Digest Highlights • April fluid milk sales stable • National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board appointees named • Video: 650 million reasons for U.S. dairy's long-term investment in Southeast Asia • China retaliation to hit dairy • Zoetis, Holstein Association USA partner to publish Dairy Wellness Profit Index high-ranking female lists • New blood test reveals mastitis susceptibility

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

April fluid milk sales stable

April 2018 sales of conventional and organic fluid milk were steady with year-earlier levels, halting – at least for a month – a lengthy and ongoing downward trend.

April 2018 total U.S. packaged fluid milk sales were estimated at 3.9 billion pounds, up 0.4 percent from April 2017, according to the USDA’s Dairy Market News. U.S. sales of conventional products totaled 3.6 billion pounds, up 0.2 percent from the previous year, while sales of organic products, at 211 million pounds, were up 4.9 percent. Organic represented nearly 5.5 percent of total sales for the month.

Among all categories, whole, flavored whole and flavored 2-percent milk posted gains in both conventional and organic sales. Fat-free conventional and organic varieties were leading decliners.

Through the four months of the year, U.S. fluid milk sales totaled 15.9 billion pounds, down 1.3 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date 2018 sales of conventional products totaled 15 billion pounds, down 1.4 percent. January-April 2018 sales of organic products, at 871 million pounds, were down 0.1 percent. Organic represents nearly 5.5 percent of total sales for the year.


The U.S. figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in federal milk order marketing areas and California, which account for approximately 92 percent of total fluid milk sales in the U.S. Sales outlets include food stores, convenience stores, warehouse stores/wholesale clubs, nonfood stores, schools, the food service industry and home delivery.

Read also: Competition is Reshaping the Milk Business, from Ben Laine, senior economist with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board appointees named

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appointed 10 members to fill vacancies on the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. Members serving three-year terms, July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021, are:

Brian Linney, Reston, Virginia; Joseph Carson, Martins Ferry, Ohio; Gregory Schwarz, Cashton, Wisconsin; Marissa Jarratt, Dallas, Texas; Ann Ocana, Phoenix, Arizona; Richard Struble, San Marcos, California; Lewis Goldstein, La Farge, Wisconsin; and Robert Barley, Conestoga, Pennsylvania.

Members appointed immediately to serve the remaining one-year portion of vacant appointments that expire June 30, 2019, are: Ralph H. Hallquist, Dallas, Texas, and Rachel Kyllo, St. Paul, Minnesota.

The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, composed of 15 fluid milk processors from 15 geographic regions and five at-large members, develops and administers a coordinated program of advertising and promotion to increase the demand for fluid milk products.

China retaliation to hit dairy

An escalating trade war, this one with China, has struck dairy again.

After the Trump administration announced it will impose additional duties on imports from China, China responded with a list of U.S. products subject to higher import tariffs. The list covers many agricultural goods, including dairy products. Also included are soybeans, beef, pork, nuts and vegetables.

The U.S. list of products contains two lines of tariffs, one containing $34 billion worth of imports, which will go into effect on July 6, and a second line, worth $16 billion in imports, that will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process.

The Chinese retaliatory tariffs mirror the U.S. approach, with $34 billion set to go into effect on July 6 and a second wave set to go into effect if the U.S. levies the remaining $16 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports.

Read: April dairy exports near 19 percent of production, but tariff wars pose threat

For a complete list of agricultural products impacted, read also: The Never-ending Retaliatory Tariff Exchange, China Edition from American Farm Bureau Federation Market Intel economist Veronica Nigh.

Video: 650 million reasons for U.S. dairy's long-term investment in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s population surpassed 650 million this year, nearly doubling the U.S. population.

Looking ahead to 2050, the countries geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia will continue to grow, with 142 million more mouths to feed, according to one population projection.

That demographic shift is a huge opportunity for U.S. dairy exports, according to Margaret Speich, senior vice president of strategic and industry communications at the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

To serve that market, USDEC signed a partnership agreement with the Food Innovation and Research Center (FIRC) at Singapore Polytechnic. Watch a two-minute video describing the region’s market potential.

Zoetis, Holstein Association USA partner to publish Dairy Wellness Profit Index high-ranking female lists

Zoetis and Holstein Association USA are partnering to publish new lists recognizing high-ranking females for the Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$).

Similar to the top-ranking DWP$ bull lists available, the high-ranking female lists identify animals with strong genetic potential for combinations of high production, reproduction and longevity traits, plus reduced risk for cow and calf diseases.

Beginning in July, the top 200 Basic ID and registered females newly evaluated for DWP$ will be updated monthly and made available through the Holstein Association USA website. Beginning August and updated three times per year, the top 100 DWP$ for registered females will be updated in three age categories: younger than 6 months; 6 to 24 months old; and older than 24 months.

DWP$ is a comprehensive commercially available genetic selection index. It ranks animals for production traits, risk of disease, fertility, longevity and other performance traits in Holstein cattle. DWP$ includes the new calf wellness traits – calf livability, respiratory disease and scours. It also includes the six cow wellness traits from Clarifide Plus: mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis.

“These lists can make it easier for Holstein producers striving to improve their herd’s health, performance and profitability to identify and benchmark their females against other elite cattle in the breed,” said Cheryl Marti, associate director, U.S. marketing, dairy genetics and reproduction, Zoetis.

Producers testing with Clarifide Plus must opt in for their animals to be included in these new lists. They can opt in by visiting the Enlight website. Opting in authorizes Holstein USA and Zoetis to publish a producer’s genomic information if an animal qualifies for the list.

New blood test reveals mastitis susceptibility

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers have developed a blood test to identify dairy cows susceptible to mastitis. The researchers identified biomarkers in the cows’ blood that could indicate which of them are at increased risk of a specific disease, said study lead author Gerd Bobe, an animal scientist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Linus Pauling Institute.

The OSU test makes it possible for a dairy farmer to determine which of their cows are at risk for infection before it occurs, Bobe said. The test can assist with prevention by helping identify cows requiring a nutritional boost for immune response, and early treatment intervention, thereby improving cow health and welfare.

The study cohort consisted of 161 healthy pregnant Holstein cows from a 1,000-head dairy farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Blood samples were collected weekly during the last three weeks before calving and at calving. After calving, the researchers selected blood samples of eight cows that were diagnosed with clinical mastitis but no other diseases after calving and compared them with nine cows that remained healthy after calving.

The researchers used a form of advanced analytical chemistry, known as ultraperformance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry, to analyze the blood samples for lipids and other circulating metabolites.

Study co-authors are Fereshteh Zandkarimi and Claudia Maier in the OSU College of Science, Jorge Vanegas in the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and Xiaoli Fern in the OSU College of Engineering. The interdisciplinary research team published its findings in the Journal of Dairy Science.

PHOTO: An Oregon State University student attaches a milking machine to a cow in the OSU Dairy Research Center. Photo by Stephen Ward, Oregon State University.  end mark

Dave Natzke