Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, February 09, 2018, Page 11, Image 11

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    February 9, 2018
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CDFA denies hearing on milk prices
Capital Press
Carol Ryan Dumas/Capital Press
Michael Parrella, center, dean of the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,
talks with Bob Ohlensehlen, left, a certified nutrient management planner, and Bill Hazen, retired U of
I county extension educator, following a Jan. 25 listening session in Twin Falls about the university’s
plans for the Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment research facility.
UI seeks outside funding
for dairy research center
Capital Press
The University of Idaho is
doubling down on attracting
support for a new world-class
research facility to address the
environmental and economic
sustainability of animal agri-
culture and food processing.
Michael Parrella, dean of
the university’s College of
Agricultural and Life Scienc-
es, welcomed the public to
a recent listening session to
present the scope of the proj-
ect, the need for the research
and the benefit to Idaho and
the community.
The Center for Agriculture,
Food and the Environment —
known as CAFE — would
be the largest research dairy
in the U.S. and the only one
addressing milk production in
an arid climate, he said.
“It is going to support not
just dairy but the huge swath
of everything that is dairy,” he
The research will address
environmental issues, includ-
ing water quality and efficien-
cy, nutrient management and
soil health. In addition to re-
search, the facility will have a
strong education and outreach
“The list goes on and
on...,” he said.
CAFE will be transforma-
tional for the university, the
College of Southern Idaho,
the community, the state and
the industry, he said.
The $45 million project
will include a 2,000-cow
dairy and 1,000 acres of asso-
ciated cropland to grow feed
and perform research on soil
and water issues.
It will also include a
food-processing pilot plant on
the CSI campus to reinforce
vocational training to support
regional processing.
CAFE’s research, educa-
tion and outreach will involve
several colleges within the
university — such as engi-
neering, natural resources and
business and economics —
all with plans for educational
programs at the facility.
It will provide enhanced
opportunities for students
from the University of Idaho
and students from collaborat-
ing universities — including
developing four-year degrees
in animal science and food
science at the center, which
would help revamp the uni-
versity’s graduate programs.
The outreach component
will consider the environmen-
tal footprint to mitigate public
concerns, and the facility will
include an outreach and ed-
ucation center for the public
and schoolchildren.
The state Legislature has
appropriated $10 million for
the project, and the university
is hoping for another $5 mil-
lion. The university is selling
some of its assets to supply
another $15 million. The re-
maining $15 million needs to
come from outside sources.
“We are doubling down on
raising outside funding,” Par-
rella said.
“That’s some heavy lifting.
We’ve never tried anything of
this magnitude,” he said.
But the university is en-
gaging Idaho companies,
such as Glanbia, Chobani and
Simplot, as well as companies
outside the state — which
would benefit from the cen-
ter’s ability to do unique rep-
licated studies — and food
retailers that are intent on sus-
CAFE “matches the frame-
work of many companies,” he
Parrella said he has no
doubt the one-of-a-kind,
world-class facility would be
successful in obtaining fed-
eral matching grants for re-
“I’m excited about it. I’m
passionate about it. I think we
can make it happen,” he said.
But the clock is ticking, the
university really needs to se-
cure funding commitments by
the end of June, he said.
The California Depart-
ment of Food and Agricul-
ture has denied a request for
a hearing to temporarily raise
milk prices, citing the pend-
ing federal milk marketing
order for California.
In a letter to petitioners,
the department said, “It is in-
appropriate to hold a hearing
while California dairy pro-
ducers are exercising self-de-
termination with regards to
implementing a federal milk
marketing order in Califor-
Western United Dairymen
and California Milk Cam-
paign filed the petition on
Jan. 18, proposing increas-
es to all classes of milk for
12 months. Those increases
would raise the blend price
to producers by 35 cents per
The groups pointed out
the severe economic hardship
dairy producers are facing
and have faced for the past
three years. They also not-
ed that if approved by pro-
ducers, implementation of a
federal milk marketing order
could be a year away.
“We are disappointed by
the decision as we continue
to hear from our members
how dire the pricing situation
is,” said Annie AcMoody, di-
rector of economic policy for
Western United Dairymen.
Producer unity has been
a key factor in recent years
in implementing positive
Capital Press File
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has denied a
hearing on a petition filed by dairy groups asking for a temporary
increase in milk prices.
changes in the state system,
but it fell short this time. The
third producer group, Milk
Producers Council, didn’t
join WUD and CDC in the
petition, she said.
“We were disappointed
to learn that the California
Department of Food and Ag-
riculture denied our request
for a hearing,” said Lynne
McBride, executive director
of the California Dairy Cam-
The CDC board voted to
petition CDFA for an emer-
gency price increase due to
the fact that milk prices are
well below average milk pro-
duction costs, she said.
