Newsletter Articles

Commentary: Should you really care about carbon footprints?

Last May, a reader chided me after I ran an article on milk’s carbon footprint and how it has gone down over the past 67 years. He wrote, “…do you really think anyone with a brain cares about the ‘carbon footprint’ of milk? Give me a break. Dairy farms are vanishing, the industry is being destroyed by USDA regulations and someone is actually concerned about phantom science. Please concentrate on improved profitability issues and preserving remaining dairies." FULL STORY »

Class III rallies as spot cheese proves resilient

When Yogi Berra said, “it’s like de ja vu all over again,” he could have been talking about the spot session yesterday. We saw block prices fall before buyers stepped in and lifted prices back up to $2.155, with trades coming all the way up. FULL STORY »

Class III weaker amid stable cheese market

The summer doldrums subsided Tuesday as Class III futures traded 1,883 contracts, more than double the volume of Monday’s quiet session. Prices traded steady to lower to start the day and then sold off sharply ahead of – and during – the CME spot session as offers pushed the price of blocks down 1 cent intra-session. But buyers didn’t back down. They absorbed four loads and bid the price of blocks back to unchanged sending a wave of buying into the August and September contracts. FULL STORY »

Calculating the cost of production (audio)

What does it cost you to conduct the agricultural enterprise(s) you do and why should you care? Extension Dairy Specialist Jack McAllister has some answers. FULL STORY »

Growing menace: animal-rights terrorism

The phenomenon of increased violence committed by some extremists in the name of animal rights is a growing cause for concern. In a major conference organized by Europol and Eurojust, 58 experts from law enforcement and prosecution authorities, plus representatives from 35 private sector organizations, met last week at Europol's new headquarters in The Hague to discuss the issues behind this new trend. FULL STORY »

Dog days of summer grip dairy markets

A quiet trade ensued for the Class III market Monday as an extremely active overnight session was followed up on by one of the lowest volume day sessions in quite some time. With the active Sunday night volume it looked like yesterday could end up with very strong volume, and though we reached nearly 500 trades by spot time, total volume crawled to just 892 by the close. FULL STORY »

Food for less

While U.S. food prices have increased lately to the distress of many, the percentage of disposable income Americans spend on food continues to shrink. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, that share averaged 9.4 percent during 2010, matching the record low set in 2009. FULL STORY »

Farm liquidity – A buffer for volatile revenue and costs

Commodity price volatility and yield uncertainties combined with large swings in input costs have resulted in high but volatile farm earnings. In general, the profitability of farms in the U.S. and Cornbelt has been strong the past decade. FULL STORY »

Block cheese closes at $2.155

Class III futures closed the week with solid gains as the spot market continued to pick up. On the week, blocks gained 9.75 cents to 2.1550 with 19 trades on the week, while barrels picked up 1 ½ cents to 2.1250 on just one trade, which we believe goes to show that the barrel market is much tighter at the moment than the block market. The continued strength on the spot market has caused the August-December Class III pack average to rise 52 cents to 19.43 from 18.91. The heat wave which gripped much of the country last week caused production to plummet across much of the Midwest and East Coast, with some producers in Wisconsin reporting production declines ranging from 8 to 20%, with the USDA reporting 10% declines across the country. FULL STORY »

Importance of quality colostrum and water availability

Sheila McGuirk from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine shared the importance of quality colostrum and water availability in pre-weaned calves at the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association conference in early April. FULL STORY »

Tips for handling an increase in calves

Gary Geisler, Land O'Lakes Purina Feed Calf and Heifer Specialist offers tips for handling an increase of calves during the summer months. FULL STORY »

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