Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending Jan. 25: 60,500 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 240,000 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -17,100 head

Highlights: For the week, 30% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH & WI); 26% came from USDA Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


FAO January food price index down, but dairy, beef up

Global dairy prices rose in January 2014, bucking a trend that saw the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index decline. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of five food commodities – cereal, vegetable oil, dairy, meat and sugar.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose 1.3% over December. Demand for all dairy products remains firm, especially from China, North Africa, the Middle East (SMP and WMP) and the Russian Federation (butter). Seasonal production is shifting from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Therefore, overall, there are only limited supplies available, lending support to prices. 

The FAO Meat Price Index declined 1% from December, but that decline was primarily due to pork and lamb/mutton. Beef and poultry rose marginally, with beef demand from China and Japan resulting in prices showing consistent growth since the middle of 2013.

Overall, the FAO Food Price Index was down 1.3% from December and 4.4% below January last year. Sugar and vegetable oils dropped by 5.6% and 3.8%, respectively.


Gould: Wisconsin ‘mailbox’ price could be headed for record

January's Class III price is the fourth highest on record, at $21.67/cwt., and the second-highest January price on record. The January Class IV price is $22.29/cwt., an all-time record for any month.

February Class III futures closed up 24¢ yesterday on Feb. 5, at $23.08/cwt., which would be an all-time high Class III price. (http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/futures/by_trade_date/3.rhtml).

In terms of the impacts on Wisconsin mailbox prices, our current forecast is for February's value to be $24.96/cwt., another all-time high by more than $2.00/cwt. from November 2012's value. 

The current predicted 2014 average Wisconsin mailbox price for 2014 is $21.11/cwt., the highest since 2001, and $1.05/cwt. greater than the previous yearly average high of $20.06/cwt. for 2011.


FCStone Inc. acquires Sinclair & Company

INTL FCStone Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, FCStone, LLC, has acquired Sinclair & Company, an introducing broker in Twin Falls, Idaho. Focusing on dairy, grains and livestock, Sinclair & Company has been meeting the commodity risk management needs of their customers since the late 1970s. Further information, visit www.intlfcstone.com.


IDFA, NMPF urge South Dakota lawmakers to reject ‘raw milk’ bill

Organizations representing the nation’s dairy farmers and dairy companies jointly urged state lawmakers in South Dakota to reject efforts easing regulations surrounding raw milk sales directly to consumers. 

In a letter sent Wednesday to South Dakota state senators, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that the risks inherent in raw dairy products are not worth any purported benefits to either consumers or producers of unpasteurized milk products. The two associations urged lawmakers to reject Senate Bill No. 126, legislation designed to further ease the sale of unpasteurized milk in South Dakota. The measure is the subject of a hearing in Pierre, S.D. on Friday, Feb. 7.


Kjeldahl protein test revision proposed for global standardization

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have joined forces to expand the scope of an international dairy industry standard to measure the protein content of cow's milk. The Kjeldahl method plays a pivotal role in national and international trade, helping calculate fair milk payments for dairy farmers, controlling manufacturing processes and checking regulatory compliance.

The revised standard ISO 8968-1:2014 (IDF 20-1:2014) reconfirms the crucial role of the Kjeldahl method in trade harmonization and enhances consumer protection safeguards. The next step is to submit the revised Kjeldahl method for endorsement by Codex Alimentarius.

“This standard is about the determination of one of the major components in milk and many milk products, in fact the component that accounts for over 50% of the market value of milk,” explained Dr. Harrie van den Bijgaart, Chair of the ISO technical committee on milk and milk products.

“IDF and ISO experts have now successfully modified and scientifically validated the method so that it applies to a wide range of dairy products. In addition to liquid bovine whole milk, the method can now be applied to bovine milk with reduced fat content, goat whole milk, sheep whole milk, cheese, dried milk and dried milk products including milk-based infant formulae, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, casein and caseinate,” explained Dr. Jaap Evers, Chair of the IDF Methods Standards Steering Group explained.