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.
Feed Price Update
Added May 19, 2013. Current market prices for feed have changed little in the last few months. What everyone is watching is the weather and the world demand for corn. With a new seemingly steady price for non-organic corn of between $6-7 per bushel there will not be many transitioning to organic production. With the number of organic egg layers jumping by 3 million between July 2011 (5 million) and April 2013 (8.190 million), the demand for organic feed from organic poultry folks is dominating the market. Future prices for next fall show no signs of dropping so dairy producers should be budgeting for similar price of organic corn for 2014, and if the weather is not amenable they will go higher. For more details please go to:
Pay and Retail Price update
Added April 9, 2013. The average retail price of an organic milk half gallon remains in the mid-$3 range at $3.59, but more interesting the gap between the high and low price has lessened with a price range of $2.79 to $3.99. The all-important gap between non-organic and organic retail price on average is now down to $1.55 per ½ gallon which is one of the lowest this year but not as low as one year ago when the price spread was only 96 cents, with conventional half gallons priced at $2.12 and organic half gallons priced at $3.08. For more details please click here.
Recent ODairy Discussions
Added April 9, 2013. Ever wonder what organic dairy farmers deal with daily in managing their herd without the use of the immediate fixes of the conventional world? Some excerpts for Odairy conversations can give you an insight: A producer asked the group if anyone had experience with calf warmers, in particular the Polydome type; a calf was born after a difficult calving, and within an hour of birth began to seizure; a farmer asked about treatment options for ringworm on calves; the greatest number of posts last month was on the subject of Staph aureus (a cow that tests positive for Staph aureus should be culled if she is older than 2 years, is chronically infected, is in a later stage of lactation, has lumpy quarters, has a SCC of more than 400,000, or if she has additional problems like lameness, etc). For more of what happens on the Odairy listserve on a daily basis, read NODPA President Liz Bawden’s recent summary or, to join or visit the listserve, go to /list_serv.shtml
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.
Added in April & May 2013
Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >
5-8 Organic Holstein milking cows for sale. Herd runs 60,000 SCC, 4% butter fat, 3.2% protein. Buyer can have pick of the herd for $2,250 each. Farm is located in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Please call: 802-349-8520. Added May 19, 2013.
Up to 25 or 30 lactating cows and a few springing heifers for sale from SpringWood Organic Farm in Lancaster County, PA. Crossbreeds and from a primarily spring freshening herd. Herd has been grain free since 9/2012. For more details or to discuss pricing contact Dwight at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 717-278-1208, or check out www.springwoodfarm.com. Added May 19, 2013.
Selling Milking herd: 80 registered Jersey, Lineback and Milking shorthorns – certified organic. Prices start at $1700. Morningside Farms in Shoreham VT. Please contact Brian Wilson at 802-377-1786. Added May 19, 2013.
Organic Holstein (and some crosses) Heifers for Sale: 15 heifers ages weaned to some springing. Animals are used to tie stalls and free stalls. Have DHIA records on all of the animals. Call or email for more info: email@example.com or phone: 802-472-5750. Added May 19, 2013.
10 organic Holstein heifers for sale: Ages 3 months - 2 years of age, DHIA records available, closed herd. Herd/Farm has been certified organic for over 5 years. Call for more info: Jim Doyle, Chelsea, VT; 802-685-4408. Added May 19, 2013.
3 certified organic heifers for sale. Two are Jerseys and the third is a Holstein/Jersey/Normandy cross. They are all due to calve in June. 802-254-4818
Added April 17, 2013.
Contact: Phillip Cutting
Location: Guilford, Vermont
Looking for certified organic Holsteins or Holstein cross
Added April 10, 2013.
Contact: Shane Provencher
Location: Troy, VT
Md. Certified organic 100% Grass fed seasonal dairy has Jersey and Crosses for sale: 20 fresh cows, 20 springers, and 25 springing heifers for May. Must sell for health reasons. Call Mike 410-322-6719. Added April 10, 2013.
