Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Stocker Steve » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:08 am

[quote=farmerjan
Lost another farm here in Va. [/quote]

Are these all conventional confinment dairy operations?
What is happening to the farm land?


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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Jogeephus » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:48 am

pdfangus wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:51 am
problem is at least in our state....the regulatory burden which is put upon producers who wish to manufacture their own products is staggering. a few do it but it is costly....
Same problem here and the regulations are so complicated that it depends on the inspector what is right and what is wrong. A good example of this is when our last president appointed a lady from New York city to run one of the food regulatory agencies and she claimed the use of cheese drying cheese boards was unsanitary and illegal and her opinion had small cheesemakers up in arms and many were going to be put out of business by her opinion. I don't know whatever happened or if she was over-ruled but this just goes to show how difficult it can be for a small operator who doesn't have the ear of a congressman to do business even though the facts are on their side since the use of cheese boards has been an accepted practice for centuries and is even a requirement when making certain cheeses in the European Union.
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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by farmerjan » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:54 am

The regulations are constantly getting harder and harder to comply with because we "have to protect all the imbeciles from something terrible happening to them" rather than anyone taking responsibility for themselves. Remember the "hot coffee" BS with Mcdonalds and the customer suing because they got burned by HOT COFFEE? There is no common sense anymore.

The farmer that just sold out, his brother runs beef cattle also and they will work something out. At one time they milked 125 but the one brother didn't like milking, so he branched into beef, he did most of the crops and the dairy brother bought his corn silage etc from the beef brother. They helped each other some. The beef brother has a son that wants to be on the farm full time and they will need to expand their beef if that happens. Like 2 operations that complimented each other. The father had milked cows before and he still helps out. They are a bit out away from the more traveled areas, so I don't think they will be selling the land anytime soon.
The one that is wanting to get out this spring, will probably go to beef, maybe feeding steers or something. He has alot of hilly terrain, about 10 miles from the bustling city of Harrisonburg, so a little cushion with the narrow roads and such back there.
The one that is all river bottom crop ground, I don't know. They are very close to a big expanding area of businesses and homes and only about 5-6 miles from that, and I can foresee it going to development down the road once the grandfather is gone. Maybe going to beef also for awhile....
Where we are here we are close to I-81 and the growth is unbelievable. Land prices keep going up and I really think that in another 10 years, the farm we rent from the widow, that is sort of our home base, will wind up going for sale due to the proximity to the interstate and the commercial value of the land for businesses to be close to the interstate.
Have one dairy also sets adjacent to the interstate. Brothers about 60ish, no one to take it over. I look for them to go out in the next couple of years too. Milk 225 now. The state will pick up some of the farm for widening the interstate and such there.

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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Jogeephus » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:31 pm

I hate to see places go and hate to see them turn into huge corporate operations. I remember as a child I would help my granddaddy milk the few milk cows he had and we would put the milk in those big metal milk containers and set them by the road for the milk guy to pick up every morning. Things changed and they stopped picking the milk up so he got out but his neighbor got into dairy in a big way. He's been out of it for over 30 years now because he wasn't "big enough". Dairy sold to a large company that bulldozed it all down and put a distribution center on it. I own the land that joins it and am constantly approached to sell but I don't want to see the land ruined in my lifetime.
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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Son of Butch » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:32 am

HDRider wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:28 pm
U.S. loses over 2,700 licensed dairy farms in 2018

The number of dairy farms in the U.S. has been sharply declining, and now a U.S. Department of Agriculture report has revealed by just how much. According to the data, the U.S. lost 2,731 (6.5%) licensed dairy farms from 2017 to 2018. The total number of dairy farms is now at 37,468.

The largest atrophy was seen in the Midwest and East.

USDA reported that milk production fell slightly below expectations in December, and dairy cow slaughter levels remain above year-ago levels. As such, the agency lowered its 2019 milk production forecast by 400 million lb. to 219.7 billion lb. Still, this was an increase of more than 2 billion lb. from 2018 production.
In 2018 the average Minnesota Dairy Farm income was $14,870 down from $47,800 five years ago. You have to go back to before 1995 to find the last year Mn Dairy Farm income was below $15,000.

Minnesota minimum wage $9.86 hr
40 hrs week x 52 weeks = 2,080 hrs
14,870 divided by 2,080 = $7.15 hr (plus no benefits)
48 hrs week = $5.95 hr

Yes sir, life is rough down on the farm.

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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by ez14. » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:02 am

Son of Butch wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:32 am
HDRider wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:28 pm
U.S. loses over 2,700 licensed dairy farms in 2018

The number of dairy farms in the U.S. has been sharply declining, and now a U.S. Department of Agriculture report has revealed by just how much. According to the data, the U.S. lost 2,731 (6.5%) licensed dairy farms from 2017 to 2018. The total number of dairy farms is now at 37,468.

The largest atrophy was seen in the Midwest and East.

USDA reported that milk production fell slightly below expectations in December, and dairy cow slaughter levels remain above year-ago levels. As such, the agency lowered its 2019 milk production forecast by 400 million lb. to 219.7 billion lb. Still, this was an increase of more than 2 billion lb. from 2018 production.
In 2018 the average Minnesota Dairy Farm income was $14,870 down from $47,800 five years ago. You have to go back to before 1995 to find the last year Mn Dairy Farm income was below $15,000.

