Where is the optimism in the dairy industry? What should the producer hang his or her hat on when the milk price less feed cost goes from over $11 per hundredweight (cwt) to a projected level under $7 per cwt? The future can be projected but the actual situation is not known until the future has arrived.What is known, however, is the financial data that paints a picture of the trends in an individual operation and in a cohort group of similar dairy producers. Looking to the past with financial benchmarking can provide insight into the future, even when the industry is experiencing the stress that exists in 2012.advertisementadvertisement Table 2 demonstrates the variations found when these Minnesota operations are sorted by herd size.The steady increase in milk produced per cow as herd size increases continues in 2011. Net returns per cow show a similar increasing trend based on herd size; over double the increase from 2010.With that said, smaller herds continued to struggle to generate adequate revenue to cover family living and repayment of debt. The improved margin in 2011 was not adequate for smaller herds because the business volume was not adequate to generate the needed revenue.Average milk price has not varied significantly by herd size in recent years. What has continued to stand out is the revenue generated per cow as herd size increases. The ability to focus on production and cow satisfaction in the larger herds earns financial gain for the larger producers.Even though total direct and overhead costs increase with herd size, the additional revenue resulting from increased milk production more than covers that increase.Feed costs have moved to a new plateau, exceeding the extreme levels of 2008. Based on the overall commodity pricing at the current time, this plateau is here to stay. Anticipating that feed costs will be in the $8 to $9 range for 2012, the milk price less feed price is heading to a level similar to 2009.Producers must ask: What changes have I made since 2009 that will generate added revenue if or when conditions approximate that difficult environment?Data by profitability group The first thing that stands out in Table 3 , sorting these farms into high-profit and low-profit herds, is the relative steadiness of farm size and production per cow in the three higher-profit categories.Those similarities would suggest that high returns per cow can result from both smaller and larger-size operations.A herd size of 175 to 180 cows is only slightly larger than the overall average size of 158 cows. The high- return farms show the highest milk production per cow, which has not been the trend in recent years.Another significant difference is shown in the feed cost per cwt of milk produced. There is a steady reduction up to the high-return farms, which have a feed cost just below $8 per cwt of milk. That same trend was true in the total cost of production and total expenses as well.The top three return categories see a net return that is over double, and up to almost six times, that of the 20 to 40 percent return group. The financial benefits of cost containment and strong milk production levels are demonstrated very clearly in this dataset.Summary thoughts Profitability over the past five years in the dairy industry in Minnesota has been varied. The need to generate adequate volume in the business has been demonstrated by the steady increase in herd size, having a significant increase in 2011. Profitability can be found in herds of varying sizes and that will be true in the future as well.This article opened with questions about optimism regarding the future.Highs and lows in farming are given and producers understand that situation. Current times suggest, however, that some producers are being tested yet again in 2012. Decisions related to herd size, whether expanding or contracting, will be occurring – along with decisions related to increased emphasis on crop production due to the current price situation with the major crops.Decisions in these difficult times need to be made with controlled emotions and a strong business management influence. Understanding the individual farm financial picture, comparing it to the benchmark data of their peers and discussing the options with an adviser who has firsthand knowledge of the financial aspects of the industry, such as an FBM instructor, will be critical in 2012 and beyond.Optimism is earned when decisions are based on complete financial records for the business. With quality data as a foundation, producers can build an understanding of the strengths of their dairy enterprise and their costs of production.When producers “know their numbers,” optimism in difficult times comes from confidence in their ability to interpret benchmark data and apply that knowledge to improve their business.PDLecy is associate dean at Central Lakes College , a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and Nordquist is associate director of the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota . The 2011 data for Minnesota dairy producers shows significant similarities to 2010 – giving dairy farmers the second profitable year after the severe stress of 2009. As students in the Farm Business Management Education program (FBM), 468 dairy producers used a thorough set of business records to benchmark their business in a unique subset of dairy production in Minnesota.Each producer in the FBM program uses a farm business analysis using FINPACK through the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) at the University of Minnesota . The data from these producers is merged into a state database which is hosted by CFFM in FINBIN .The Farm Business Management program is offered through Minnesota state colleges and universities and regional and statewide data.This unique database shows a significant increase in average herd size for 2011 to a level of 158 cows, up from 142 cows in 2010. This dairy database includes 11 percent