Location: Darlington, MD 21034
Certified Organic Dairy Herd for sale. Jersey herd with Holstein and Brown Swiss crosses. 21 milkers, 2 heifers due in August, 9 open heifers, 1 calf. $30k obo for the herd. Added April 9, 2013.
Contact: Robert Grenon
Phone: 802 673 4894
Location: North Troy, Vermont
Certified organic dairy farm for sale in Central New York
Dairy of Distinction; farm has been certified organic for 7 years.
Added April 11, 2013
- 165 Acres: 90 tillable, 60 pasture acres
- High tensile fencing,
- 57 tie stall barn,
- Machinery shed and many other out buildings
- Nice 5-bedroom house with new roof and new windows.
*Organic Milking Herd & Equipment also available (not included in above price)
For more information call: 315-223-1921
Forage & Grains
Organic hay for sale from the upcoming hay season. Mix of timothy and clover. Round bales on the field 25.00. Haylage is possible. Added May 19, 2013
Contact: Shane Provencher
Location: North Troy VT
Certified Organic Feed For Sale - Forward Contract Buyers Wanted:
400 acres Winter Barley - coming off in June
150 acres Pea/Barley combination - coming off 1st part of July
350 acres Sorghum Grain- coming off in October/November
For more information, please contact Rick Boller, Boller Farms, Lebanon, Kansas. Phone: 785-389-2073. Added May 19, 2013.
Hay for sale: Forty, early to mid season baled 4x4 & 4x5 dry round bales of mixed grass hay for sale (2012 crop). Fifty dollars per bale, trucking available.Contact Scott Lewis, Antwerp, New York, (315) 659-9999, or cell (315) 681-7986. Added May 19, 2013.
NOFA small square bales:
(Added April 11, 2013)
1) Harvested June 1 with small amount of dust - not suitable for horses but
good, palatable cow feed. $150/ton OBO.
2) Harvested June 10 - $200/ton OBO.
A couple of semi-loads of last years hay/bedding left, 1st cut dry cow/heifer quality. 4x4 net wrapped round bales. Call it edible bedding; some is food, some is bedding. Priced cheap at $20/bale. delivery available. Added April 10, 2013.
1254 Blacks Creek Rd.
Liberty, PA 16930
CERTIFIED ORGANIC HAY (Added April 5, 2013.)
Are you planning for your 2013 forage needs? Marz Farm is taking orders. This year our farm is offering small square bale hay: $3.50 per bale or $175 ton (15% moisture), large square bales (3' x 3' x 7') at $175 ton (15% moisture), dry round bales: 1000lbs @ $35 and 650lbs @ $25, and wrapped bales: 1200lbs @ $55. All square bale hay is stored in doors. Forage tests will be available. We ship throughout the country and have multiple delivery quantities available or pickup at the farm. Free samples will be available. Located in NY Southern Tier between Binghamton and Ithaca , Tioga County . Contact Tony Marzolino : 607-657-8534 farm, 315-378-5180 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org
HERD MANAGER WANTED
Herd Manager needed to build a new dairy operation of grass fed, organic registered Jersey cows in Alabama. Location is near Marion, about an hour south of Tuscaloosa, home of the U. of Alabama. The individual will be responsible for all facets of day-to-day operations, including:
• Milk production and milking facility management
• Hands-on management of herd health and reproduction protocols
• Overseeing animal care and housing
• Scheduling veterinary visits and equipment maintenance
• Buying and selling animals
• Maintaining accurate and detailed animal identification and herd records
• Hiring and overseeing help
• Communicating management decisions and issues with herd owners
Applicants must be dependable and organized, enjoy working with animals and people.
For more information, please contact:
Jody Banks at 540-984-3829 or Culbertsonllc@yahoo.com
Location: Uniontown, Alabama
Added May 19, 2013.