California dairy producers
continue to be paid some of
the lowest milk prices in the
country, and CDC strongly
supports the effort to estab-
lish a federal milk marketing
order in California to bring
California producer prices
in line with the federal order
system,” she said.
“Until a federal order is
adopted, CDC will continue
to call for any possible action
to improve producer prices,”
she said.
USDA has not yet re-
leased its final decision on
how a federal order would
operate in California, which
would be followed by a pro-
ducer referendum on joining
the federal system.
In its letter, CDFA said it
is acutely aware of the impact
to dairy families of sustained
low milk prices and is also
aware that processors are un-
der financial pressure.
“The entire California
dairy sector is currently fac-
ing financial stress,” the de-
partment stated.
The December blend
price for milk was $13.73,
while average cost of produc-
tion was $17.78 in the fourth
quarter of 2017, according to
the latest CDFA reports.
WUD had not replied to
a request for comment by
Capital Press as of Monday
Global Dairy Trade auction up 5.9 percent
Benchmark drops
ash dairy prices saw
little change last week
as traders absorbed the
December Dairy Products re-
port. Block Cheddar closed
Friday at $1.4625 per pound,
down a penny on the week and
27 3/4-cents below a year ago.
The barrels finished a half-cent
higher at $1.3250, 38 1/4-cents
below a year ago.
The blocks jumped 5 1/2-
cents Monday and stayed there
Tuesday at $1.5175, as results
of Tuesday’s Global Dairy
Trade were analyzed. The bar-
rels were up 4 cents Monday
and added a half-cent Tuesday,
inching to $1.37, 14 3/4-cents
below the blocks.
Dairy Market News reports
that Midwest cheese produc-
tion varies by plant but cheese
sales are “generally meeting
Ample milk supplies are
keeping many Western facili-
ties at or near capacity.
Cash butter closed Friday
at $2.1150 per pound, down 1
1/2-cents on the week and 4 1/4-
cents below a year ago.
The butter dropped 3 1/2-
cents Monday, slipping to
$2.08, the lowest price since
April 24, 2017, but regained a
half-cent Tuesday.
Butter sales are seasonal-
ly quiet but meeting seasonal
expectations. Cream remains
available from within and out-
side the Midwest.
Western output is heavier
due to plentiful cream sup-
Cash powder closed Friday
at 72 1/4-cents per pound, up
1 1/4-cents but 21 3/4-cents
below a year ago. Monday
took the powder up a penny
and a half and it gained anoth-
er half-cent Tuesday, to 74 1/4-
cents per pound, the highest
since Nov. 16, 2017.
Lee Mielke
GDT up 5.9 percent
Hopes got another lift in
Tuesday’s Global Dairy Trade
auction, when the weighted
average of all products offered
shot up 5.9 percent, the biggest
rise since Nov. 1, 2016, and up
from the 4.9 percent gain on
Jan. 16.
Butter was up 7.9 percent,
after leading the gains last time
with an 8.8 percent advance.
Whole milk powder was up
7.6 percent, skim milk powder
and Cheddar cheese were both
up 7.2 percent and anhydrous
milkfat was up 0.5 percent.
FC Stone equated the GDT
80 percent butterfat butter
price to $2.3351 per pound
U.S. CME butter closed Tues-
day at $2.0850. GDT Cheddar
equated to $1.6960 per pound
U.S. and compares to Tues-
day’s CME block Cheddar
at $1.5175. GDT skim milk
powder averaged 87.62 cents
per pound and whole milk
powder averaged $1.4634 U.S.
CME Grade A nonfat dry milk
closed Tuesday at 74 1/4-cents
per pound.
The first Federal order
benchmark milk price of 2018
was not good news for farm-
ers. The Class III price fell to
$14.00 per hundredweight,
down $1.44 from December
2017 and $2.77 below Janu-
ary 2017, the lowest Class III
price since June 2016, but is 63
cents above California’s com-
parable 4b price. The Class
III price equates to $1.20 per
gallon, down from $1.33 in
December and $1.44 a year
Monday’s Class III futures
portended a February price at
$13.74; March, $13.73; and
April at $13.87, with a peak at
only $15.78 in October.
The January Class IV price
is $13.13, down 38 cents from
December, $3.06 below a year
ago, and the lowest Class IV
since May 2016.
California down
California’s January 4b
cheese milk price is $13.37
per cwt., down 15 cents from
December, $2.62 below a year
ago and the lowest 4b price
since June 2016.
The 4a butter-powder price
is $12.93, down 43 cents from
December, $2.74 below a year
ago, and the lowest 4a price
since May 2016.
Grass Expertise.
Caldwell, Idaho • Alan Greenway, Seedsman
Cell: 298-259-9159 • MSG: 298-454-8342
Over 40 Years
Alan Greenway,
For the Capital Press