of all herds in Minnesota and 35 percent of all operations with a herd size of over 200 cows. These percentages are based on herd size estimates provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.Whole-farm financial data Minnesota dairy producers experienced positive returns in 2011, even with continued increases in their costs of production.advertisementIn Table 1 , it is evident how trends from 2007 to 2009 mirror the trend from 2009 to 2011. These selected financial factors can be measured from year to year for the individual producer to evaluate business decisions that impacted these trends and how those decisions were influenced by the marketplace.Dairy producers continue to experience weakness in liquidity measures but did demonstrate improvement in all factors for the second straight year.The right column in Table 1 shows the data for all producers in the state database, where crop operations, which were very profitable, amount to about 50 percent of the total group. Dairy operations were slightly lower than the state average for these whole-farm factors but demonstrated similar positive signs overall.With two consecutive years of profitability, there was gain in the overall business stability. In 2011, the median net farm income increased by over $25,000 above 2010, to a level of $94,664. That positive trend in the revenue stream resulted in a significant net worth change, where the average farm showed a $136,436 gain in net worth on the market balance sheet.While some of this increase resulted from changes in the estimated value of assets, this positive movement was fueled primarily by the improved milk price. The current outlook for price suggests a negative impact on these numbers in 2012.advertisementData by herd size
Two million Ibotta app users redeemed rebates in May on more than 600,000 gallons of fluid milk alone. The rebates offer consumers $.20 back on any gallon of milk purchased. The app has proven to be a disruptive technology to traditional paper coupons, which generated once-off dairy purchases in the past. Ibotta’s Richard Donahue says the app has shown it can educate consumers and encourage repeat purchases.“Our ability to tell a brand’s story, such as the unique benefits of the product, or to educate a mobile user about the product leads to higher follow-on purchase rates,” Donahue claims.Ibotta’s increased rebate redemptions during June are expected to come from two sources: growth in the app’s user base and the addition of a new feature. The app recently launched “any brand” rebates, which allows consumers to gain rebates on specific product lines regardless of the brand name they purchase. For example, in June all yogurt products are eligible for a rebate if they meet the any brand rebate offering’s minimum purchase size requirements.The manufacturer pays for brand-name product rebates; however, rebates claimed under the any brand program are funded by Ibotta and by other advertising partners looking to engage with consumers.While many of the most interesting technology advances to dairy owners and managers in recent years have focused on improving farm efficiency and reducing cost, the use of mobile technology to sell dairy products is certainly an exciting development for producers.advertisementThe user profile of the app is significantly younger than those using traditional paper coupons. About 90 percent of the app’s users are less than 45 years old, with 80 percent reporting they have children in the family.To redeem rebates, these tech savvy consumers must complete simple “game like” interactions on the app and upload a photo of their receipt before a rebate can be claimed and redeemed through a PayPal account. Brands can utilize the app’s “trivia” or “poll” interactions to gather market information about brands or product categories from consumers.Manufacturers can utilize the educational aspect of the app to inform consumers of the benefits of specific products or dairy in general. “For instance, we can help explain why a ‘glass of milk a day’ or ‘a cup of yogurt as an afternoon pick-me-up’ can be a great part of a healthy diet. Or we can go a step further and showcase dairy in recipes during key seasons,” Donahue says.Additional “bonus” interactions offer consumers chances to earn cash rebates by completing designated tasks, like purchasing two different types of the same product.To date, 2 million users per month have received rebates when shopping at 147 grocery stores and major retail chains nationwide.So let’s raise a glass (of milk) to June Dairy Month and increased dairy sales! PDadvertisementGRAPHIC: Screenshot taken June 11, 2015, from the Ibotta app. A smartphone app offering rebates on groceries is expecting an increase in its dairy product rebates by 20 percent in June. That’s welcome news for an industry celebrating the consumption of dairy products this month.advertisementadvertisement
A revised settlement agreement in a six-year-old northeast U.S. milk marketing class-action antitrust lawsuit was sent to dairy farmers in March. Vermont dairy farmer Alice Allen was one of the plaintiffs filing the original lawsuit. The open letter she wrote to fellow producers regarding the settlement agreement follows. Editor’s note:advertisementadvertisementA revised settlement agreement in a six-year-old northeast U.S. milk marketing class-action antitrust lawsuit (Allen v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.) was sent to dairy farmers in March.Read Northeast milk marketing antitrust lawsuit settlement agreement revisedFarmers have until April 29 to submit written comments on the settlement agreement, and a “fairness hearing” will be held on May 13, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.Vermont dairy farmer Alice Allen was one of the plaintiffs filing the original lawsuit. The following is a letter she wrote to fellow producers regarding the settlement agreement.