Robotic Dairies Saves on Labor

Robotics Slowly Coming Into California Dairy Barns

 By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

It’s all associated with labor shortages, and skills and dairies aim to do something about it by bringing in robotics into the milking parlor

“If you have 3,000 cows, robotics will be a huge investment; however, most of the data collected is for robots in smaller operations,” said Daniela Bruno, who earned a Veterinary Medicine degree in Brazil and then went to grad school at UC Davis. She is a UCANR Dairy Advisor for Fresno County. “Many dairies are interested in how the robots will work in their operation because of major labor shortages,” she said.

The robotic milking machines are stationary in the milking barn, and cows will walk in at an assigned amount of times per day. “I talk about large versus small operations, because each robot, can milk between 65 and 70 cows so that you would need a lot of robots for a 3,000 cow dairy,” Bruno said.

Robotic arm milks a cow.

As far as installing robots, the manufacturer has to come up with a plan. Sometimes they need to build a new barn.

Bruno noted that smaller dairies on the East Coast or Midwest  have many robots, but they’re smaller operations. “They have two or three robots per dairy, while the largest one, to my knowledge, is in Chile, which has 64 milking robots,” noted Bruno.

“But it’s growing in California, due to labor regulations and the number of hours that the workers can milk cows. Dairies are now thinking if they had robots, then they will have to worry less about all the labor issues,” she said.

Bruno described how these robots work, how the cows get to the robots for milking.

“The cows have a collar, and there are several sorting gates that lead to the robot. So let’s say the cow feels the urge to be milked, but the last time she was milked was less than four hours ago. She does not have the permission to be milked again,” noted Bruno. “The dairy can decide if they want the cows milked two, three, or four times a day,” she noted.

The permissions are based on the lactation stage or if she’s a heifer if she’s a first, a second lactation cow. They’re going to control it, and everything is stored in software. And when she approaches the gate, the gate is going to open for the cow if she’s allowed to go, or if she’s not going to be able to be milked yet, the cow is sent to a waiting place where she can rest and eat.

When a cow gets the permission, she walks into the robot milking machines, which will do everything that a dairy employee would do. “It prepares the cow, cleans the cow, and stimulates the cow, then the milking equipment is automatically put on the udders,” Bruno said. “And once the cow is done milking, it applies the post dipping sanitizer on the teat, and the cow is released to go back to its bedding area.”

Bruno said that the robots have many cameras, so they know exactly what they’re doing when they’re pre-treating the cow before milking and milking the cow and post treating the cow after the milking with sanitizer.

And while dairies will need less labor in the milking barn, there will still require employees to maintain the equipment, and there are several companies that offer that service, and prices vary.

“In California, I know of two dairies that have robots already. They’re both in Stanislaus County, and one of the dairies is planning to expand to 10 robots,” she said.

“The dairy operators are pleased to have the robots in place and feel that they could pay for themselves in short order,” Bruno said.

Bruno said she is working with dairy economic specialist Fernanda Ferreira at the  UC Davis research center in Tulare, where there is a project focused on the financial analysis of robots.

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00November 6th, 2019|

Consumers Prefer Dairy Milk over Other Plant Based Choices

Survey Says 86% of US Adults Prefer Dairy Milk

A new Morning Consult national tracking poll of 2,200 Americans points to a number of revealing consumer preferences for milk and related beverages. When given the option to choose among whole, reduced fat 2%, low fat 1%, skim, other (almond, soy, oat, other plant-based, lactose-free), or “do not consume” milk, respondents overwhelmingly chose 2% and whole milks because they believe they are most nutritious for themselves and their families. Further, 86% of U.S. adults prefer dairy milk over “other” beverages, including plant-based beverages.

