What is it with the Grain Situation?I am NOT opposed to ethanol. I do prefer it aged in oaken barrels or pretty glass bottles! sums up how Dr. Meyers feels about corn used in ethanol. This presentation (with lots of charts for the data included) shares some other thoughts about the markets, grain, and the future of animal feed [video].
While other agricultural products are doing well for growers, U.S. dairy farmers are not doing as well. Feed prices combined with an over supply of milk products are pushing prices and profits down.
Dairy farmers expanded herds following the 70 percent jump in prices to a record in 2007, just before the U.S. began its longest recession since before World War II and unemployment rose to the highest level in a quarter century. Weaker demand was compounded by this year’s drought, floods or freezing weather from Canada to Kazakhstan that ruined crops and boosted competition for U.S. grain that dairies require.
It is anticipated that there will be some dairy operations that will fail in the coming months. It is also believed that the next year will continue to be rough on dairy producers because of continued market pressures from animal feed corn.
Corn futures have risen 48 percent since the end of June, the biggest gain in the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials after sugar. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate for the crop on Nov. 9 for a third straight month because of flooding in Iowa and Missouri and hot, dry weather from Illinois to Ohio.
A deft hand is needed to get the silage piles in the right form. From Modesto, CA, this article also shares with non-farmers what silage is, how it is harvested, and why it is used as feed for dairy cows.
Who knew that silage piles — those giant mounds of dairy feed covered with plastic sheeting — could be works of art?
A delicate touch helps when managing the piles, which can degrade if too much air gets inside them.
That's why Larry Pacheco tries to minimize the exposed surface when he removes some of the feed from a pile with a tractor.
Silage, which dairy farmers make by fermenting corn or other crops for a few weeks after harvesting, has become an important feed in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere.
And it's another example of the sophisticated work behind the seemingly simple business of producing food.
North valley farmers produced about $212 million worth of silage last year, according to county crop reports.
As I notice the flowers next to the barn beginning to bloom, I realize that Spring is finally here. Spring is a sign of renewal and new beginnings. Hopefully the dairy industry and milk prices will respond favorably to the new season.
Well, I am finishing up the chores then heading off to San Antonio for hopefully some sunshine, warmer weather and a great education. I hope that you have made your plans to be with us this week for the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show.