DairyBusiness Update for Jan. 9, 2013

Peterson names House Ag Committee Democrats

U.S. House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) named 19 of the 21 Democrats appointed to the committee for the 113th Congress. Two Democratic vacancies remain and are expected to be announced soon. Democratic members include:


• Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) Ranking Member

• Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)

• Rep. David Scott (Ga.)

• Rep. Jim Costa, Rep. Juan Vargas and Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (Calif.)

• Rep. Tim Walz and Rep. Rick Nolan (Minn.)

• Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.)

• Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)

• Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.)

• Rep. Suzan DelBene (Wash.)

• Rep. Filemon Vela and Rep. Pete Gallego (Texas)  

• Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.)

• Rep. Ann Kuster (N.H.)

• Rep. William Eynart and Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.) 

• Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.)


To see the list of 25 Republican House Ag Committee members announced previously, click here.



CWT returns 45¢/cwt.

2012 was a record year for the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program. CWT accepted 676 bids from 11 member co-ops, resulting in the sale of about 125 million lbs. of cheese;  73 million lbs. of butter; 127,868 lbs. of anhydrous milkfat; and 171,961 lbs. of whole milk powder. Shipments to 42 countries on six continents. On a milkfat basis, these sales are the equivalent of 2.743 billion lbs. of milk. According to CWT, these dairy product shipments added an average of 45/cwt. to dairy farmers’ milk checks for 2012.


Golden Guernsey plant files for bankruptcy protection

California-based OpenGate Capital, the parent company of the southeast Wisconsin-based Golden Guernsey, said it is seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for the milk bottling plant, which was abruptly closed last weekend.

OpenGate Capital acquired Golden Guernsey from Dean Foods in 2011, after Dean agreed to divest of the plant for antitrust reasons. Under a court settlement, Dean agreed to sell the southeastern Wisconsin plant and all assets related to fluid milk processing, including the right to continue the Golden Guernsey and La Vaca Bonita brands. The business manufactures, bottles and distributes its dairy products to schools, grocery stores, convenience stores and major retailers in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Since the acquisition, OpenGate said it had made vigorous efforts to reduce its expenses through discussions with its various suppliers, vendors, and the labor union.


Upper Midwest milk hauling charges analyzed

The Upper Midwest federal milk marketing order recently released “Milk Hauling Charges in the Upper Midwest Marketing Area – May 2012”, by economist Corey Freije. The study analyzes hauling charges based on state, county and producer size groups for May 2012. Payroll data for the 15,049 producers who were associated with the Upper Midwest Marketing Order during the month were examined.

The weighted average hauling charge for producers on the Upper Midwest Order in May 2012 was 17.34¢/cwt., up from 16.50¢/cwt. in May 2011. Wisconsin (11.34¢/cwt.) had the lowest average hauling charge of any of the states included in the study, while North Dakota had the highest average hauling charge (56.14¢/cwt.).

The most obvious factor responsible for this is that many Upper Midwest handlers charge a fixed hauling dollar value to dairy producers, regardless of volume of milk delivered. Therefore, as the producer’s production increases, the hauling charge per hundredweight will automatically decrease.

The complete report is available atwww.fmma30.com/Homepage/FO30_STAFF_PAPERS.htm.