Additionally, by a margin of more than 2-1, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer low-fat flavored milks with school meals; and by a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals. The poll was conducted by Morning Consult in partnership with the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Poll Results

Here are 8 key findings:

1. A whopping 67% of adults across key demographics believe 2% and whole milk are the most nutritious types of milk. Thirty-six percent of adults believe 2% milk is the most nutritious, while 31% believe whole milk is the most nutritious.
2. At least 86% of adults prefer dairy milk compared to 10% who prefer “other” including plant-based beverages and lactose-free milk.
3. Strong opinions about offering flavored milk in schools vastly outweigh strong opinions against. Half of the adults believe it is important that the public school their child attends offers low-fat flavored milk with school meals, while just 22% believe it is unimportant. Twenty-nine percent have no opinion.
4. Adults feel similarly about fuller-fat milk with school meals—by a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals: 53% believe it is important that milks like 2% and whole are offered in schools, while just 18% feel it is unimportant. Currently, only low fat 1% and skim milks are allowed in schools.
5. Overall, more women than men believe it is more important that their children have access to fuller-fat and flavored milks in school.
6. Forty-two percent of SNAP participants prefer whole milk for themselves or their families. SNAP participants also report that they believe whole milk is the most nutritious (46%), the only demographic to do so. Of the 2,200 respondents, 336 self-identified as SNAP participants.
7. Respondents with incomes under $50,000 (inclusive of 336 SNAP and 115 WIC participants, respectively, who self-identified) believe more strongly than those with higher incomes (above $50,000) that fuller-fat milks are most nutritious and prefer offering these options as well as low-fat flavored milks in schools for their children.
8. Variety is key: More than three-quarters (77%) of adults found it important to have a variety of options to choose from when purchasing types of milk.

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00September 6th, 2019|

Cheese From CA Bring Home Awards

They Earn 50 Awards at American Cheese Society Competition in Richmond, VA

 Cow’s milk cheese and dairy processors that use the Real California Milk seal brought home 50 awards from the 2019 annual cheese competition held by the American Cheese Society (ACS), July 31-August 3, 2019 in Richmond, Va. 

The American Cheese Society recognizes the finest cheeses and dairy products made in the Americas. A total of 1742 cheese and cultured dairy products were entered the competition. Cheeses made with 100% California cow’s milk had another strong showing this year in a field of 257 processors representing the United States, Canada, Columbia and Venezuela.

California cheesemakers won a total of 81 awards – the second largest showing in the competition – with Real California cow’s milk cheeses bringing home 50 prizes: 19 first-place, 20 second-place and 11 third-place awards in this year’s judging. Highlights from these wins include:

  • Marquez Brothers International, Inc., San Jose – 15 awards: 1st place each for Panela (Hispanic and Portuguese Style Cheeses), Crema Agria, Plain Stir Yogurt (Cultured Milk and Cream Products), Guava Drinkable Yogurt, Mango Drinkable Yogurt, Strawberry Banana Drinkable Yogurt, and Strawberry Drinkable Yogurt (Flavored Cheeses/Yogurts & Cultured Products with Flavor Added); 2nd place each for Jocoque (Cultured Milk and Cream Products), Queso Fresco Casero Cheese, Queso Fresco Cremoso Cheese (Hispanic and Portuguese Style Cheeses), Peach Drinkable Yogurt, Piña Colada Drinkable Yogurt, and Strawberry Banana Cereal Smoothie (Flavored Cheeses/Yogurts & Cultured Products with Flavor Added); and 3rd place each for Queso Cotija (Hispanic and Portuguese Style Cheeses) and Guava Stir Yogurt (Flavored Cheeses/Yogurts & Cultured Products with Flavor Added),
  • Karoun Dairies, Inc., Turlock – five awards: 1st place each for Brinza Feta (Feta – Cow’s Milk) and Masala Yogurt Dip (Flavored Cheeses/Yogurts & Cultured Products with Flavor Added); 2nd for Bulgarian Yogurt (Cultured Milk and Cream Products); and 3rd each for Whole Milk Yogurt and Armenian Yogurt (Cultured Milk and Cream Products).
  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Pt. Reyes – five awards: 1st place each for Point Reyes Bay Blue (Blue Mold Cheeses), The Fork Pimento Cheese and The Fork Original Blue & Date Spread (Flavored Cheeses); and 3rd each for Point Reyes Toma (American Originals) and Point Reyes Tomaprovence (Flavored Cheeses).
  • Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma – four awards: 2nd place each for Fromage Blanc (Fresh Unripened Cheeses), Pierce Point (Flavored Cheeses) and Mt. Tam (Soft Ripened Cheeses); and 3rd for Cottage Cheese (Fresh Unripened Cheeses).
  • Rizo-Lopez Foods Inc., Modesto – four awards: 1st place each for RBCC Oaxaca (Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheeses) and RBCC Queso Cotija (Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheeses – Ripened, Aged > 90 Days); and 2nd each for Cotija (Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheese – Ripened, Aged > 90 Days) and RBCC Grilling Cheese (Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheeses, Cooking Hispanic – Cheeses).
  • Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, Willows – four awards*: 1st place for Heroes Greek Yogurt (Cultured Milk and Cream Products); 2nd each for Crème Fraîche (Cultured Milk and Cream) and Russian-Style Fresh Farmer Cheese (Fresh Unripened Cheeses); and 3rd for Organic Traditional Jack (American Originals).
  • Oakdale Cheese & Specialties, Oakdale – three awards: 1st place for Aged Gouda (American Made/International Style); and 2nd each for Mild Gouda (American Made/International Style) and Cumin Gouda (Flavored Cheeses).
  • Bellwether Farms, Petaluma – two awards*: 1st place for Fromage Blanc (Fresh Unripened Cheeses) and 2nd for Plain Organic Cow Yogurt (Cultured Milk and Cream Products).
  • Cal Poly Creamery, San Luis Obispo – two awards: 1st place for Smoked Grand Gouda (Smoked Cheeses) and 3rd for Grand Gouda (American Made/International Style).
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Nicasio – two awards: 2nd place for San Geronimo (Washed Rind Cheeses) and 3rd for Foggy Morning with Garlic and Basil (Flavored Cheeses).
  • Central Coast Creamery*, Paso Robles: 2nd place Holey Cow (American Made/International Style).
  • Marin French Cheese Company, Petaluma – one award: 3rd place for Triple Crème Brie (Soft Ripened Cheeses).
  • Rogue Creamery*, Oregon: 2nd place for Organic Smokey Blue Cheese (Smoked Cheeses).
  • Rumiano Cheese Company, Crescent City – one award: 1st place for Dry Jack (American Originals).

In total, 14 cow’s milk cheese and dairy companies won awards for products made with 100% Real California milk from the state’s more than 1200 family dairy farms. California is the second largest cheese producing state in the nation, responsible for more than 2.5 billion pounds of cheese in 2017. Real California cheeses and dairy products can be found at retailers throughout the U.S., Mexico and Asia. For more information, visit: RealCaliforniaMilk.com. For more information on ACS competition winners and the ACS Conference, go to: cheesesociety.org.

* Bellwether Farms, Central Coast Creamery, Rogue Creamery and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company also received awards for cow’s milk and non-cow’s milk cheeses that do not carry the Real California Milk seal.

2019-08-05T21:40:27-07:00August 5th, 2019|

Calif. Dairy Organizations Collaborate Regarding Quota Program

Groups Launch Exploratory Effort to Solicit and Analyze Proposals

News Release

Recently, the United Dairy Families of California, California Dairies, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, and the STOP QIP organization announced a multi-phase process aimed at soliciting and analyzing industry input on California’s historic quota program.

Included in this process is a series of meetings, starting later this month, open to all dairy producers and interested parties. These meetings are intended to solicit various pathways for the state’s quota program.

1) This multi-phase process includes three key parts: The Think Tank, Producer Feedback, and Analysis.

2) The Think Tank phase is for information-gathering from various segments of the dairy industry. This will include the meetings identified below, where producers will be able to voice their opinion and contribute ideas or concepts.

3) The Producer Feedback phase will allow producers to comment and challenge the ideas developed in the Think Tank phase.

In the Analysis phase, dominant ideas from the Producer Feedback phase will be analyzed for economic impacts, and legal pathways to adoption will be determined.

This process will be implemented with the assistance of dairy industry economist Dr. Marin Bozic and dairy market analyst Matt Gould. Dr. Bozic and Mr. Gould will be conducting an economic analysis of the proposed ideas.

