Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, April 10, 2015, Page 14, Image 14

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April 10, 2015
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Calif. producers weigh in on federal milk order
California dairies
Capital Press
With upcoming outreach
meetings by USDA on estab-
lishing a federal milk market-
ing order for California and to
review proposals, dairymen are
weighing in on what they’re af-
ter and what might sink the deal.
At the heart of the issue —
which led three dairy co-ops to
petition USDA in February for
an FFMO in California — is the
discrepancy between the prices
of California’s milk going to
cheese manufacturing and milk
going into cheese vats in federal
Producer groups have con-
tended the discrepancy is a
major factor in the loss of more
than 200 California dairies in re-
cent years.
For the past fi ve years, prices
to producers for California’s 4b
milk have averaged $1.84 per
hundredweight below federal
Class III milk for a total of more
than $1.7 billion in lost revenue
to dairymen, said Rob Vanden-
heuvel, general manager of Milk
1.78 million:
Down 1.9%
from 2007
1.81 million
Licensed dairies
Milk cows (Thousands)
Down 22.7%
from 2007
Alan Kenaga/Capital Press
Producers Council.
For a typical 1,000-cow
dairy in California, that’s a loss
of more than $1 million since
January 2010, he said.
That’s why California Dair-
ies Inc, Dairy Farmers of Amer-
ica and Land O’Lakes — which
together developed a federal
order proposal and petitioned
USDA — and the state’s three
dairy-producer groups support
a federal order for the state, he
“There’s a lot riding on the
(FMMO) process; we’ve tried
everything else,” he said.
Producers and their co-ops
spent the last fi ve years unsuc-
cessfully trying to fi x the state’s
pricing system for 4b through
the California Food and Agricul-
ture Department, which admin-
isters the state’s milk marketing
order, and the state Legislature.
Western United Dairymen
and California Dairy Campaign
also support the federal order
proposal as written.
Joining the federal order sys-
tem would raise minimum pric-
es on all classes of California
milk, particularly 4b — which
accounts for more than 40 per-
cent of the state’s milk produc-
tion, said Joe Augusto, president
of CDC.
An increase in that price will
dramatically increase the overall
value of the state’s milk pool, he
The wildcards in a fi nal
USDA proposal are the co-ops’
proposed provisions to maintain
the state’s quota system (which
provides additional payments
to rrade A producers holding
quota certifi cates) and all-inclu-
sive pooling, which requires all
processors to pay regulated min-
imum prices for milk, he said.
Those two provisions,
unique to California’s order,
don’t exist in existing federal
orders, he said.
California’s quota system
came about in the late 1960s to
gain support for a state market-
ing order that would blend milk
prices for different uses and dis-
tribute payments more evenly.
In return for their support, the
quota system would pay produc-
ers selling into the higher-value
Class I market (milk for fl uid
consumption) an amount above
the blend price.
Quota certifi cates, which can
be transferred or sold, are worth
more than $1 billion, Augusto
There’s an awful lot of mon-
ey invested by producers in quo-
ta. It’s an important asset and
has to be protected, said Paul
Martin, WUD interim CEO.
A marketing order that
doesn’t retain quota is a
deal-breaker, Augusto said.
All-inclusive pooling is an-
other big-ticket item, Vanden-
heuvel said.
He claimed there’s a big
problem in federal orders of
processors gaming the system,
jumping in and out of the milk
pool — de-pooling — on a
monthly basis after minimum
regulated prices are announced,
which is allowed in federal or-
Processors in a federal order
who opt to de-pool don’t have
to pay the announced minimum
price for rrade A milk received.
However, in California, a plant
that de-pools must continue to
pay the announced minimum
price for milk received.
Calls to Dairy Institute of
California, which represents
processors, have not been re-
turned, but the state’s proces-
sors have argued that if they are
forced to pay the higher prices
of a federal order, they should
also be allowed federal-order
ability to de-pool and not pay
the regulated minimum price.
Producers might be a little
fl exible on mandatory pooling,
with a small amount of de-pool-
ing from the regulated price
acceptable. But the purpose of
marketing orders is the order-
ly marketing of milk, and sig-
nifi cant de-pooling would run
counter to that purpose, Augusto
That gives producers con-
fi dence that a fi nal proposal
would likely allow zero or only
a small amount of de-pooling,
he said.
