To enable organic dairy family farmers, situated across an extensive area, to have informed discussion about matters critical to the well being of the organic dairy industry as a whole.
Payprice Summary Chart:
2006 to 2013
Download a copy of our summary chart comparing payprice for Organic Valley and Horizon over time.
Feed and Pay Price Updates
Added April 8, 2014. CROPP, Organic Valley’s parent company, has had a good year nearing a billion dollars in sales with an increase of 8.5 percent on previous year’s sales. WhiteWave, Horizon Organic’s parent company, is diversifying and generating great profits for its shareholders. The number of organically certified operations has increased according to the USDA. All is seemingly good with organics as the market increases and more profits are made. But where does that leave the producers, especially those that deal in commodities rather than direct marketing, and that have made a strong commitment in time, money and passion to organic certification?
For more details on feed and pay price go to:
Check Out All The Businesses Supporting NODPA's Work
Over 20 businesses have signed up for our business membership directory, helping support our newsletter, web site, advocacy work, and more. Check them out.
Added in February and March 2014
Want to submit your own farmer classified? Click here >
190 acre farm. Approx. 130 acres row crop w/ balance in timber & pasture. Producing certified organic crops for the past 7 years. 30 x 70 hoop house and a 5 bedroom house. 40 x 50 machine shed and 6000 bushel grain storage w/electricity & drying floors. Willing to sell 170 acres without home for $3000 / acre. Farm can be viewed at: www.realestatebrokersofmissouri.comAdded February 26, 2014.
Contact: Meghan Dixon
Location: Green Ridge, Missouri
Farm for sale: Having sold my cows last July and auctioned the machinery and produce in September, I am now offering the main farm and farmstead for sale. 350 acres available of which 200 is certified pasture and cropland. I have milked as many as 350 cows with available rented land and as few as 180 with just the home farm. Please visit www.kimvale.com for the specifics including many pictures and descriptions. The price is negotiable depending on how much land is needed. It is currently divided into 3 distinct parcels. Added February 18, 2014.
Name: Steve Kimball
Location: 3456 Dry Brook Rd, Falconer, NY, 14733
Looking for a 150 gallon insulated milk tank. Added February 26, 2014.
Name: Sam Herrick
Six certified organic heifers: 1 Holstein, 2 Jerseys, 3 Cross breeds. Due March-May, $1400 each OBO, Southern Vermont 802-254-6982. Added March 17, 2014.
Contact: Phillip Cutting
Location: Guilford, Vermont
Looking for stock: We are a bio-dynamic farm that raises family milk cows. We are needing more stock and are open to different ages but especially bred heifers. Would like initially about 8-10. Grazing background, no grain, registered Jersey, organic and breeding A2 all good. Must have a BVD, Johnnes's free herd and raise calves on real milk. Added February 17, 2014.
Name: Adam and Faith Schlabach
Forage, Bedding & Grains
NOFA-NY Certified organic Clover seed and Timothy seed - Cleaned and bagged, and bedding hay - 4 1/2 X 4 round bales. Mitchell Farms - Avoca, NY (Steuben Co) Contact Jeff @ 607-566-8477 or Mitchellorganics@Hotmail.com Added March 17, 2014.
Certified organic 4x4 round bales 1st and 2nd cutting Dairy One tested and results are available bales are wrapped delivery is available $40 a bale. Paul Hargett 315 246 2998.
Added February 27, 2014.
Contact: Paul Hargett
Phone: 315 246 2998
Location: Locke NY
700 bushel high moisture corn (18.6% moisture) for sale. 49.5 lbs/bushel. $12.75/bu
Buyer can haul or transportation can be arranged. Added February 17, 2014.
Lawrence County, PA.
Call Jonathan Byler at 724-946-2779 and leave a message
WANTED: I am a project manager with a restoration company on the hunt for organic straw to mulch some organic fields we are working in. I will need 75-100 bales in the Troy area of Pa. Please contact me at your earliest convenience as it is needed immediately. Thank you for your time. Added February 5, 2014.
Contact: Ryan Crilley
Phone: (330) 806-9030
(Added March 17, 2014.)