The first series of meetings associated with the Think Tank phase are as follows:

● Tuesday, July 30 – 2 pm to 4 pm – Embassy Suites, Ontario

● Wednesday, July 31 – 9 am to 11 am – Heritage Complex, Tulare

● Wednesday, July 31 – 2 pm to 4 pm – Turlock Ballroom

● Thursday, August 1 – 9 am to 11 am – Washoe House, Petaluma

Meeting space is limited. All participants are strongly encouraged to register at

www.dairyfamilies.org/events

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00July 24th, 2019|

Four Students Selected to Represent Real California Milk in Asia, Mexico

Student Ambassadors Share California Dairy Message with International Audiences 

News Release

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has selected four students to serve as interns in the second year of the international dairy leadership program. Jessica Brown, Stefani Christieson, KayCee Hartwig-Dittman and Makayla Toste will serve as dairy representatives, working with marketing teams representing CMAB during the summer in Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan.

The interns, selected from students enrolled in agriculture-related programs at colleges and universities throughout the state, were chosen based on academic achievement, connection to the dairy industry, and a willingness to travel abroad and learn more about international dairy sales and marketing as well as a plan to work in the California dairy industry in the future.dairy cattle

Over the six-week period, each intern will spend time with in-country CMAB marketing organizations—Brown in Taiwan, Christieson and Hartwig-Dittman in South Korea and Toste in Mexico—to gain a better understanding of these markets, consumer buying habits, and promotional efforts on behalf of California’s dairy industry.

Brown is currently enrolled at Fresno State, majoring in agriculture business. She was raised on her family’s vineyard in Tracy and has always had a passion for agriculture. Her desire to learn about agriculture outside of the U.S. has provided her with opportunities to study abroad, most recently in Spain. Because of her love of travel and learning about other cultures, Jessica is focusing on international marketing at college, with plans to work in this field of study upon graduation in 2020. Brown is a member of the agriculture marketing team at Fresno State and will be working with Steven Chu and Associates in Taipei, Taiwan.

Christieson is a recent graduate of the UC Davis, where she received her B.S. in Political Science and minors in economics and French. She will be attending graduate school in the fall at Sciences Po in Paris, France, for a year and then will complete the program at Fudan University in Shanghai, China in year two. Christieson plans to complete her master’s degree in international economic policy and pursue a career as agriculture economic policy advisor for an agriculture export market organization to help California farmers continue to expand into emerging and established markets overseas. Christieson will be working with Sohn’s Market Makers, Ltd. in S. Korea.

Hartwig-Dittman is currently enrolled at Fresno State, where she is majoring in dairy science and is employed at the dairy unit on campus. She has a culinary arts degree from Diablo Valley Community College and has experience working in the restaurant industry in California. Her love of travel and food has allowed her to travel outside of the U.S., where she has learned to use dairy products in new and creative ways with hopes to find innovative ways to introduce dairy to consumers around the world. Hartwig-Dittman will also be working with Sohn’s Market Makers, Ltd. in South Korea.

 Toste, a second-generation dairy farmer from Newman, received her B.S. degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in dairy science. During her last year at Fresno State, Toste served as the assistant herdsman for the Fresno State dairy unit, where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the dairy and an officer for the Fresno State Dairy Club. After the internship, she plans to work in the California dairy industry in promotion and marketing to help keep the industry viable for the next generation of farmers. Toste will serve as an intern with the team at Imalinx in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

“California accounts for more than 33 percent of all U.S. dairy exports so international trade is essential for our continued growth. Over the last decade, the CMAB has worked closely with partners in Asia and Mexico to develop markets for California dairy products. This program is focused on providing insight into international dairy marketing for future leaders like Jessica, Stefani, KayCee, and Makayla, who will work in the dairy business and one day serve on dairy industry boards and lead industry groups,” said Glenn Millar, Director of International Business Development for the CMAB.

The goal of the CMAB International Internship program is to provide agriculture/dairy college students an opportunity to learn about dairy foods and marketing in the international marketplace. The program looks to develop leaders who will serve on dairy industry boards and work in dairy foods production, processing, or sales/marketing.