Cheese strength Wild turkeys overrun Spokane neighborhood
drawing attention Handling of wildlife
problem shows
double standard,
lawmaker says
For the Capital Press
ash dairy product
prices, particularly
butter and cheese,
were heading higher until
Wednesday’s rlobal Dairy
Trade auction crash ap-
peared to put a damper on
Cheddar cheese closed the
shortened rood Friday
week at $1.58 per pound,
up 4 cents on the week and
the highest level it has been
since Jan. 13 but a whop-
ping 77 cents below a year
The blocks inched back
a quarter-cent Monday,
to $1.5775, and were un-
changed Tuesday. The bar-
rels finished Thursday at
$1.5950, up a nickel on
the week and 63 cents be-
low a year ago. They were
unchanged Monday but
ticked up a penny and a
half Tuesday, to $1.61. The
inverted spread jumped to
3 1/4-cents. Again, typi-
cally the blocks run 3-5
cents above the barrels. Six
cars of block traded hands
last week and three of
Cash butter jumped 5
1/4-cents on March 27,
then gained 3 1/4-cents the
following Tuesday, only
to give back 2 1/2-cents
Wednesday and lose an-
other 2 cents Thursday and
closed at $1.74 per pound,
down 1 1/4-cents on the
week and 23 cents below a
year ago.
The butter was steady
Monday and Tuesday. Thir-
teen carloads were sold last
week at the CME.
Lee Mielke
Cash rrade A nonfat dry
milk closed Thursday at 97
3/4-cents per pound, up a
quarter-cent on the week.
The powder inched up
a quarter-cent Monday
and gained a penny Tues-
day, closing at 99 cents per
pound. Only two cars trad-
ed hands last week in the
spot market, six were trad-
ed on Tuesday this week.
Benchmark milk
price up a dime
The Agriculture Depart-
ment announced the March
Federal order Class III
benchmark milk price last
week at $15.56 per hun-
dredweight, up 10 cents
from February, $7.77 be-
low March 2014, but $1.59
above California’s compa-
rable Class 4b cheese milk
price. It equates to about
$1.34 per gallon, up a pen-
ny from February and com-
pares to $2.01 a year ago.
That put the First Quarter
Class III average at $15.73,
down from $22.61 a year
ago and $17.44 in 2013.
Looking ahead, the April
Class III futures contract
settled Monday at $15.62;
May, $15.65 and June at
$15.61, with a peak of just
$17.23 in November.
The March Class IV price
is $13.80, down 2 cents from
February and $9.86 below a
year ago. The First Quarter
Class IV average stands at
$13.62, down from $23.14
a year ago and $17.71 in
Capital Press
SPOKANE — Residents
of the South Hill section of
Spokane say they are being
overrun by a fl ock of wild
turkeys, and state wildlife of-
fi cials have stepped in to help.
“They’re proliferating like
crazy and they’re causing a
lot of problems for a lot of
people,” said Madonna Luers,
public information offi cer for
the Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife in Spokane.
Since December, wildlife
confl ict specialist Candace
Bennett has received at least
60 different complaints about
wild turkeys from South Hill
residents. Complaints include
feces, vehicle damage because
tom turkeys see their refl ec-
tion in cars and attack them,
turkeys roosting and breaking
tree limbs, noise and intimida-
tion of small children and pets,
Luers said.
To get rid of the turkeys,
the department is looking for
volunteers to collect the turkey
eggs or addle them, applying
corn oil to the eggs to stop
them from developing.
A legislator from rural
Washington state sees a double
standard in the department’s
response to the turkey problem
compared with predator prob-
lems plaguing some ranchers.
“It seems like there’s two
different sets of standards
when there’s wildlife confl ict
in an urban area and another
in more rural areas,” Rep. Joel
Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
Turkeys gather in the driveway of a residence on Regal Street in northern Spokane, Wash. Residents
of Spokane’s South Hill have complained about the birds so much the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help fi nd eggs to stop populations from increasing over the
next three years.
Kretz, R-Wauconda, said.
The wolf debate is fi lled
with discussions about nonle-
thal and preventive measures,
Kretz said.
“If it was wolves, that
would be the whole conversa-
tion — are these people doing
the preventative, nonlethal al-
ternatives, have they exhaust-
ed all of those before they go
to a lethal (measure)?” he said.
“I didn’t really see that in the
conversation on the turkey
thing. It was ‘Oh, they’ve irri-
tated some residents, so we’re
basically going to destroy next
year’s crop.’ It really makes it
really clear (there are) double
Because the birds are within
the city limits, ordinances pro-
hibit hunting the turkeys with
fi rearms or bows and arrows,
Luers said. Even nonlethal
projectiles such as paintballs
For the Capital Press
June 5 th , 2015
Our annual Dairy Special Section spotlights dairy
operations and operators in California, Idaho,
Oregon and Washington. It features an in depth look
at the situations and successes - needs and concerns
of this dynamic industry.
To reach our print and online readers, contact your sales
representative or call 1-800-882-6789.