Seven Stars Farm, a 350 acre certified Biodynamic/Organic farm in Southeast Pennsylvania, is in search of a herdsperson to manage our 70 cow herd of Jersey and Jersey crosses. We are looking for an energetic, self-motivated individual with excellent communication and leadership skills. The herdsperson is responsible for the production of high-quality milk for our yogurt processing plant. The herdsperson oversees all aspects of the feeding, milking, breeding and health care of the dairy herd and young stock. Responsibilities, also, include the routine maintenance and cleanliness of the milking equipment, dairy barns, and coordination with field manager for rotational grazing and winter feed needs. This individual must oversee milking procedures and coordinating milk or schedules in addition to their direct responsibilities. The herdsman assists and all aspect of the farm as needed. Only those who truly love cows and treat them in a gentle, quiet manner need apply. This is a good opportunity to work in an established small farm/processor (Seven Stars Farm Yogurt) environment with mature and respectful coworkers. Housing, health insurance and competitive salary. Tie stall barn with automatic takeoff milkers and rail system.
Contact: David Griffiths
Location: Phoenixville, PA
Field Manager Assistant Apprenticeship. Assist the Field Manager on diversified biodynamic dairy farm. Focus on forage production for our grass-based dairy. Also compost production and fertility management, small grain production, and equipment maintenance and repair. For more information, visit our website, http://hawthornevalleyfarm.org/place-based-learning-center/vocational-programs/apprenticeships/
Added February 27, 2014.
Name: Hawthorne Valley Farm
Location: Ghent, NY
Assistant Cheese Maker, full time with benefits at historic farmstead dairy. Starts in April. Must be able to lift 50 lbs, stand on cement floors all day and work in both hot humid and cold conditions. A positive attitude, flexible approach and ability to work as part of a team is essential. Added January 21, 2014.
Contact: Anna Cantelmo
Location: Ipswich MA
For additional information on the events below, click here.
April 4-5, 2014
New Farmer Summit
Primrose Valley Farm, Belleville, WI
April 8, 2014
Perennials in Your Food Production System
April 9, 2014
Organic Dairy Luncheon Discussion Meeting
Lansing, NY, 10:30am-2:30pm: Chuck and Andra Benson Farm, 112 Lansingville Road
April 11, 2014
Organic Dairy Luncheon Discussion Meeting
Hammond, NY; 10:30am-2:30pm: Hammond Village Hall, 24 S. Main Street, hosted by Liz Bawden.
April 11, 2014
Maine Organic Milk Producers Annual Meeting
Governors Restaurant, Waterville, ME
April 12, 2014
Organic Livestock Health Care Workshop
April 14-17, 2014
Food Sovereignty Summit
Radisson Hotel, Green Bay, Wis.
April 16, 2014
Organic Dairy Luncheon Discussion Meeting
Mohawk, NY, 10:30am-2:30pm: Dave Hardy Farm Shop, 718 Aney Hill Road, hosted by Dave Hardy.
April 17, 2014
Organic Dairy Luncheon Discussion Meeting
Pavilion, NY, 10:30am-2:30pm, Tillotson Farm, 10771 Cook Road, hosted by Paul and Jason Tillotson.
May 15, 2014 from 9:00AM to 3:00PM EST
WORKSHOP ON HYDROPONIC LIVESTOCK FEED
FarmTek Technology Center East in South Windsor, CT
June 3, 2014
Webinar: Commonly Used Organic Inputs
4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)
June 6-8, 2014
Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference
Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH
Stonewall Farm is a nonprofit working farm and educational center whose mission is to connect people to the land and the role of local agriculture in their lives. They operate a 30-cow certified organic dairy, which has been in operation for over 125 consecutive years (under various owners) and is the oldest and only working dairy farm in Keene, NH. Set in a scenic valley, it consists of 70 acres of pasture, 15 acres of crops/gardens, and 30+ acres of wetlands, woods and hiking trails. The dairy farm has been certified organic since 2007 using the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food as their certifier. Their motivations for getting certified was for the increased income they would receive for their fluid milk, the anticipated improvements in their dairy herd health, and the environmental advantages. To read the whole article please go to:
Added April 8, 2014
SAVE THE DATE: NODPA 2014 Field Days
The 14th Annual NODPA Field Days will be on Thursday and Friday September 25 & 26, 2014 at Stonewall Farm, in Keene, New Hampshire.
Stonewall Farm is centrally located in Southwest New Hampshire, not far from Brattleboro, VT and Keene, NH. The farm is an educational farm that has an organic dairy, micro-milk processing facility, on-site hydroponic barley fodder operation, cheese and yogurt making capacity, farm store, CSA, and educational programing, and they are experimenting with growing canola for biodiesel as well as creating a small grains cooperative where they share combine harvesting equipment. As we move forward with the planning for the Field Days, as usual, we welcome input from organic dairy producers and their supporters, especially around topics of interest that we can focus on for the NODPA Field Days event.