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00July 12th, 2019|

Tulare Center Trains UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Students

UC Vet Students Learn About Livestock Animals in Tulare

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

VMRTC is the Veterinarian Medicine Training and Research Center located in Tulare. The facility is an extension of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The site offers education and training to veterinarians by offering senior veterinary students and residents on-the-farm clinical medical training and residencies in dairy production medicine.

Nathan Brown, a UC Davis veterinary student, is working on practicals in and out of a hospital setting.

“We do rotations in the hospital and outside of the hospital. We have a teaching center and, in addition, we have our California Animal Health and Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS), which is involved with diagnosing foreign animal diseases,” Brown said. “That is sort of the main mission.”

“In the mornings, we do herd checks, we go out to different dairies. We palpate cows for diagnosis of pregnancy, and we’re under the supervision of some of the veterinarians that work at our center,” Brown explained. “In the afternoons, we work on a variety of different projects. One of the projects that we’re working on currently is milking frequency. We are looking at different variables that go into whether or not it’s profitable to move from either two to three times a day or three times a day to two times a day.”

Brown said that the students at the Tulare center are doing their livestock track through UC Davis. “We’re all in our fourth year. It’s been a wonderful experience. Tulare is a great place, and it’s good to see a different part of California.”

Students studying at the center decide which direction they will take regarding animal type or other medical pursuits.

“After our second year, we make a decision about whether we do small animals or large animals,” Brown said. “Some people do equines, other focus on zoo animals—there is a variety of options in our profession and that our school offers.

Brown is pursuing livestock medicine, but he has a commitment to the Air Force to do public health epidemiology for them.

Army veterinarians do clinical medicine for animals on the base. They focus on German shepherd dogs and horses, and they also do some food safety.

“As as a veterinarian in the Air Force, it’s essentially veterinary public health, and my role will be epidemiology on a base, so that’s actually more human focus, and food safety,” Brown said.

“If you kind of think about the historical roots of veterinary medicine, much of the role of veterinarians has been ensuring that food is safe for humans to consume, meaning that the animals are healthy before they get ready for human consumption,” Brown explained. “We must ensure that there’s no points of contamination so that all the food that people eat in this country is healthy and nutritious, and we don’t have to worry about disease.”

Most bases have a veterinary clinic, primarily staffed with army veterinarians.

“My hope is to do some amount of clinical practice at these clinics to sort of keep my veterinary skills relevant. And I’ve had some good advice from some epidemiologists who works at the CDC,” Brown said. “He told me that at least for him, it’s made him a better epidemiologist by keeping his clinical skills relevant because thinking about that differential diagnosis is really a big part of trying to find the cause of a disease.”

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00May 2nd, 2019|

California Crop Values for 2017 Released by CDFA

Full Statistics Now Available For the Crop Year 2017

News Release

The California Agricultural Statistics Review for crop year 2017 has been released. It reports that California’s farms and ranches received more than $50 billion in cash receipts for their output. This represents an increase of almost 6 percent in crop values compared to 2016.

California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California. California is the leading U.S. state for cash farm receipts, accounting for over 13 percent of the nation’s total agricultural value. The top producing commodities for 2017 include:

Dairy Products, Milk — $6.56 billion

Grapes— $5.79 billion

Almonds— $5.60 billion

Strawberries— $3.10 billion

Cattle and Calves — $2.53 billion

Lettuce— $2.41 billion

Walnuts— $1.59 billion

Tomatoes— $1.05 billion

Pistachios— $1.01 billion

Broilers— $939 million

Complete Report at this Link:

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Statistics/PDFs/2017-18AgReport.pdf

2019-01-10T15:52:42-08:00January 10th, 2019|

It’s Truly a California Thanksgiving

California Growers and Ranchers Provide Nearly Everything On the Table

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

It’s truly a California Thanksgiving, as most of the products come from the growers and ranchers here.

Turkeys come from several areas of the state, and while California is No. 7 in turkey production, they do supply most of the western United States.