Minnesota minimum wage $9.86 hr
40 hrs week x 52 weeks = 2,080 hrs
14,870 divided by 2,080 = $7.15 hr (plus no benefits)
48 hrs week = $5.95 hr

Yes sir, life is rough down on the farm.
What kinda dairy farmer only works 48 hours a week?


With that income I figure you'd be more around $4.08 hr

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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Till-Hill » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:28 am

ez14. wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:02 am
Son of Butch wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:32 am
HDRider wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:28 pm
U.S. loses over 2,700 licensed dairy farms in 2018

The number of dairy farms in the U.S. has been sharply declining, and now a U.S. Department of Agriculture report has revealed by just how much. According to the data, the U.S. lost 2,731 (6.5%) licensed dairy farms from 2017 to 2018. The total number of dairy farms is now at 37,468.

The largest atrophy was seen in the Midwest and East.

USDA reported that milk production fell slightly below expectations in December, and dairy cow slaughter levels remain above year-ago levels. As such, the agency lowered its 2019 milk production forecast by 400 million lb. to 219.7 billion lb. Still, this was an increase of more than 2 billion lb. from 2018 production.
In 2018 the average Minnesota Dairy Farm income was $14,870 down from $47,800 five years ago. You have to go back to before 1995 to find the last year Mn Dairy Farm income was below $15,000.

Minnesota minimum wage $9.86 hr
40 hrs week x 52 weeks = 2,080 hrs
14,870 divided by 2,080 = $7.15 hr (plus no benefits)
48 hrs week = $5.95 hr

Yes sir, life is rough down on the farm.
What kinda dairy farmer only works 48 hours a week?


With that income I figure you'd be more around $4.08 hr
Haha right, my boss is here 6 days a week 3am to 7pm. 16 x 6=96 + 6 hours on Sunday. Maybe 8 but we will call it 4 hours for even 100 work week.

100x52 =5200 hours $14,870/5200=$2.86/hour

As herdsman I'm pretty consistent every year at 2750-2850 hours, even my pay wouldn't break $6/hour for them figures.

Granted them guys paid down debt, added assets but in the end why are they still doing it. Job flipping burgers would make more, less stress, ect. Boss been in hospital 2-3 times this month. 70 years old first time besides a major back surgery he has been gone more than 2 days in 19 years I have been here.

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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:37 am

Net income per labor hour is low for many beef producers too. So there is a lesson here. The killer is when you are leveraged with debt and your net worth is dropping year after year. :(
So we need a different business model. There was some action from young producers leasing empty dairy facilities a couple years ago, but not being able to get on the truck killed this. Not being able to get on the truck is a crude form of the proposed supply management approach, but I think the mega dairies are still expanding.
It is interesting that the jerk kneed solution for milk overproduction is not to export to Asia like many other surplus ag products. Why is that?
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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by greybeard » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:19 am

farmerjan wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:54 am
The regulations are constantly getting harder and harder to comply with because we "have to protect all the imbeciles from something terrible happening to them" rather than anyone taking responsibility for themselves. Remember the "hot coffee" BS with Mcdonalds and the customer suing because they got burned by HOT COFFEE? There is no common sense anymore.
When FDA/USDA has to continually warn people NOT to eat raw poultry and other meat because of salmonella/e Coli risks, NOT to allow their children to hug and hold, or allow live poultry to give their kids "kisses" and people on the internet claim it's no more dangerous than eating anything else raw, it tells you something about the ignorance and stupidity of some of the "all natural" crowd.
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Re: Can This Radical Approach to Dairies Save US Farms?

Post by pdfangus » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:05 am

greybeard wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:19 am
farmerjan wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:54 am
The regulations are constantly getting harder and harder to comply with because we "have to protect all the imbeciles from something terrible happening to them" rather than anyone taking responsibility for themselves. Remember the "hot coffee" BS with Mcdonalds and the customer suing because they got burned by HOT COFFEE? There is no common sense anymore.
When FDA/USDA has to continually warn people NOT to eat raw poultry and other meat because of salmonella/e Coli risks, NOT to allow their children to hug and hold, or allow live poultry to give their kids "kisses" and people on the internet claim it's no more dangerous than eating anything else raw, it tells you something about the ignorance and stupidity of some of the "all natural" crowd.
my interpretation is that this protectionism is an extension of the freedom from religion doctrine that is being promulgated by the liberals and the government.....
It used to be that we let god sort out the stupid by allowing them to dispatch themselves....
Now the government must protect the ignorant and
the rest of us must pay for it....
As an example....mountain climbers who find themselves in dire straights upon some mountain must then be rescued by emergency people who are funded by one or more levels of government which is funded by taxpayers....
people who drive into flood waters....not those washed away by surprise flooding....but those who see the flooding and try to drive thru it anyway...
other hold my beer and watch this activites....
there should be a difference between true unanticipated danger or peril and self induced stupidity....the later should have to pay for their own rescue.....
Strength is of no value if it does not have a
useful application for good.
Jim Tate
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