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Collecting good milk samples is a must

As basic as it looks, some producers are still not fully aware and familiarized with the importance of or how to collect a milk sample. Part of mastitis control programs consist on culturing and on the microbiological analysis of milk samples. However, to be able to identify the bacteria, strict aseptic procedures must be used when collecting the samples.


St-Pierre: The swirling winds of milk price and feed costs

It looks like we might have a spring after all. As we all wait anxiously for our fields to dry off enough to allow field work, sowing, and planting, we are left to ponder about what direction the swirling dairy winds will be taking for the balance of the year. As I often wrote, predicting milk prices beyond a 3-month horizon is risky at best.


Natural gas prices hold steady

Outside of New England, prices at most locations remain flat with warmer temperatures. Natural gas prices at most trading locations remained at or near their report week start point, Wednesday to Wednesday, as seasonal temperatures held through the week. With the exception of New England, most locations stayed within 10¢ of their price last Wednesday through the report week. The Henry Hub spot price last Wednesday was $2.77/MMBtu and gained 5¢ through Friday, before dropping to end the week at $2.74/MMBtu.


USDA extends ARC and PLC deadlines

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.


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