Employment Opportunity at Seven Stars Farm, Kimberton, PA
Position: Full-time farm coworker. Added May 19, 2013.
Job Description: Milking, chores, care of young stock, pasture management, assisting the Herdsman as needed.
Job Requirements: Milking experience is preferred. However, most important requirements are a strong interest in learning about dairying and a love for animals. Must be physically robust and able to work well with others.
Compensation: Hourly wage based on experience and ability, health insurance, vacation benefits. Housing available.
Background: Seven Stars Farm is located on 350 acres of rolling Chester County, PA countryside. Owned by the Kimberton Waldorf School, the Farm is protected from development through conservation easements. For over 30 years, we have used composts and herbal preparations to enhance the vitality of the soil, plants and animals. With our small herd of cows, we strive to create the ideal farm - a self-sufficient system that builds and sustains soil fertility through crop rotation and farm composts. Milking takes place in a tie-stall barn, utilizing automatic takeoff milkers on a rail system. We pasture extensively April through November.
For further information: www.sevenstarsfarm.com
Contact: David Griffiths 610-933-1222 email@example.com
Location: Kimberton, PA
Employment Opportunity At: The Family Cow/Shankstead EcoFarm
Position: Accountant & Analyst for Organic Farming and Food Marketing
Job Description: Be responsible for bookkeeping, billing, reconciliations and all accounting functions. Create and analyze monthly financial statements. Project Cash Flow. Manage relationships with vendors. Develop projections and budgets. Analyze financial opportunities and provide financial analysis of existing projects and enterprises. Interact daily with owners of the farm providing them with information, insight and new opportunities to make organization more efficient. Will include some custom correspondence and market building.
Required Experience: Accounting & Financial Analysis experience. At least 3 years accounting.
Preferred Experience: Food Distribution, Farming, Food Direct Marketing. College Degree in Accounting or Business.
Compensation: Competitive including performance bonuses.
Interested? Provide a cover letter, résumé and compensation history to Edwin Shank at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MF 1085 tractor runs but needs a head gasket. 2 wheel drive, with cab. Make an offer. Added May 19, 2013.
Contact: Jennifer Breen
Location: Orwell, Vt
For additional information on the events below, click here.
May 29, 2013
Animal Handling Workshop for New & Beginning Farmers
June 3, 2013
Sustainable Management for Livestock Production Webinar
June 5, 2013
Pasture Grazing For Profit
USDA Service Center, Ghent and Grazin’ Angus Acres
Columbia County, NY
June 5-9, 2013
Planning for Whole Farm or Ranch Fertility
June 5-9, 2013
Slow Living Summit and Strolling of the Heifers
June 12 - 14, 2013
Holistic High-Intensity Grazing & Genetics Workshop
with Ian Mitchell-Innes and Gearld Fry
Herondale Farm, Ancramdale (Columbia County), NY
June 15, 2013
June 21 – 24, 2013
Peak Performance Grazing: Planning and Management for Animals, Land, and Profit
June 25 – 26, 2013
Iowa Grazing Conference
July 7-20, 2013
The 14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
August 2-3, 2013
Pennsylvania Organic Farm Fest
Grange Fairgrounds, Center Hall, PA
September 26 & 27, 2013
13th Annual NODPA Field Days
Mansfield Hose Company Banquet Hall, Mansfield, PA
Dykstra Farms, Burlington, WA
Andrew Dykstra and his family have a certified organic vegetable, seed and dairy farm located in Burlington, Washington (Skagit County). Their farm consists of about 600 acres of which 500 are tillable. Transitioning to organic production happened progressively over time. Andrew’s father, Douwe, purchased the farm in 1972 and in 1981 he started making changes that steered the farm towards organic production. The first step was replacing commercial fertilizer with compost in 1989, followed by the decision to manage all the land organically. In 1992 they stopped using antibiotics on their cows, and in 2004, being one of the first organic farms in their county to transition to organic dairy, they started shipping organic milk to Organic Valley. Today, Andrew and his wife, Sandy, farm with their sons Chris and Charlie. They milk a closed herd of 260 Holsteins, with annual production of 15,000 lbs per cow. Milk quality and components average 191,000 SCC, 3.85% butterfat, 3.03% protein, and 5.61% other solids. For the full story:
ACTION ALERT! ACT NOW!