___advertisementDairy farmers are now receiving information in the U.S. Mail regarding the proposed Northeast Dairy Farmer settlement with Dairy Farmers of America/Dairy Marketing Services (DFA/DMS). This material can also be accessed here.It is very important that farmers make the time to read this information and take notice of the dates and deadlines. It is also very important that farmers respond in writing to the court whether they support or oppose this settlement.Make no mistake, this settlement is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for upper level DFA/DMS management, but rather a wakeup call for DFA/DMS management to pay closer attention to the legitimacy of farmers concerns. Up until this settlement there was no real avenue for farmers to have their complaints heard and acted upon. As many farmers commented it was like: “…complaining about the boss to the boss…” if a farmer had concerns. Now, through this settlement, there is a real and effective method in place to have your concerns addressed.Below is a partial list of new requirements for DFA and DMS if this settlement is approved:Not enter into full supply agreements with plants (unless limited conditions apply), all in order to open up markets to farmers.Use specific protocols for milk testing and sampling at the farm and at the plant to ensure accuracy and protect dairy farmers.Create and pay for a DFA Advisory Council Member, appointed by the Dairy Farmer Subclasses, with the responsibility to enhance producer pay prices and with access to DFA/DMS management and financial records.Create and pay for a Farmer Ombudsperson, appointed by Dairy Farmer Subclasses, charged with advocating for farmers and mediating disputes.Allow DFA/DMS farmers to terminate their relationship with DFA/DMS on 90 days notice, and on the other side, provide DFA/DMS farmers with specified notice before any termination of their relationship by DFA/DMS.Not oppose a request to release the most critical and telling internal DFA and DMS information and documents from the lawsuit, all to provide transparency to farmers.All the details of this settlement are included in the “Notice” within the packet in the recent mailing. Again, please read all the information carefully.My personal involvement in this case began many decades before this case was ultimately filed in 2009. Dating back to the early 1980s a group of dairy farmers with whom I was associated began a “milk marketing study group” to help all of us learn not only how our milk was being sold, but also the regulations surrounding legitimate cooperatives and other marketing entities. The seriousness of my involvement in milk marketing education for farmers led to my being selected as the lead named plaintiff in this case. By no means am I an expert, but I do have significant background, as well as perspective in the marketing of milk. In addition, I had the good fortune to be mentored by some of the most influential marketing experts in the dairy business during the decades from the late 1970s through the first decade of the 21st century.advertisementThroughout this entire litigation, all of the named plaintiffs for both the DFA/DMS subclass and the non-DFA/DMS subclass have dedicated ourselves to obtaining the very best results for all dairy farmers, not just a favored few. As would be expected, we named plaintiffs did not always agree on the best methods to achieve these goals, or even what the goals should be. These disagreements are understandable. One only needs to listen or watch a few minutes of media coverage of candidates during this election year to realize there is dissension on just about every subject.The attorneys for both subclasses are all well respected antitrust attorneys from well-known national firms. We, as named plaintiffs, had a stiff learning curve to understand what can be legally and effectively addressed through a class action antitrust case. As for the role of the attorneys, they had to accept the fact that this group of named plaintiffs was determined to participate in every detail. After all, our own homes, livelihoods and farms were at stake in this litigation. These attorneys spent countless hours on the case itself, as well as countless hours educating the named plaintiffs on what was and was not needed and expected from us, despite the fact that we may have believed we had more information that would be germane to this case.The question in this settlement is not simply who is right and who is wrong, but rather what is the best and most achievable outcome relative to this case which is a class action antitrust case that will benefit dairy farmers in the most comprehensive way, without extending this litigation on into the future through trial and beyond, where there is no certainty whatsoever that we could ever attain the many benefits available now through this settlement before the court.Two-thirds of the named plaintiffs support this settlement. One-third opposes it. That fact alone means the court will not immediately approve the settlement. The court needs to hear from as many of the 7,000-plus farmers within both subclasses on whether or not they support the settlement.While those named plaintiffs opposed to the settlement believe that farmers are entitled to and need their “day in court,” it brings to mind the saying: “Justice delayed is justice denied.” To have DFA become a publicly traded company rather than a cooperative, thus denying DFA the immunity of Capper-Volstead, as those plaintiffs have lobbied for, is an unrealistic goal. I strongly urge all dairy farmers to read and understand the benefits contained in this settlement. Looking for the best possible outcome for all dairy farmers, I urge farmers to support this settlement, and make the time to write your letter of support to the court before April 29, 2016. If you wish, ask to speak in support at the fairness hearing on May 13, 2016.On the other hand, if you do not support this settlement, you have the right to “opt out” (with instructions for that included in the “Notice” you received in the mail) and pursue a case against DFA/DMS on your own.Please take the time to read all the information being sent to you. Given the facts, make your decision whether to oppose or support based on your best judgment. I believe that when the facts are read and understood, and the settlement taken as a giant step in the right direction for farmers to achieve more control of their milk market, that the majority of Northeast dairy farmers will wholeheartedly support this settlement and send that letter of support to the court by the April 29 deadline.Sincerely,Alice H. AllenE. RyegateVermont 05042
