Upper Midwest milk hauling charges compared
Average May 2014 milk hauling charges in the Upper Midwest federal milk marketing order (FMMO) were down slightly compared to May 2013, according to an annual update. Milk Hauling Charges in the Upper Midwest Marketing Area - May 2014 (Staff Paper 14-02) was prepared by Dr. Corey Freije.
This study breaks down and categorizes hauling charges based on state, county and producer size groups for May 2014. The payroll data for 13,511 producers who were associated with the Upper Midwest Marketing Order (see map) were examined.
This study revealed that a majority of handlers participating in the Upper Midwest Marketing Area charge their producers a flat hauling value regardless of the producer’s size or volume of milk being marketed. In these cases, the hauling charge per hundredweight declines as the producer’s milk volume increases. Also, the weighted average hauling charge for F.O. 30 shows that handlers do not pass on much of changes in fuel costs to farmers.
The weighted average hauling charge for producers on the Upper Midwest FMMO in May 2014 was 17.13¢/cwt., down slightly from 17.43¢/cwt. in May 2013.
The Wisconsin weighted average hauling charge of 11.75¢/cwt. was 5.32¢ below the weighted market average, while the Minnesota average of 22.73¢/cwt. was 5.60¢ above the market average. These states supplied 63% and 21%, respectively, of the milk on the market in May 2014.
Wisconsin had the lowest average hauling charge of any of the states included in the study, while North Dakota had the highest average hauling charge, at 45.99¢/cwt. The North Dakota average was strongly influenced by the low number of farms, the long distance from high demand areas, and less handler competition. Wisconsin, in contrast, has a high number of farms and close proximity to high demand areas.
To find the full report, visit www.fmma30.com/Homepage/FO30_STAFF_PAPERS.htm.
Source: Upper Midwest FMMO Administrator
Wisconsin Alfalfa Yield, Persistence Project summarized
The University of Wisconsin-Extension Team Forage has updated its annual Alfalfa Yield and Persistence Project summary. The “2014 Wisconsin Alfalfa Yield and Persistence Project Summary” includes data for the second and third production years from fields entered into the program in 2012 (2011 seedings) through 2014 (2013 seedings).
Under the project, UW-Extension agents identify forage producers willing to weigh and sample forage for the life of the alfalfa stand. The project is designed to verify the yield and quality of alfalfa harvested from production fields over the life of the stand, beginning with the first production year (year after seeding). It also quantifies decreases in alfalfa stand productivity as they age.
Production data was collected for 24 fields in 2014. With so many fields lost to winterkill in 2013, 15 fields from 11 different farms were enrolled in the program in 2014, the highest number of new fields in a single year to date. With 2014 information, the summary now includes eight years of project data.
View the latest post at http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage/alfalfa/#Overall
Source: UW-Extension Team Forage
Iowa farmland values fall from historic high
With declining corn and soybean prices, the value of Iowa farmland declined 8.9% in 2014, according to a new report from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.
Based on a November 2014 survey, average Iowa farmland value was estimated to be $7,943/acre, a drop of $773 compared to a year earlier. Land values were determined by the Iowa Land Value Survey.
“I think we have seen a peak for the time being,” said Michael Duffy, a retired ISU economics professor and Extension farm management economist, who conducted this year’s survey. “Commodity prices and farm income are settling back to more expected levels, and I think land values will probably move sideways for a while,” he said. “Many people think this report indicates the beginning of another farm crisis, but land values are still considerably higher than they were just a few years ago.”
While 2014 marks the largest decline in farmland values since 1986, it is only the second year since 1999 that the survey has shown a decline in farmland values. After hitting a historic peak in 2013, values have returned to a mid-point between 2011 and 2012 values. In spite of the decrease, farmland values are more than double what they were 10 years ago, 81% higher than 2009 values, and 18% higher than 2011 values.
The value of all grades of farmland fell, with high-grade farmland taking the largest hit and losing a full 9% ($974 per acre) of its value. High-grade farmland values had also shown the sharpest increases over the past several years.
For the second year in a row, Scott ($11,618/acre) and Decatur ($3,587/acre) counties reported the highest and lowest farmland values, respectively. The largest decrease in farmland value was in southwest Iowa, which reported a drop of 13.5%. Worth County, located in the northeast portion of the state, however, reported the largest percentage drop in value for any one county at 15.2%.
The only crop reporting district to show an increase in values was southeast Iowa, which reported values at 3.2% higher than last year.
For additional resources, including maps and historical survey data, visit http://www.card.iastate.edu/land-value/2014/. The link also includes a 1-hour press conference announcing the survey results.
Source: Iowa State University
Iowa Dairy Days scheduled
Iowa State University Extension Dairy Days will be held at seven locations between Jan. 20 and Feb. 6. All sessions run 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Dates and locations are:
• Jan. 19, Civic Center, 200 1st Street NE, Waverly
• Jan. 20, Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, Hwy 150 South, Calmar
• Jan. 21, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church 105 W 6th St., Riceville
• Feb. 2, ISU Extension & Outreach Davis County Office, 402 E. North St., Bloomfield
• Feb. 3, Chamber of Commerce 514 B. Ave., Kalona
• Feb. 4, Neumann’s Bar & Grill, 927 Main St., Holy Cross
• Feb. 5, River Valley Coop, 605 Franklin St., Ryan
Presentations may vary by location. Topics include:
• Should BEEF be on Your dairy Operation?
• 2014 Farm Bill-Top 10 ARC/PLC Questions
• Economics of Manure Management
• Responsible Therapy Practices: Motivating Beyond Mandatory
• DHI Records: Hitting the Bullseye! Defining your key parameters and benchmarks
• Alfalfa Establishment and Stand Persistence (Riceville, Calmar, Waverly)
• Maximize Alfalfa Yields of Dairy Quality Forage (Bloomfield, Kalona, Holy Cross, Ryan)
A $15 registration fee covers the noon meal and proceedings costs. Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event to reserve a meal. Visit www.extension.iastate.edu/dairyteam.
Source: Iowa State University
Purdue Extension sets 3rd annual Small Farm Conference
Small farms, considered operations generating less than $250,000 in sales of products annually, comprise 85% of the farms in Indiana, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
The first day is an optional pre-conference with daylong sessions on how to make a small farm profitable, the growing hops industry and tours of food production operations.
The conference will provide education, a trade show, presentations on various topics relevant to small farms. There will be sessions on cover crops and soil health, managing pollinator habitat, composting, new poultry regulations, liability issues, preventing and dealing with livestock death, realizing the value of woodlands, grant writing and food safety planning, among many others. Keynote speaker is John Ikerd, professor emeritus of the University of Missouri and an advocate for small farms. Registration to attend one of the three workshops is separate from the two-day conference. Lunch is included. Participants do not have to register for the two-day conference to attend a preconference program.
Registration and a complete schedule of workshops for both the two-day conference and the preconference are available online at http://bit.ly/1zxe3PH.
The Baymont Inn and Suites Plainfield/Indianapolis Airport Area is providing a special rate of $69 per night for conference attendees. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 317-837-9000 and mentioning the Small Farm Conference.
Source: Purdue University