Call your senators now to tell them to
“Strike Out the amendment that will establish an organic check-off program”
Starting on Monday May 20th the full Senate will discuss the 2013 Farm Bill as recommended by the Senate Ag Committee
Title V11: Bennet 04-1 organic promotion amendment
If you have a relationship with your Senator, you can ask them to sponsor a floor amendment to take the Organic Promotion Check-Off Amendment out of the bill.
Call Your Senators’ offices and ask to speak to the Staff who deals with agriculture –
BE SURE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE IF YOU
DON’T GET A PERSON!!
Congress expects that once the Farm Bill is passed with this amendment attached to it, an Organic check-off program will be established.
For more information on the organic check-off please go to: http://nodpa.com/checkoff_opposition.shtml
If you need information on how to contact your senators please go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/
OR Call the Congressional Switchboard, and ask to be transferred to your Senator’s office (if you give them your state, they will tell you who your 2 senators are): 202-224-3121
Added May 19, 2013
Richard H. Mathews has been hired as the Western Organic Producers Alliance (WODPA) New Executive Director
A message from Rick: On May 15, 2013, with great pleasure, I began work as Executive Director of the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA).
WODPA’s mission is to preserve, protect, and ensure the sustainability and integrity of organic dairy farming across the West. As Executive Director, I am responsible for furthering that mission by working with the Board of Directors and State Representatives to manage and develop the organization. Our ultimate goal is a sound, vibrant, sustainable organic dairy sector.
I retired from the USDA in late 2009 with nearly 34 years of experience serving American Agriculture through various USDA positions and programs; including about 11 years in leadership positions with the National Organic Program.
So why would I take on this position? Developing the access to pasture rule drew me close to the organic dairy sector where I had the pleasure of working closely with many of the sector’s good people. That experience instilled a keen desire to see organic dairying thrive. WODPA has that same desire. Accordingly, I want to use my skills and knowledge to help WODPA in its quest to make its mission a reality. Not only do I look forward to working with the WODPA membership, I also look forward to working closely with Ed Maltby and the rest of NODPA’s leadership.
To access WODPA website please go to: http://www.wodpa.org/index.html
Managing Flies on Your Organic Dairy Farm
In this timely article Dr. Paul Dettloff and Dr. Sarah Slaby take a look at flies or musca domistica which have been around since man appeared, and will continue to irritate both dairymen and their cows. The two veterinarians look at the many different ways in which flies can be dealt with from sticky tape, feeding higher levels of kelp, predator wasps, barn sparrows and many ingenious mechanical traps. To learn more about what harm flies will do and ways to keep the population, down please go to:
The Cost of Low Blood Calcium
in Dairy Cows
Dairy farmers know the signs of milk fever and how it can impact transition cow performance, but few are aware of the negative impacts of mildly low blood calcium levels. New research is shedding light on how fresh cow blood calcium levels affect fresh cow performance and production.
Dr. Ryan Leiterman tries to answer the following questions and give advice on how to apply the answers to your dairy:
For the answers to these question and much more please go to:
Meet Your NODPA State Representatives
NODPA started in February 2001 at a summit meeting of organic dairy producers in the Northeast after one processor arbitrarily lowered their farm gate price and farmers’ future pay price was threatened. These producers came together to discuss critical issues within the organic dairy industry including: maintaining a sustainable milk price; the National Organic Program; alternative milk markets; and building effective communication lines between fellow producers in the Northeast and beyond. NODPA is a grass roots organization of organic dairy producers with minimal bureaucracy and a transparent and open decision making process open to all those interested in the future of organic dairy. NODPA has remained true to its original goal and is now a membership organization structured as a 501C5 trade group and is governed by organic dairy producers who meet regularly by conference call and annually in-person as either Board members or State Representatives. NODPA has a very active and committed Board and team of State Representatives that work together with NODPA staff to fulfill the mission of the organization.