Digest HighlightsNew Form I-9 releasedCalifornia QIP sunset proposed; meeting is Feb. 11Global Dairy Trade index tumbles, but cheese higherVermont: Small cheese could be stabilizing opportunityVeterinary stress, mental health levels surveyedWisconsin cheese company owner faces theft chargeNMPF: Pass DAIRY PRIDE ActAemetis project receives additional grantChapter 12 bankruptcy filings increased in 2019U.S. Gain purchases dairy digester in northeast WisconsinDanone North America, rePlant partner on loan program Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairyEmail Dave Natzkedave@progressivepublish.com New Form I-9 releasedThe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the nation’s immigration system, released a new version of Form I-9 for employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees.advertisementadvertisementA Federal Register notice regarding the new Form I-9 was published on Jan. 31, and the USCIS began accepting the updated on the same day. Employers may use the previous form until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the “10/21/2019” date (located in the lower left corner of the form).This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. The changes clarify who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer, clarifies acceptable documents for Form I-9, updates the process for requesting paper Forms I-9, updates USCIS website addresses and updates the Department of Homeland Security privacy notice.For more information, visit I-9 Central, or join a free Form I-9 webinar.California QIP sunset proposed; meeting is Feb. 11A plan designed to resolve California’s ongoing battle over funding and distribution of state milk quota payments will be publicly presented to dairy farmers on Feb. 11 during World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.The recommendation follows months of study and meetings, led by dairy economists Marin Bozic and Matt Gould. Bozic will discuss the recommendation in the World Ag Expo VIP Event Tent, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration for the meeting is requested.advertisementUnder the proposed recommendation, California’s Quota Implementation Plan (QIP) sunsets on March 1, 2025. In the meantime, a regional quota adjuster (RQA) will be modified to result in an equalized quota differential of $1.43 per hundredweight (cwt). The plan will give existing quota holders a cumulative payment of $300 per pound of solids quota, distributed over the five-year period. The recommendation would require approval in a producer referendum.California’s quota system came about in the late 1960s as a means of compensating milk producers selling into the higher Class I market. Under the system, the quota assessment on the pool reduced the overbase price received by all producers.With California’s recent move into the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system, a stand-alone QIP was approved in a statewide referendum in 2017. Under the FMMO, all Grade A producers are assessed the equivalent amount on their statement, whether they are pooled or not. Quota certificate holders receive payments above the state blend price for the amount of milk covered by their certificate.A survey conducted during the latest round of QIP meetings collected input on three reform ideas (down from 11 original ideas) from 173 producers representing 495,657 cows, approximately 28.7% of California dairy cows. Of those producers responding, 79% said a sunset was an acceptable concept for a reform plan; 72% said a buyout was an acceptable concept.Meanwhile, legal and administrative challenges to the QIP have grown. Last December, Stop QIP filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the QIP. Stop QIP has also initiated a petition drive calling for suspension of a section of the California Food and Agriculture Code (Chapter 3.5), which would effectively terminate the QIP.Global Dairy Trade index tumbles, but cheese higherThe index of Global Dairy Trade (GDT) dairy product prices fell in the latest auction, held Feb. 4. The overall index dropped 4.7%, based primarily on weaker powder prices that offset an increase for cheddar cheese. Major dairy product prices follow:advertisementSkim milk powder was down 4.2% to $2,907 per metric ton (MT).Cheddar cheese was up 6% to $4,302 per MT.Butter was up 0.2% to $4,258 per MT.Whole milk powder was down 6.2% to $3,039 per MT.The next GDT auction is Feb. 18.Vermont: Small cheese could be stabilizing opportunityAligning links and logistics between Vermont’s small-scale dairy farms, processors and marketers could help propel the state’s agricultural industry into a viable and sustainable future, according to a report released in late January.Mandated by state lawmakers in May 2019, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM), the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Vermont Farm to Plate Network jointly presented the report in late January 2020. The report summarizes current conditions, bottlenecks and gaps, and opportunities of each segment of Vermont agriculture. Among the recommendations, the report’s authors urged a stronger link between small-scale milk and forage producers with specialty cheese manufacturers.As of 2019, Vermont’s 664 dairy farms (470 conventional and 188 organic) produced about two-thirds of all milk in New England. Due to their size – more than 80% of all dairy farms milked fewer than 200 cow – Vermont dairy farmers face greater challenges trying to survive and thrive in conventional milk production and marketing systems. At the same time, the small, localized nature of the state’s dairy sector gives it greater capacity to innovate and evolve in concert with the ever-changing dairy market.With small-scale cheese production and markets in mind, including raw milk cheeses, the report recommends alignment of the dairy cooperative and federal milk classification systems to embrace production of cheese-quality milk; creation of new business models for support and logistics businesses (milk haulers, cooperatives and dairy lab staff); assisting these businesses with equipment purchases, business planning and workforce development; and increasing investment in Vermont cheese marketing initiatives.A second set of product, market and issue briefs are currently under development and scheduled to be released in late spring of 2020. The goal is to assemble a list of the highest priority recommendations – to be implemented over the next five years – by January 2021.Veterinary stress, mental health levels surveyedA survey of U.S. veterinarians shows that while most rate job satisfaction as high, many are concerned about stress levels, student debt and suicide.The Merck Animal Health Veterinarian Wellbeing Study was conducted in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The online survey, conducted in September and October 2019 by Brakke Consulting, examined job satisfaction, compensation, burnout, substance use disorder, cyberbullying and suicide among veterinarians while evaluating potential solutions.Despite new awareness around well-being and mental health in veterinary medicine, the study showed veterinarian well-being on average has not improved since a similar study in 2017. “For example, this study found a significant and positive change in caring toward those with mental illness, but that there is still a large treatment gap, with half of those surveyed experiencing distress and declining to seek treatment,” said Judson Vasconcelos, DVM, director, Veterinary and Consumer Affairs for Merck Animal Health.Although the prevalence of serious psychological distress in veterinarians was consistent with the general population of employed U.S. adults, it was much more common in younger veterinarians than in their older counterparts. The study found that veterinarians, despite working fewer hours, had higher rates of burnout than physicians. In addition, the study found that 52% of veterinarians would not recommend a career in the veterinary profession.The study confirmed similar research findings that veterinarians are much more likely to think about suicide than nonveterinarians and are more than 2.7 times more likely to attempt suicide. While female veterinarians experience higher levels of serious psychological distress and are more likely to think about suicide, male veterinarians are more likely to attempt suicide.The study provided techniques and potential solutions to improve veterinary mental health and well-being. Individuals are encouraged to create personal stress management plans, balance their work with healthy personal activities, work with a financial planner especially if carrying a burdensome level of student debt and limit time on social media in favor of in-person interactions.In support of AVMA’s veterinary wellness efforts, Merck Animal Health is making a second $100,000 commitment to support AVMA’s Workplace Wellbeing program and resources.Wisconsin cheese company owner faces theft chargeThe Wisconsin attorney general’s office has filed a complaint against the owner of a Wisconsin cheese company, alleging theft of about $21,000 from 83 dairy farmers.On Jan. 28, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that Michael J. Moran, owner of Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company, Rudolph, Wisconsin, was ordered to appear in court on Feb. 24 to face a felony theft charge.The complaint alleges that Moran forged the names of farmers on underpayment checks for milk and converted the funds for his own use or the use of others. According to the complaint, the theft occurred between January 2012 and April 2018.A guilty verdict carries a potential maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.NMPF: Pass DAIRY PRIDE ActThe FDA’s failure to prevent use of dairy terms on labels of plant-based alternative products makes it imperative that Congress pass the DAIRY PRIDE Act, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Executive Vice President Tom Balmer told a congressional subcommittee on Jan. 29. Balmer testified at a hearing on “Improving Safety and Transparency in America’s Food and Drugs” before the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health.The Defending Against Imitations and Replacements of Yogurt, milk, and cheese to Promote Regular Intake of Dairy Everyday (DAIRY PRIDE) Act was introduced by U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) in the House and Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) in the Senate. The proposal would designate foods that make an inaccurate claim about milk contents as “misbranded” and subject to enforcement of labeling rules. It would require the FDA to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of mislabeled imitation dairy products within 90 days of its passage and require the FDA to report to Congress two years after enactment to hold the agency accountable in its enforcement.Despite a pledge from newly confirmed FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in support of “clear, transparent and understandable labeling for the American people,” the FDA has failed to take enforcement action against mislabeled products, Balmer said.Aemetis project receives additional