This Week's Top Story

 

This Week's Other Stories:

EDITORIAL COMMENT:
Non-Dairy Alternatives On A Roll, But It’s Not All Rosy

OTHER NEWS:
Pace Of US Dairy Farm Consolidation Far Exceeds Rest Of US Agriculture

OTHER NEWS:
World Milk Production Expected To Increase 1.6% Per Year Through 2029

GUEST COLUMNISTS:Prices Continue to do the Unexpected by Bob Cropp

COMPANY PROFILE: Beehive Cheese Benefits From Cheese Reserve, Longer-Life Products

PREVIOUS COLUMNS:

Ready, Set…..Go?….Back to the Office by Jen Pino-Gallagher, M3 Insurance

Cheese Makers, Cheese Marketers Discuss How To Manage the Pandemic by Dan Strongin

Dairy’s Ready for
the Whistle by John Umhoefer, WCMA

How To Achieve
SQF Certification by Brandis Wasvick, Blue Compass Compliance

Boots On The Ground
by Jim Cisler

As FSMA Takes Full Effect, Partnership Opportunities Abound To Improve Food Safety Practices by Larry Bell and Jim Mueller

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Bright Spots For Butter, Dairy Exist Amidst Overall Pandemic Uncertainty

While the coronavirus pandemic has blanketed the entire dairy industry with stress and uncertainty, bright spots and new opportunities have broken through the din and provide hope for a return to “normal.”

The virtual annual meeting this week of the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) and American Butter Institute (ABI) invited leaders from the supply chain to share their biggest challenges over the past six months, along with suggestions for success and predictions for what lies ahead.

Farmers, processors and marketers shared stories about the changes they’ve made to ensure the flow of milk and dairy products continues.

There’s still hope that 2020 might go down as a “not so bad year for dairy, said ABI senior vice president of communications and moderator Alan Bjerga.

There’s a lot of uncertainty, but there’s also a lot of bright spots all across dairy, Bjerga said. Retail sales of butter are up 31 percent as people rediscover baking and at-home meals.

On the processing end, James “Cricket” Jacquier, board chair, Agri-Mark, Inc., viewed coronavirus looming on the horizon earlier this year as the possible end of his family’s 72-year farming history.

I remember testifying before the House Agriculture Committee on March 10 in Washington, DC, Jacquier said. That was the last normal day of 2020.

From there, milk price futures were dropping dramatically with a 35 percent decrease in our prices, and we were seeing milk being dumped very quickly, Jacquier said. I was looking at a $1,300-per cow loss, which gets into the millions quickly.

We were coming off some five-year lows in milk prices, and our family was looking forward to the price forecast at the beginning of the year, which looked pretty optimistic for 2020, he said.

“The breath and depth of the impact of this pandemic on the industry, my farm and my family was overwhelming, both emotionally and mentally to say the least,” Jacquier said. “I’ve never experienced this level of market destruction intensity so quickly and powerfully.”

I could see how easily we could see 25 percent of farms disappear here in the Northeast, he said.

Quarantine Baking Is A Thing
At the same time, very different situations were going on with farmers and cooperatives trying to right the supply/demand bal
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