For more details on sponsorship and to reserve limited trade show space, please contact NODPA event coordinator Nora Owens: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feed and Pay Price
CROPP, Organic Valley’s parent company, has had a good year nearing a billion dollars in sales with an increase of 8.5 percent on previous year’s sales. WhiteWave, Horizon Organic’s parent company, is diversifying and generating great profits for its shareholders. The number of organically certified operations has increased according to the USDA. All is seemingly good with organics as the market increases and more profits are made. But where does that leave the producers, especially those that deal in commodities rather than direct marketing, and that have made a strong commitment in time, money and passion to organic certification? What is the organic community’s responsibility to safeguard the future income for those producers? Politically the USDA NOP is changing the transparency of its processes and allowing undue influence by manufacturers and processors in deciding what synthetics are allowed in organic products resulting in the integrity of organics getting more diluted. Manufacturers are importing more organic raw materials at cheaper prices than can be produced in the US, which undermines small to mid-size organic operations that do not have economies of scale. With the increased lack of transparency, less stakeholder involvement, and less perceived integrity, consumers will stop valuing organic and will start purchasing more “natural”, “non-GMO” “sustainable” and “green” products. This will affect the commodity market the greatest, with organic dairy being hit the hardest in a confused market where vegetable juice can be called milk and can be sold in the dairy section of supermarkets and organic milk can be sold at close to the same retail price of non-organic.
In organic dairy we have processors clinging to outdated methods of paying producers, relying on regional payments that do not relate to input costs, and substituting MAP and seasonal payments instead of increases in the base price. Western producers are suffering terribly from the drought and the high price of feed with some major producers diversifying out of organic dairy. It’s time for the processors to move away from regional payments and increase the pay price for western producers to match their input costs. There is plenty of evidence of the need and if the processors are truly supporting the future of organic production rather than their own growth as companies or their future as salaried employees, then they need to recognize the needs of their member owners and their suppliers. With CROPP importing vegetables and beef manufacturing trim (this is what makes up the pink slim in non-organic meat), perhaps they are not paying close enough attention to their core member owners interests.
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service again shows an increase in sales of organic fluid milk in January 2014 of 13.5% over January 2013 with organic whole milk sales increasing at the same rate as non-fat milk. With butter now in a revival, there is an increase in demand for organic butter and supplies are tightening. With a delay in the Spring flush of milk because of the long winter and extreme weather, manufacturers are reportedly facing shortages and lack of supply of butter and considering trucking product from further away.
For more details on the price of feed and retail sales and pricing please go to:
Preventing & Treating Lameness in Cows
Lameness in cows is expensive and needs to be prevented as much as possible particularly for organic dairy cows that are required to walk to pasture for their feed. Dr. Hue Karreman has written a timely article that looks at the nutritional and environmental factors affecting hoof health and the practical treatment of hoof problems. Hue’s conclusion is that “while problems are generally minimal on organic farms, lameness and its effect on efficient grazing really must be prevented. By proper nutrition and environmental improvements, your cows should be able to move freely and easily as they graze contentedly.” Read more of Hue’s advice with graphic pictures at:
Magnesium for Dairy Pastures
The role of magnesium in crops, even pasture and forages, is generally underestimated according to soil and plant testing performed throughout the U.S and other parts of the world. For those that test for Magnesium in forage they will see a confirmation of such a deficiency but the solution is not as simple as just adding Magnesium to the soil; in fact that may not solve the problem. Neal Kinsey of Kinsey Ag Services explains in detail how to analyze the problem (“be sure that the soil tests being utilized are capable of accurately determining true Magnesium needs in order to secure the correct material to sufficiently provide for any needed corrections or changes”) and consider different solutions. To read the complete article by Neal Kinsey please go to:You're Invited to NOC's pre-NOSB Meeting
NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting: April 28, 2014 9am-5:30pm
St. Anthony Hotel
300 East Travis St, San Antonio, TX
Please RSVP to:
Added March 17, 2104
National Check-Off Program?
