interest in grass-fed milk was reflected by the number of presenters on the panel, and the keen interest expressed by the attendees. Producers were not just looking for details on the higher pay price, but how they can maintain healthy cows while meeting the requirement of grass-fed labels.   

The only glitch in the prefect planning of NODPA’s event planner, Nora Owens, was the weather.  She failed to deliver overcast skies and rain and instead it was the best and most prolonged harvesting weather of the year - which meant many producers had to attend to their prime responsibility of harvesting winter feed. Despite that fact, we had good attendance from a diverse representation of the organic dairy stakeholders and great sharing of information.

For a slideshow of images from the Field Days, go to:

fielddays_gallery_2014.shtml

A more detailed summary of the NODPA Field Days will appear in the November/December NODPA News.

Feed and Pay Price

There are new processors who are looking for milk and that has increased competition which is starting to increase pay price. Horizon confirmed that they will be initiating a winter feed premium of $1 for the period of Oct 1 through Dec 31, and will be adding an additional $1 on the MAP effective Oct 1 through at least June 31, 2015. 

There has been an increase in the number of dairies looking for organic milk which include the following:

  1. Maple Hill Creamery
  2. Trickling Springs Creamery - $32.75 base, $2.50 for BF above 3.2%.
  3. Byrne Dairy (Syracuse, NY) – built a yogurt plant in Cortland, NY and are willing to pay $40 per hundred for those within easy shipping distance
  4. Natural By Nature
  5. Upstate Niagara has been having solicitation meeting in upstate New York and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
  6. Chiobani
  7. Sunrise Dairy (yogurt)
  8. Stonyfield Farm
  9. Common Wealth Dairy (Brattleboro) is considering going organic – (yogurt)

Organic chicken is continuing to drive prices up for organic grain. Expect to see corn prices at $525-550/ton in the Northeast with no sign that prices will drop as more imports come into the country.

feed_payprice_update_10072014.shtml

Recent ODairy Discussions

Liz Bawden, Organic Dairy Farmer and NODPA President reported that there were “Robust discussions about eye injuries, constipation and bloating, organic grain supply in the Northeast, a debate about 100% grass-fed, and more” on ODairy in the last few months. If you ever wondered about what to do about a screw-in fence insulator that somehow a cow had got stuck in its eye them the dedicated veterinarians that subscribe to Odairy had some answers to how to remove it. Homeopathic remedies are also popular topics of discussion as producers build their toolkit of alternative health care remedies to complement their existing herd health practices. The current hot topic in organic dairy is “What is grass-fed” because it can bring up to $5 per hundred in increased pay price, but there are many different propriety definition plus a newly published standard from Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

For more details on all these discussions read Liz’ article at odairy_oct6_100614.shtml or join Odairy at:

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

NODPA launches its Second Annual Fundraising Campaign:
“GOT MONEY – NODPA NEEDS SOME OF IT”

Do you want to support balance in organic decision-making by ensuring that producers have a voice? NODPA provides that with its bimonthly print newsletter; it’s ODairy Listserv; it’s annual Field Days; its comprehensive and regularly updated website and its membership of the National Organic Coalition, National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition and Accredited Certifiers Association. NODPA takes producer concerns to Washington, to industry, to the media and to consumers and environmental groups and, as an independent organization; it acts as a voice for all producers in a marketplace dominated by industry. We keep costs to a minimum but there are still bills to pay. NODPA’s first fundraising campaign in 2013 was moderately successful and we ask you to send in your donation today to support all of these resources and services that we all need and value.  “NODPA supporters are dedicated organic farmers and industry professionals; hard-working, committed to the principles of organic farming and focused on operating their businesses in the most efficient and informed way possible,” said organic dairy producer and NODPA Board President, Liz Bawden, “We work long hours and have come to expect reliable information delivered in the most convenient manner possible, and NODPA delivers.” Watch out for more information coming your way.

You can donate online at: http://www.nodpa.com/donate.shtml

Please contact Nora Owens at noraowens@comcast.net or call 413-427-7166 if you have questions or need assistance. Thank you for your support.

-- Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director  

NODPA NEWS & NOTES

SAVE THE DATES:
Fall NOSB & Pre-NOSB Meetings

Fall 2014 NOSB Meeting: Tuesday-Thursday, October 28 - 30, 2014
Galt House Hotel
140 North Fourth St.
Louisville, KY 40202

National Organic Coalition pre-NOSB Meeting:
Monday, October 27, 2014
Galt House Hotel
140 North Fourth St.
Louisville, KY 40202

Feed and Pay Price Update

There are new processors who are looking for milk and that has increased competition which is starting to increase pay price. Horizon confirmed that they will be initiating a winter feed premium of $1 for the period of Oct 1 through Dec 31, and will be adding an additional $1 on the MAP effective Oct 1 through at least June 31, 2015. There has also been an increase in the number of dairies looking for organic milk.

For details:

feed_payprice_update_
10072014.shtml

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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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