Ad space reservation
is Friday, May 8 th .
PO Box 2048 • Salem, OR 97308
(503) 364-4798
(800) 882-6789
Fax: (503) 364-2692 or (503) 370-4383
“I don’t know about tur-
keys — there’s a big differ-
ence with an animal that can
fl y,” she said. “I doubt it would
have the same effect.”
“Yeah, they’re not en-
dangered, but I would argue,
neither are wolves. It’s that
typical two different standards
(between) urban and rural,”
Kretz said.
“Wolves are a state endan-
gered species, federally en-
dangered in the western two-
thirds of the state,” Luers said.
“(They are) still at a recovery
stage in their population. They
are returning on their own to
where they used to exist. They
are a native species. Until we
meet our wolf management
conservation plan guidelines
for delisting them and reclas-
sifying them as something
else, we have different param-
eters to work with.”
Conference spotlights planned grazing
in Capital Press’
31 st Annual
or beanbags are prohibited.
Many residents are reluctant to
kill the turkeys, she said.
“This is an incredibly
abundant, very common,
game-classifi ed, non-native
species, and they spread like
crazy,” Luers said. “We’re not
concerned about wiping tur-
keys off the face of the earth.
Not gonna happen.”
Trapping turkeys is diffi cult
because of the small, densely
populated urban setting, Luers
In a Facebook post, Kretz
asked if the beleaguered Spo-
kane residents have tried fl ad-
ry, brightly colored fl ags hung
from a line, commonly cited
by the department and wolf
advocates as a deterrent to
Fladry is based on a canine
instinct to avoid something out
of the ordinary, Luers said.
dentifying management
practices that regenerate
grasslands and sustain
the people depending on the
land is the focus of Richard
Teague’s research at Texas
A&M University. Teague will
be the keynote speaker at the
grazing conference on May
6 at the Washington Family
Ranch, near Antelope, Ore-
gon. On May 7 two concur-
rent workshops, on monitor-
ing grasslands and holistic
planned grazing, are offered
for those who want to stay an-
other day and learn more.
Teague grew up in a farm-
ing community in the southern
African country now known
as Zimbabwe. He learned
much about grazing and man-
aging grazing animals through
his studies and observations
there. For the last 40 years he
has been conducting research
on various aspects of range-
land management. His work
is unique because it involves
whole ranch units. His studies
show higher profi ts, healthier
Doug Warnock
ecosystems and
more resilient rural communi-
ties from planned, multi-pad-
dock grazing as compared to
traditional grazing practices.
The purpose of Teague’s
research is to conduct ranch-
scale, multi-county assess-
ments of three aspects of
ranch management:
• How the grazing strategy
affects ecosystem processes
of soil, water, production and
economic viability.
• The extent that grazing
strategies can be effective in
mitigating climate change.
• The long-term economic
result of using grazing man-
agement to restore rangeland
health and production.
Two breakout tracks
during the conference will
provide information on water
quality and riparian manage-
ment; resilience, recovery and
planning for fi re and drought;
improving soil health and car-
bon sequestration; planned
grazing for profi t and produc-
tivity; and rangeland monitor-
ing and plant identifi cation.
Country Natural Beef,
Washington Family Ranch
and the Pacifi c Northwest
Center for Holistic Manage-
ment are co-sponsoring the
conference and workshops.
The Washington Family
Ranch, located near Antelope,
Oregon is a Young Life camp-
ing resort and event center.
The ranch has modern facili-
ties that accommodate many
gatherings in a beautiful rural
atmosphere. It is a great place
to get away from regular ac-
tivities and focus on learning
and exchanging ideas.
The ranch has been known
for years as the Big Muddy
Ranch, but it received nation-
al attention when it became
the site of a commune for
Indian guru Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh in 1981. Bhagwan,
with the 3,000 members of
his cult, took over the town of
Antelope, causing much con-
cern on the part of local res-
idents. Four years later Bhag-
wan was gone and the ranch
was for sale.
The ranch was purchased
by the Dennis Washington
family of Montana, who gift-
ed it to the Young Life orga-
nization in 1997. The Dennis
and Phyllis Washington Foun-
dation provided for develop-
ment of the camping facilities
where about 8,000 middle and
high school students attend
week long camps each sum-
The conference and work-
shops offer an opportunity to
learn and exchange ideas with
interesting people in a pleas-
ant, peaceful setting. Housing
and meals are available.
Those interested in attend-
ing the conference and work-
shops can register online at
and get additional information
Doug Warnock, retired
from Washington State Uni-
versity Extension, lives on a
ranch in the Touchet River
Valley where he writes about
and teaches grazing manage-
ment. He can be contacted at