“At the Task Force Meeting one of the producers asked for a show of hands to see if any of the nine producers in attendance supported the checkoff initiative. There were no hands raised.” This informal vote is part of the report from the New York Organic Dairy Task Force at its December 6th 2013 meeting at the Dairylea Offices in Syracuse. This supports other evidence that the majority of producers have expressed their opinion that they do not want an Organic Check-off. The purpose of the NY Organic Dairy Task Force meeting was to discuss this potential organic checkoff program that has split the organic community amongst producers and processors. The New York Organic Dairy Task Force has been funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute since 2005. The Task Force is comprised of organic dairy and crop farmers, certifiers, processors, and related support services. It meets twice a year to assess opportunities and barriers to the organic dairy industry in New York, allowing farmers to offer and develop informed opinions. To read the complete report please go to:
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has been congratulating itself on their success in changing the law to enable an organic check off with the passage of the Farm Bill. At the recent Expo West trade show, OTA claimed that its check-off initiative is really rolling now. "We changed the game, and we got it done," OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha is quoted as declaring at a workshop, “The program should be up and ready to go in 18 to 24 months.” OTA Board Chair, Melody Meyer, of UNFI also expressed delight that the check-off scheme is moving forward: "Hopefully gone will be the days when we have to do fundraisers for separate areas of industry and meet in hotel rooms and at dinners to raise funds." Significantly it is the processors and manufacturers that attend and give at these dinners; OTA seems pleased that the money will now come from producers and others instead of their processor members.
OTA propaganda also seems to be misleading, implying that all levels from retail to farmers will be assessed for the check-off. As most of the margin and profit on organics is made at the marketing and retailing level, they should pay the most. No-one has yet described how they will get large corporations like Coca Cola, Heinz and Con Agra and retailers like Stop and Shop, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Safeway to pay into the check-off across state lines and on a national scale. Which leaves producers paying either directly or indirectly when handlers are assessed and producers are paid less for their milk.
NODPA is committed to working with its partners to ensure that the producer voice is heard at USDA as it is obvious that OTA remains deaf to what farmers and their families want and need. Please remember that:
You can still be UNITED FOR ORGANIC without supporting a Check-Off program
For more information please go to: http://www.nodpa.com/checkoff_opposition.shtml
In Memory of John Kinsman
In January, the organic community and family farm community lost one of its shining lights. John Kinsman passed away peacefully at his farm. John farmed organically most of his life. After an incident with chemicals early in his life, which hospitalized him, he decided to move forward without them. The introduction of BST lit a fire in John that was never put out. John's view on this created tensions in certain circles. John viewed BST as a total loss. It was a loss for the farmer, a loss for the cow, and a loss for the consumer. The loss of farmers that resulted from this along with poor pricing policy would be devastating. John knew the hardship caused to our cattle would be severe and declining consumer confidence would be the final nail in the coffin. When organic came to the forefront John was already there.
John will be missed by many but the benefits of his work will be enjoyed by all of us for years to come. We can all hope to carry his message and work forward. I know I intend to. For the complete article please go to:
Share of the retail dollar – how important is it in determining pay price?
Organic pay price changes have come from shortage of supply (increase of $4 from 2003 to 2006); increased competition when HP Hood entered the market; and most recently increases in the Market Adjusted Premiums (MAP) when high feed costs threatened supply. Coincidently, those increases happened at the same time as the producer share of the retail dollar increased and the average retail price decreased. Using the existing data, we would need a $3 increase on base price to bring the share of the retail dollar up to the same level as non-organic, assuming the retail price does not drop. History shows that an increase in pay price has no direct effect on the average retail price.
When looking at calculating pay price, an easier place to start is with costs of production and a pay price that gives an adequate Return On Investment (ROI) to re-invest in the farm (an essential part of organics), a modest family income (in the $60,000/year range), and an ability to service all debt so producers have at least 60% equity against liabilities. Available data and reports from producers suggest that non-organic dairy will be more profitable than organic dairy for 2013 and 2014 based on accepted financial comparisons like ROI and net income. How we use the limited existing data to determine an equitable organic pay price and how this might be tied in with the new margin insurance program in the Farm Bill could be a way to address a pay price that is falling behind costs of production. For the complete article and charts:
The Story of the CowVac
The Horn Fly is a very tough pest to control and seemingly resistant to most every chemical control. It only reproduces in cow pastures, which means there is always breeding material in the manure and research shows that as few as 200 Horn Flies per cow is the starting point of production losses. A loss of 15% in milk production has been reported during summer months and a 10% reduction in lifetime milk production has been reported from sub clinical mastitis in young stock caused by Horn Flies before the first lactation. For the past 16 years, North Carolina State University entomologists, Dr. Wes Watson and Steve Denning, have been researching IPM practices for pest fly control for commercial livestock and poultry operations. Horn Flies have been a target for much of their work. Their research was the start of the CowVac. For the complete article please go to:
5 Ways You Can Support NODPA
Eight and a half years ago NODPA was formed in response to a threat of a drop in milk price. In 2009 NODPA is the only organization whose mission is to represent the interest of organic dairy producers no matter who they sell their milk to.
Click here for a summary of the many ways you can support NODPA and the farmers it represents.
Check out the 20 new entries in our business directory ...
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