grantThe California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded Aemetis Biogas LLC additional funds to construct a biogas upgrading facility as part of its dairy digester and pipeline project in central California. The latest $4.1 million grant brings total funds awarded to Aemetis in January 2020 to approximately $18 million.The CEC grants, funded through the CEC Low Carbon Fuel Production Program, support the company’s Aemetis Central Dairy Digester and Pipeline Project, and for upgrades to the company’s Keyes ethanol plant.The Aemetis Central Dairy Digester and Pipeline Project is designed to capture methane gas currently emitted from dairy manure lagoons, pretreat the biogas at each dairy to remove harmful components, then transport the methane via pipeline to the biogas upgrading facility.The biogas upgrading facility will convert dairy biogas, collected from dairies throughout Stanislaus and Merced counties in California, into renewable natural gas (RNG). Aemetis is currently developing more than a dozen anaerobic digesters at local dairies, with plans for future expansion to several dozen dairies.Aemetis expects to complete construction and begin operation of its first two dairy digesters, the onsite dairy biogas pretreatment units, a 4-mile Aemetis pipeline and a new biogas boiler at the Keyes plant in the second quarter of 2020.The RNG will be utilized at the Keyes ethanol plant to replace carbon-intensive petroleum natural gas currently used to generate steam and power at the plant or will be injected into Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) gas pipeline to be utilized as transportation fuel by trucking companies and bus fleets.Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings increased in 2019The number of U.S. farms restructuring debt by filing Chapter 12 bankruptcy rose in 2019, according to analysis by American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) chief economist John Newton. There were 595 Chapter 12 filings for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, up 97 (20%) from a year earlier and the highest annual total since the 637 filings in 2011.Among the 24 major dairy states, Chapter 12 filings totaled 398 for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, up 71 from the year before (Table 1). The total does not necessarily mean all filings were dairy operations, however.At 57, Wisconsin farm Chapter 12 bankruptcies were up eight from the prior year and the highest level in a decade. Other dairy states setting decade highs were Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota and Vermont.”The continued increase in Chapter 12 filings was not unanticipated given the multiyear downturn in the farm economy, record farm debt, headwinds on the trade front and recent changes to the bankruptcy rules in 2019’s Family Farmer Relief Act, which raised the debt ceiling to $10 million,” Newton wrote in his AFBF Market Intel report.Among other highlights of Newton’s report:On a year-over-year basis, Chapter 12 filings have increased for five consecutive quarters.The 2019 data reveals a bankruptcy rate of approximately 2.95 bankruptcies per 10,000 farms, slightly below the rate of 2.99 filings per 10,000 farms in 2011.Over the last decade, there have been more than 5,000 Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies across the U.S., representing approximately a quarter of 1% of all farm operations during this time period. At 388 filings, Chapter 12 filings over the last decade were the highest in California, followed by Wisconsin at 375 and Georgia at 351.For additional information, read: The Verdict Is In: Farm Bankruptcies Up in 2019.U.S. Gain purchases dairy digester in northeast WisconsinU.S. Gain has purchased an anaerobic digester located at Deer Run Dairy LLC, near Kewaunee, Wisconsin. According to the company’s press release, U.S. Gain is currently coordinating the installation of biogas cleanup equipment to produce RNG.RNG is not a fossil fuel but can be used interchangeably with traditional natural gas. Dairy-based RNG features some of the lowest carbon intensity scores because of its upstream emission savings through capture of methane that otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere, the company said.Once certified, the gas will be injected into the natural gas pipeline and distributed throughout their GAIN Clean Fuel network, private natural gas fueling stations and other nontransportation outlets.As a part of U.S. Venture Inc., a family-owned, Wisconsin-based company, U.S. Gain develops, procures and distributes renewable and compressed natural gas for the transportation and energy industries.Danone North America, rePlant partner on loan programDanone North America announced a partnership with rePlant Capital, a financial services firm dedicated to reversing climate change. Under the partnership, rePlant will provide up to $20 million in loans to support Danone North America’s farmer partners with expenses related to converting to regenerative or organic farming practices.The first of the loans has been provided to Kansas-based McCarty Family Farms, a partner of Danone North America for almost 10 years and co-owner of MVP Dairy LLC, winner of the International Dairy Foods Association 2020 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year award.McCarty family farm owners and fourth-generation dairy farmers Mike, Clay, David and Ken McCarty will use the loan to install moisture probes on cropland surrounding their dairy, where water access issues are of concern, to reduce the amount of water used on crops that provide forage for the dairy cows. In addition to reducing water usage on their own farm, McCarty Family Farms is working with their local feed partnerships as well as the local watershed authority to see how this program may be expanded to other farms in the region to improve water consumption and aquifer longevity within the Ogallala aquifer.
Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) (City of Farmington Hills)Six teen representatives from the Farmington/Farmington Hills Mayors Youth Council attended the first day of the Michigan Municipal League Annual Capitol Conference in Lansing with Farmington Hills Mayor Ken Massey on Tuesday, March 20. The group learned about public policy by attending sessions on state and federal issues that impact our local community and also by attending a legislative update. Several members also took part in a “Future of Female Leadership” luncheon with Farmington Hills City Council member Theresa Rich. Pictured left to right are Veena Thamilselvan, Preston Buszka, Mayor Ken Massey, Maya Sopory, Parker Buszka, Rohan Putumbaka, and Apoorva Dayananda. Reported by
Lenard Fouche (contributed)UPDATE: A Farmington Hills man whose family reported him missing has been found physically safe and unharmed, Farmington Hills Police said Monday.Officials on Sunday asked for help in locating Lenard Fouche, 80, whose family reported him missing on Father’s Day. Fouche was last seen leaving a home in the area of Mitchelldale and Northend Ave. at around 6 p.m. on June 14. He was supposed to spend Father’s Day with family, but he was not at his apartment on Sunday.He is Black, 5’7″, 200 lbs., bald, and wears a mustache. He drives a 2001 Silver Honda CR-V, Michigan license plate 5LHL22.Anyone with information should contact the Farmington Hills Police Department Command Desk, 248-871-2610. Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
Farmington Public Schools (FPS) has made some changes to a meal distribution system that has been in place since school buildings closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The next meal distribution will happen on Wednesday, July 8, 9-11 a.m., and only at East Middle School. The weekly curbside distribution will run through August 19, and online registration is no longer necessary.Each package consists of seven ready-to-eat breakfasts and seven ready- to-cook lunches, available only to people who are 18 and under and those 26 and under with a disability. Families do not need to live within the district or be eligible for free and reduced lunches. East Middle School is located at 25000 Middlebelt Rd., in Farmington Hills. Enter the staff parking lot and follow the line around the normal student drop off line. Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
Based on common understanding of market and customer needs, TeliaSonera and Ericsson will together develop 5G use-cases and service scenarios, including both communication and Internet of Things (IoT) services with the purpose to address new business opportunities. The partnership will bring 5G services to customers in 2018 by combining the TeliaSonera network with Ericsson technology.Stockholm and Tallinn – two of the most connected cities in the world will experience 5G services by 2018. 5G will amplify the value of digitalization and connectivity as it is designed to be the industrial internet. Both the companies had launched the first commercial 4G network in 2009, and will now be in the forefront of 5G as well. Potential 5G applications could include e-health with real time surveillance of patients and remote treatment; connected cars including critical communication between vehicles (warnings, support to self-driving cars etc.) as well as better network performance in terms of capacity, coverage and power consumption.Sweden has long been a pioneer ICT-nation and Estonia has acknowledged the economic importance of a digital society and is one of the most advanced e-societies in the world. According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021.
