Sunday, February 15, 2009

A real effort to improve dairy farm profitability

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program was approved for another two years of operation, and this was announced in a news release on the CWT website. This program is the one being pushed by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) as the key mechanism for controlling country-wide milk production.

"“America’s dairy farmers are looking to CWT to help them overcome the dire financial circumstances they are facing,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF, which manages CWT. “I’m pleased that our members are willing to support a two-year commitment to the program, in order to give us the resources necessary now to make a positive impact on farmer income.”"

The newest version of the CWT Program will have two changes. Those changes were described in the press release.

"CWT’s members also approved two changes in program policy. First, all members whose bids are accepted in future herd retirement programs will agree and warrant to cease dairy production for one year. This warranty will apply to both the producer and his/her dairy facility.
The second change is that farmers who were successful participants in past CWT herd retirement rounds will be permitted to bid in the next herd retirement round that CWT conducts."

This program will take approximately one year to have the desired effect for a variety of reasons. While the CWT program works and more than pays for itself, at least from the viewpoint of the producer, this is not a quick fix.

I'm not sure that a 'quick fix' is available for this particular situation.

Hope that helps.


Friday, February 13, 2009

New Niche Market?

I know I sometimes have 'funny' dairy-related items on Fridays at the 'Coffeeshop.' I promise that the following is not a 'funny' item. It's a new niche market for a 'dairy product' in India.

The Food and Beverage News reports in that:

"...the cow protection department of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India's leading Hindu cultural group, has invented a new soft drink made of cow's urine and decided to promote its health-giving properties to a wider market in the country."

They also report that:

In several states, cow dung and urine are sold in regular dairy shops and products ranging from toothpaste, shampoo, soap, face powder and shaving lotion to balm, biscuits, incense sticks, phenyl, mosquito coils and distemper which are being made from cow urine and cow dung. "

They predict that:

"Once the tests show positive results, the department will work its packaging, preservation and marketing," Prakash added. The department claims that the product is an alternative for western cold-drinks and will sweep the Indian market"

The dairy industry is in dire economic straights, and many dairy producers have trouble getting rid of the 'products' that these Indian folks are going to sell or are selling. Is it time the dairy industry tries to 'think outside the box'?

Thinking outside the box isn't limited to the US.

Hope that helps.