In a previous issue of NODPA we profiled the current Board members and below are the State Representatives all of whom donate their time to fulfill NODPA’s mission. Any organic dairy farmer who wishes to become a state representative or just be involved in conference calls and NODPA discussions should call NODPA president, Liz Baldwin – 315-324-6926. For the full article:
National Organic Standards Board meeting in Portland, Oregon, April 9 -11, 2013
The meeting of the National Organic Standards Board, which occurs twice a year, provided a public forum for the organic community to weigh in on issues concerning organic production and processing. The controversial and much discussed petition that tetracycline be put back on the National List and the existing expiration date of October 21, 2014 be removed attracted a great deal of public attention and comment at the meeting. Before and during the meeting there were much maneuvering and discussions to reach a compromise because of the serious effect that a ban may have on farmers who are using it now and may have no alternatives for fire blight. There were many articulate statements by all the Board members as they grappled with the tension between consumer expectations, scientific knowledge and the practicality of organic production The Crops Subcommittee proposed that the antibiotic be removed at a later date and this proposal was rejected by the whole of the NOSB. As the regulation stands right now, use of tetracycline (oxytet is the name growers know) will be prohibited after October 21, 2014. For all the details on what was voted on and some insight into the way the NOSB dealt with the controversy, please go to:
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.
Feed Price Update
Current market prices for feed have changed little in the last few months. What everyone is watching is the weather and the world demand for corn. With a new seemingly steady price for non-organic corn of between $6-7 per bushel there will not be many transitioning to organic production. With the number of organic egg layers jumping by 3 million between July 2011 (5 million) and April 2013 (8.190 million), the demand for organic feed from organic poultry folks is dominating the market. Future prices for next fall show no signs of dropping so dairy producers should be budgeting for similar price of organic corn for 2014, and if the weather is not amenable they will go higher. For more details please go to:
Added April 9, 2013
OTA announces moving to the next stage of establishing an Organic check-off program
At a time when organic and sustainable agriculture are being attacked from all sides in Congress, OTA has decided to move to the next level in its bid to establish an Organic Research and Promotion Program. These actions will continue to split the organic community, especially in the eyes of Congress, at a time when we need to be working together.
In the spring edition of the Organic Report, OTA laid out their plan to mail out information to 20,000 certified operations plus send postcards and emails to promote a website that only promotes the benefits of an organic federal check-off program http://www.unitedformoreorganic.com/ . The website does not point out the disadvantages, the legal problems and all the many issues raised by producer and consumer groups nor does it provide a link to the NODPA webpage that highlights these problems. OTA continues to promote a ‘discussion’ that has a pre-determined conclusion and continues to fail to accurately report comments made at their Town Hall meetings. Despite their protests that they are not promoting a mandatory Federal Research and Promotion Program, all their promotional materials push the idea and they are now distorting the reality by calling it a “cooperative research and marketing program.”
Our request again to the OTA Board, the OTA Check-off Steering Committee and OTA staff is to re-consider their approach to this issue and prevent a rift in the organic community.
Say NO to dividing the organic community –
Say YES to working together to provide a solution
For more information please go to:
Feed and Pay price
USDA AMS reports that the total organic fluid milk sales for January 2013 of 189 million pounds, down 1.8% from January 2012. Organic Whole Milk sales for January 2013 of 51 million pounds were up 7.2% compared with January 2012. Organic fluid milk sales for 2012 were 4% higher than in 2011, an increase in retail sales of 3.25 million ½ gallons of organic milk or the production from 98 herds of 60 cows producing an average of 14,000 lbs. per year. As we have seen smaller herd disappear from organic production in the northeast one must assume that this increase in production comes from herds that have economies of scale or have the ability to grow their own feed.