And the famous Mrs. Cubbison’s dressing comes from a California gal, Sophie Cubbison, who as born in 1890 in the San Marcos area of San Diego County. A long interesting story made short: In May of 1920, she graduated from California Polytechnical University with a degree in Home Economics. It was 1948 when she used broken pieces of the popular Melba toast and added seasoning to make stuffing. A factory in Commerce, CA, churns it this time of year.

And farmers in California also produce almonds, walnuts, pistachios, raisins, prunes, figs, dates, apricot, and pomegranates right up the food line.

Celery comes from the Oxnard and Ventura area, and the ingredients for the stuffing mix–carrots, lot of lettuce and fresh spinach–in Salinas now that they have all these greens, already washed and bagged in the produce department. The green beans come from California growers as well. c

You’ve got oranges, kiwi fruit, colorful persimmon fruit, table grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries that have been freshly harvested from many areas of the state. You’ve got sweet potatoes from the Merced area. This is the major season for them. You’ve got all kinds and colors of potatoes and tomatoes and parsley, onions and garlic–all crops grown in California

Practically all the fruits and vegetables and nuts are part of America’s Thanksgiving, and nearly all of it comes from California. There is often a wide array of cheeses and that wonderful whip cream that comes from the California dairy industry—number one in the industry.

And don’t forget about the great variety of California wine grapes that are grown by California growers and then crafted into great California wine.

You’ve you have apples and those small round watermelons that are a great snack or dessert item as part of a fruit salad. And we have poultry, and even California lamb if you want to go that way.

And of course Martinelli Sparkling Apple or Grape cider from Watsonville. Local growers provide the tree-ripened fruit to the award-winning company, which is more than 140 years old and still family-owned and run by the founder’s grandson and a great-grandson.

In fact, it was 1890 when the company was award the first place at the California State Fair.

And by the way, you know that pop-up turkey timer that indicates when the turkey has reached the correct internal temperature? It was invented by public relations genius Leo Pearlstein, who handled promotions for the California Turkey Advisory Board for 25 years. Each Thanksgiving, hundreds of consumers would call to ask how long it takes to cook a turkey in the oven. In the 1960s, Pearlstein and a turkey producer from Turlock were sitting in a room trying to figure out the solution. They looked up and noticed the fire sprinklers in the ceiling.

Sprinkler water comes on when it is hot enough to melt a metal alloy. The same concept is used in the pop-up timer. Many turkey brands have the special pop-up timer included with them today.

With the exception of cranberries, it’s really a California Thanksgiving.

And we are grateful to all the California farmers and ranchers for providing so much for all of us this holiday and throughout the year.

2018-11-22T03:35:57-08:00November 22nd, 2018|

Livestock Owners Asked to Weigh in on Fire Impact

Livestock Owners Should Participate in Fire Survey

By Pam Kan-Rice, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources

Preparing a farm for wildfire is more complicated when it involves protecting live animals. To assess the impact of wildfire on livestock production, University of California researchers are asking livestock producers to participate in a survey. 

People raising cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, swine, horses, llamas, alpacas, aquaculture species or other production-oriented animals in California who have experienced at least one wildfire on their property within the last 10 years are asked to participate in the FIRE survey.

“We will aim to quantify the impact of wildfires in different livestock production systems,” said Beatriz Martinez Lopez, director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “The idea is also to create a risk map showing areas more likely to experience wildfires with high economic impact in California.

“This economic and risk assessment, to the best of our knowledge, has not been done, and we hope to identify potential actions that ranchers can take to reduce or mitigate their losses if their property is hit by wildfire.”

Martínez López, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology at UC Davis, is teaming up with UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisors and wildfire specialists around the state to conduct the study.

“Right now, we have no good estimate of the real cost of wildfire to livestock producers in California,” said Rebecca Ozeran, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Fresno and Madera counties. “Existing UCCE forage loss worksheets cannot account for the many other ways that wildfire affects livestock farms and ranches. As such, we need producers’ input to help us calculate the range of immediate and long-term costs of wildfire.”

Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and range management advisor for Sonoma and Marin counties, agreed, saying, “The more producers who participate, the more accurate and useful our results will be.”

“We hope the survey results will be used by producers across the state to prepare for wildfire,” said Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, “And by federal and private agencies to better allocate funds for postfire programs available to livestock producers.”

The survey is online at http://bit.ly/FIREsurvey. It takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of properties the participant has that have been affected by wildfire.

“Survey answers are completely confidential and the results will be released only as summaries in which no individual’s answers can be identified,” said Martínez López. “This survey will provide critical information to create the foundation for future fire economic assessments and management decisions.”

2021-05-12T11:17:09-07:00October 18th, 2018|

Federal Milk Marketing Order in California in Effect Nov. 1

Questions Arise Regarding Milk Quota

Edited by Patrick Cavanaugh

Dairymen and women throughout California are working hard to provide milk and other dairy products for consumers in California and the world. Because the industry has struggled over the past decade with price swings that have often landed dairies in red, many dairies have gone out of business. Still, other operations relocated to others states where regulations are a fraction of what they are in California.

In June 2018, California dairy producers voted to establish a new Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state. The vote was a paramount step in a long process that would culminate with the new order taking effect on November 1. The order will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions currently used throughout the FMMO system.

California accounts for more than 18 percent of U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk marketing order administered by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). Once this new FMMO takes effect, more than 80 percent of the U.S. milk supply will fall under the FMMO regulatory framework.

Western United Dairymen is a trade association based in Modesto. Annie AcMoody is the Director of Economic Analysis. She explained that there have been questions from the industry regarding the upcoming FMMO.

Among the often asked question revolves around when the state switches to FMMO in November, what will happen to their quota if a dairy ships milk out of state?

Annie AcMoody: When our California state system goes away to make way for the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in November, the Quota Implementation Plan (QIP) will be the language in place to ensure the quota system’s smooth transition into the FMMO system.

When we enter that new world, all market milk received from California producers at a California plant will be assessed for quota. By “received”, the language defines “to convey milk physically into a milk plant where it is utilized within the plant, or stored within such milk plant and transferred to another plant for utilization. This means that a milk truck driver cannot drive by a plant, wave hello to an operator, and keep on going out of state and still call this milk received in California. Basically, if your California milk leaves the state, you will not be assessed for quota.

But you also will not be paid for it. But, if your milk is 60% quota and only 40% of your milk goes out of state, you will be assessed on 60% of your milk and get paid quota on that same 60%. If your quota covers 100% of your milk and 40% of your milk goes out of state you will be assessed on 60% of your milk and get paid quota on that same 60%. In this instance, one could wonder if it makes much sense to keep your quota.

While it may not make much economic sense to hold on to quota you are not paid for, some reasons may validate that decision (perhaps it is expected milk will be shipped to a California plant in the near future). If you were to decide to hold on to that quota, it is important to keep in mind that “if quota is not made active by shipments of market milk to a California plant or cooperative association or is not transferred within the 60-day period, such quota shall revert to the Department”.

This excerpt from the QIP means that if your quota milk is not paid on for over 60 days, you will lose it, so you better sell it. This is likely going to be an issue if you ship to a proprietary plant and all your milk goes out of state. If you ship milk to a cooperative, there is more flexibility because that coop has the ability to combine quotas assigned to it by its members.

So as long as the quota total within the coop is not larger than the total amount of market milk produced and received in California, then there should be no issue for you as a quota holder.

What 
is 
defined 
as 
market 
milk?


Answer:
 Grade A milk.

If your milk is Grade B, you cannot have quota now and will not be able to under the QIP. You will not be assessed for it either. Currently, only around 3% of the milk in California is Grade B. WUD will keep an eye out on this topic to ensure that percentage does not deviate significantly. As a reassurance, this is not something that could grow from 3% to 50% in a month since fluid milk is not allowed to take in Grade B milk and the three largest coops in the state (CDI, DFA and LOL) committed to not taking in any more Grade B milk after the transition to the FMMO.

2021-05-12T11:17:09-07:00September 23rd, 2018|
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