This measurement unit is part of Keysight’s RF power amplifier and front-end module reference solution, which enables rapid, full characterization of next-generation power amplifier modules, such as power amplifier devices, including S-parameter, demodulation, power, adjacent channel power and harmonic distortion measurements. High-speed changes in voltage with fast settling times High-speed recovery and low-voltage drop when the DUT pulls pulses of current with sharp edges High-speed, accurate low-current measurements, such as leakage currents Keysight Technologies has announced their first PXI Express source/measurement unit, built for design validation and production test of next-generation power amplifiers and front-end modules supporting cellular and wireless connectivity formats.This high-speed M9111A changes voltage, stabilizes and accurately measures micro-Amps, all in less than 1 ms. The PXIe entry achieves speeds 20 times faster than those for previous-generation, stand-alone SMUs at a fraction of the size.In power amplifier automated test environments, speed of test is critical. The M9111A addresses this challenge. Its high-speed output and glitch-free operation, combined with the ability to remain stable, even with capacitances up to 150 µF, make it ideal for power-amplifier test of handsets and cell phones.Power amplifiers draw rapid pulses of current, a challenge that this unit easily manages with transient performance unmatched in the industry. Its SMU (Source/Measure Unit) dramatically reduces voltage droop due to pulse loading and recovers quickly to its program voltage.Under extreme, dynamic load conditions, traditional SMUs may prove unstable. This unit provides industry-leading output stability, eliminating the worry that the power source will interfere with measurements. Glitch-free operation ensures safe use with the device under test during output and measurement range changes, even with high capacitances. The output voltage and current remain steady and the DUT undamaged.This one-slot, two-quadrant PXIe module delivers up to 18 W of power at up to 13 V, ±1 A or up to 6 V, ±3 A. It combines the capabilities of a voltage source, a current source, an ammeter and a voltmeter.Measurement capabilities for the M9111A include:
Taoglas has launched three NB-IoT antennas, including the smallest ceramic NB-IoT antenna (NCP.5820) that covers Bands 5, 8 and 20 simultaneously with a single matching configuration, and an ultra-thin, flexible multiband antenna (FXUB64) that supports all LTE bands – including the new Band 71 that will be used for NB-IoT in the U.S.The antennas are specifically designed to provide device manufacturers cost-effective global reach and high efficiency in a small form factor as they develop NB-IoT solutions. Taoglas showcased the Extensis NB-IoT antennas at the Mobile World Congress Americas last week. The low-profile, highly efficient NCP.5820 is a NB-IoT ceramic surface mount multiband antenna that supports Bands 8 (880-960 MHz) and 20 (791-862 MHz), as well as Band 5 (824-894 MHz) to allow IoT devices – such as asset trackers – to work across different regions and different carriers. Its low profile (2 mm) and small footprint (14.1 x 8.3 mm) make it the smallest NB-IoT antenna.The NCP.5820 is designed with the patent-pending Taoglas Boost technology, which delivers up to a 2 dB improvement in antenna performance when integrated into small devices. Taoglas Boost is particularly suited to designs with shorter ground planes, allowing IoT and other device designers to bring to market a wider range of smaller devices that would otherwise not have been able to meet certain stringent carrier certification requirements. Service providers around the world are rolling out NB-IoT network upgrades to support the growing demand to connect IoT devices to support a variety of applications, ranging from bicycle tracking and parking in urban environments to water management to smart metering in remote locations. NB-IoT delivers a wealth of benefits to end users, including low-date-rate transmission, low-power to extend battery life, extended coverage in challenging environments, proven LTE-based security mechanisms, and the ability to support a massive number of connections.Taoglas supports these benefits by providing highly efficient, low-cost, easy to integrate, reliable antennas in a very small form factor that are suitable across a range of NB-IoT and LPWA (LoRa, Sigfox and ISM) devices and applications. The NCS.5820, is a surface-mount onboard antenna that supports Bands 5, 8 and 20. Its low-profile (1.6 mm) and small footprint (11 x 20 mm) allows the NCS.5820 to be integrated into even the smallest of IoT devices. As it is a larger antenna, it demonstrates higher efficiency, and Taoglas Boost is also available with this antenna, and any Taoglas onboard antenna.The third antenna in the Extensis range is the patent-pending FXUB64 flexible ultrawideband antenna, which has been designed for all working frequencies in the 600 to 3000 MHz spectrum, covering all Cellular, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, ISM and AGPS, including LTE Band 71. The ultra-thin (130 x 20 x 30*0.2 mm) polymer antenna is delivered with a flexible peel-and-stick body with excellent efficiencies on all bands. Taoglas is the world’s first to include LTE Band 71 in an off-the-shelf cellular antenna product. The antenna is compliant to T-Mobile’s new 600 MHz over-the-air (OTA) requirements when properly integrated into the customer’s device.