The average retail price of an organic milk half gallon remains in the mid-$3 range at $3.59, but more interesting the gap between the high and low price has lessened with a price range of $2.79 to $3.99. The all-important gap between non-organic and organic retail price on average is now down to $1.55 per ½ gallon which is one of the lowest this year but not as low as one year ago when the price spread was only 96 cents, with conventional half gallons priced at $2.12 and organic half gallons priced at $3.08. For more details please go to:
Organic feed prices have not followed the non-organic price down but trading reported by USDA AMS is at a near standstill as buyers have their needs met despite growers wanting to sell inventory. Quality forage is hard to come by as spring grazing in the Northeast is slow to start up. For updated data please go to:
Renovating Pastures with
Frost seeding has traditionally been an economical way to use legumes to thicken an existing grass stand or to establish a clover mix in an overwintering small grain stand (wheat is the most common, but rye and triticale are also frequently used). In some cases, thinning alfalfa stands can also be improved with a frost-seeding of clovers. Dave Wilson, Forage Research Agronomist at Kings AgriSeeds, has an informative and timely article on frost seeding:
Evaluating Perennial Ryegrass Blends for Improving Pasture Productivity and Extending the Grazing Season
A 2010 needs assessment of organic dairy producers in the Northeast region revealed that extending the grazing season, complying with the new pasture rules, and implementing strategies to facilitate value-added marketing of milk are major challenges to the industry. To address these issues, a multi-state team of university and USDA researchers and extension specialists, collaborating with several organic dairy farms, were successful in obtaining a USDA-Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant titled, “Assessing Organic Dairy Producers to Meet the Demands of New and Emerging Milk Markets.” This multi-year grant has many objectives including 1) the assessment of multi-cultivar mixtures for optimizing pasture resources while extending the grazing season, 2) identification of annual forages to enhance and extend the grazing season while improving nutritional quality, and 3) evaluating the utility of supplemental organic flaxseed to further bolster health beneficial fatty acid components and enhance the marketability of organic milk. To read an article by Sid Bosworth, Extension Forage Specialist, University of Vermont on the first objective please go to:
UNH wants to hear from you on kelp meal – survey should be in your mailbox
The use of kelp meal in the Northeast is believed to be widespread and in order to continue with future research in this area, we are asking NODPA members to fill out a brief survey about kelp meal. This survey will give farmers an opportunity to share questions, comments, and concerns about kelp meal supplementation and will provide UNH researchers with valuable information on the demographics and feeding practices related to kelp meal. Please look for this upcoming survey and mail back your responses using the pre-addressed and pre-paid envelopes. Please contact Dr. André Brito [Assistant Professor of Organic Dairy Management; email@example.com; (603) 862-1341] with any questions. Download the full survey at:
US Organic Dairy Politics survey
It’s just 9 questions, and your comments are important.
Paste in your server or hit:
Feel free to forward to others. More info is in the survey, or from me. Thanks! Bruce.
Lice – The Quiet Thief
“Some things never change. I get the same scenario every winter, starting about in December, depending on when fall turns into winter,” says Dr Paul Detloff .
When farmers in the northern climates lock up their cows, they also lock up the lice that have been spending their summers in their cow’s ears. Lice cannot handle skin temperatures of 106 or higher; they will jump ship. If the skin temperature hits 122-123 degrees, they die. The sun is a louse’s demise. Dr Paul Dettloff has a large animal practice in Aracadia, Wisconsin, and has worked with CROPP Cooperative (Organic Valley) as a consulting veterinarian since 2002. He is the author of a popular book titled ‘Alternative Treatments for Ruminants Animals’ and has his own product line of Dr Paul’s Health products for livestock. To read his full article, please go to:
5 Ways You Can Support NODPA
Eight and a half years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2009 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.
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