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Minnesota Milk Minute - April 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Minnesota Milk Minute 

April 29, 2016

A reliable source of timely market information, news and current events. 

In This Issue

Weekly Minnesota Legislative Recap

Register for the New York Dairy Tour

Value-Added Grants Offered

Dannon Takes Non-GMO Pledge

Herd Size Average Up


Upcoming Events

May 9: Deadline for New York Dairy Tour Registration

June 15-20: New York Dairy Tour

Featured Members

Special thanks to
Minnesota Milk
Associate Members.
This week’s featured members:


Provimi North America

Farm First Dairy Cooperative

Greenwell Realty / Design Solutions

Midwest Livestock Systems, Inc.

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Minnesota Milk Legislative Update (Daryn McBeth, Gray Plant Mooty)

​The State Legislature now has three weeks to complete its work before facing the Constitutional adjournment date of May 23. Most of the activity at the Capitol this past week has focused on the supplemental budget bills, which would use some of the $900 million budget surplus dollars for augmenting government programs or on new spending initiatives that have come to light since passing the main biennial budget last summer.

The House approach, led by the Republican party, has been to bring individual spending bills to the floor grouped by issue area, such as health and human services, and agriculture/natural resources/economic development. The Senate approach, led by the DFL, was to combine all the Finance Committee supplemental budget bills into one large 600-page bill that spends about $550 million. All of the supplemental budget bills passed by the House and Senate will now begin to come together in one or more conference committees to reconcile differences – which are many.

Meanwhile, final decisions on the supplemental budget bills will certainly be delayed while leaders of both parties argue about the size and scope of a bonding bill, a transportation bill and a tax bill. Since a bonding bill requires support from the minority party in the House and Senate in order to pass, additional complications (and politics) are present in order to finish a deal on the bonding bill – and the entire session. The House and Senate are each expected to reveal their initial bonding bills next week. But with three weeks remaining, it is seeming very unlikely that much of anything will be accomplished by May 23.

Accomplishing nothing could be a victory for some and a losing proposition for others. With all 201 House and Senate seats up for election in November, we’ll be hearing plenty of opinions about the conclusion of the session this summer and fall. After a contentious week, it’s easy to be pessimistic about much being accomplished this session, but time will tell.

Join Us on a New Your Dairy Tour June 15-20

Each year Minnesota Milk provides an educational and recreational tour for both members and non-members. This year’s tour includes six days and five nights in the Finger Lakes area and western side of New York State, with stops at dairy farms, state parks, dairy processing facilities, wineries, Cornell University and more! Space is limited to the first 50 people to register. Our registration deadline is May 9. For more information and to register, please visit or call toll-free 1-877-577-0741.

Value-Added Feasibility Grants Offered (Minn. Dept. of Ag)

Grant funding is available for Minnesota residents or businesses interested in studying the feasibility of a new venture to add value to an agricultural commodity or product. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Value-Added Feasibility Study Grant will reimburse eligible farmers and farm networks, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural businesses, and others up to 50 percent of the costs for a third party consultant to conduct the feasibility study, with a maximum award of $35,000. Read more.

Dannon Announces Plan to Source Milk from Cows Fed Non-GMO Feeds (Dairy Reporter)

Dannon, in an effort to woo consumers who are becoming increasingly concerned about all aspects of how their food is made, has made a promise to eliminate all genetically modified grains from the diets of the cows that produce the milk used to make most of the company's yogurt. Products under the company's Dannon brand will be completely produced with milk from non-GMO-fed cows by the end of 2017, and products under the Oikos and Danimals brands will make the complete transition by the end of 2018. A variety of articles have been posted about the move, including one from Agri-Pulse and Politico that question the company’s ability to deliver on its pledge. Read more.

Average U.S. Herd Size Now 144 (Hoard’s Dairyman)

These days, the average (mean) U.S. dairy herd has 144 milk cows. That total was up 94 head from the 50 cows in 1987. It’s triple the number of dairy cows on farms just 25 years ago (1987 versus 2012). However, that’s only half the story. When evaluating the midpoint, herd size grew tenfold — from 80 to 900 cows. In other words, half of all cows are in herds larger than the midpoint (900 in this case), and half are in smaller herds. Read more.                                                

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” -- Babe Ruth


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