Milk Production Topics

I was reading articles today on the Ag Industry outlook and I thought I’d share some information I found on Milk Production currently and future projections.

In Ag Weekly news this past week, an article (1) was published talking about how Per-Cow average milk production has reached a new high. Across the world, but in the U.S. especially, efficiency is more and more important to farmers to help feed the world. Thanks to continued efforts and continuing to modify techniques, farmers have reached a new all-time high this year for the per-cow average for milk production. While this is great news, that the Dairy Industry continues its progress in efficiency, another article paused for concern on the global milk production outlook for the future.

An article on Farms.com (2), from June 26th, discussed the outlook of Global Milk Production to slow in the second half of 2014. The greatest cause for concern will be the United States. Currently, the U.S. has been enjoying record high prices, see my article from June 19th for more info. However, according to the article on Farms.com, the U.S. is expected to see the biggest decline in the second half of the year for Global markets.

The reason this is cause for concern, is because the Dairy farms were just starting to get back on their feet again with these record high prices and are soon to be pushed back down with a slow second half.

We shall see if these outlooks hold out. Let’s hope that the Dairy Industry can sustain some of the growth it has seen this year, and continue to improve its deficiencies to be even better.

Here are the links to the articles:
1. http://www.theprairiestar.com/agweekly/news/dairy/milk-production-per-cow-averages-reach-new-heights/article_939f1236-fbdf-11e3-b722-001a4bcf887a.html
2. http://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/global-milk-production-growth-to-slow-in-2014-265.aspx

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Farm Employees Impact on Animal Welfare

In a recent article I read, “Hiring, Training Employees Key to Good Animal Welfare” from BlackburnNews.com, I really thought this was a great concept and idea.

The fact of the matter is that less than 1% of the population farms in the United States, and the 99%+ have no idea what its like to work around these animals. The media creates perceived notions that drive for advocate groups to protect animals. So as the less than 1% we need to start doing things a little better. We need to be more transparent, more open, more educating to those around us.

How does a farm become transparent to the public eye?

Great question, but you may not like it! Invite them to your farm, show them what you do. Afraid? Are you doing things that you know wouldn’t be accepted by others? Would those things be accepted by other farmers and ranchers?

Most of the farmers I know do a great job of keeping the public involved, educated, and those farmers at the end of the day are understood and appreciated by the public. When a farmer doesn’t see the importance for transparency, they are only creating excuses for changes that need to be made around their farm or ranch that should be done regardless.

As a way of helping facilitate and provide more information to farmers about these types of things, I plan to create and release guides to help farmers and ranchers better train and prepare themselves and their employees for becoming more transparent and open to the public. My goal would be to reverse the trend on public outcry against farmers, but instead have farmers setting the record straight for people to know and understand.

Link to article: http://blackburnnews.com/agrimedia/agrimedia-news/2014/06/19/hiring-training-right-people-cited-as-key-to-good-animal-welfare/

Ag Equipment Industry Summary for 2014 thus far

In 2013, the Ag Equipment Industry saw its highest volumes of Combines ever sold in the United States. Coming off that peak this year, with grain prices coming back down to more normal levels, the industry is seeing a pullback in demand for the large combines this year. However, not all is lost this year for the Ag Equipment sector. In fact, timing couldn’t be better, as the Dairy Industry is having its best year on record this year with prices reaching all-time highs. For the past decade, Dairymen have barely gotten by. Today, they are stronger than ever and poised to cash in on the high prices. Flush with cash, these Dairy operations will be investing in new Hay & Forage equipment for providing for their herd’s needs. The investment from Dairymen will help offset losses in Combine sales for Ag Equipment companies. New Holland stands to see the biggest gain this year, as they command the Hay & Forage market with their Best in class equipment and patented technology.

Why are milk prices so high this year? Well, China likes Milk, and they typically get most of their milk from in the country or New Zealand, both of whom had droughts this past season. Thus, they have begun importing dairy from the United States. This has driven the price of milk to an all-time high. Will the prices remain and for how long? Well, I think by the end of the year prices will begin going back to more normal prices and that this will be a short lived extravaganza for Dairy farmers.

Overall…

Thus far, farmers seem to be happy with the steady year, average prices are good with great yields and are preferred over years with high prices but also high risk for collecting good yields. Dairy farmers have cash again, and that helps the other farmers be better able to make better marginal sales on their commodities.

Questions remain though for the future of the Ag Equipment Industry. Where will technology and testing and everything lead the industry? Will equipment keep getting larger? Will the future in low labor cost drone type equipment? Or will the industry start moving back to smaller, lighter, less compaction equipment?

What direction do you think the Industry should go in? I’d love to hear your thoughts!