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NODPA Field Days 2012

NODPA's 12th Annual Field Days and Annual Meeting will be held September 27 & 28, 2012 at the centrally located Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center in Brattleboro, VT. This year's program, Farming Smarter: A Nutrient and Energy Dense Agenda to Help Farmers Become More Self-Reliant, is a direct response to this year of grain shortages, high feed prices, no profit margins and dramatic weather patterns. NODPA will bring together a rich array of national and regional leaders to share their knowledge and ideas about how farmers can become more self-reliant by growing more of their own feed in healthy, rich soil through workshops, panel discussions, a local farm tour and plenty of networking time. And throughout the past twelve years, we've learned that one of the most important reasons farmers and their families travel to Field Days is to get to see one another; learn about new resources; network; share ideas and the latest gossip; and enjoy fresh, local food, too. For complete details on the program and speakers:


NODPA works hard to keep Field Days free for dairy producers, transitioning farmers, and their families, and we look to our partners – sponsors, supporters and trade show participants – to make this and the work of NODPA in representing the interests of organic dairy producers possible. By sponsoring and supporting Field Days, you directly contribute to this important educational opportunity for all organic dairy producers, while at the same time promoting and providing information about your organization. There are a number of ways that you can support this event: as sponsor, supporter and trade show exhibitor, and with product donation. For complete information on sponsoring please go to:


At every level of support, you will have the opportunity to educate Field Days participants about your business or organization and your support will be noted in all web-based and print material. Sponsors, supporters and tradeshow participants will again have enhanced exposure through the NODPA website's banner advertising benefit and additional exposure in July's NODPA News. Please click here for a sponsorship registration form.

Feed and pay price update

With input prices rising and processors re-emphasizing that pay price will not increase, it is increasingly important for producers to understand the retail market place, the relationship between price and retail sales, the price gap between organic and non-organic dairy products, and fluctuations in sales of fluid product. Do sales really drop when retail price increases or do consumers move to store brand product mostly supplied by the two major processors? The work of the organic team at the USDA Market News led nationally by Eric Graf and in the East supported by Richard Whipp is essential to producers as they continue to increase the collection and reporting of sales and retail price for organic fluid sales plus monitoring of national sale of fluid product. The most recent edition of the bi-weekly Organic Dairy Market News highlights the import of organic non-fat milk powder into the Northeast from the West and New Zealand to satisfy the needs of specialty manufacturing plants (yogurt for example) who have specific quality and price requirements. The full report can be found at:

On March 23, 2012 USDA, AMS, Dairy Market News released the first National Dairy Retail Report, a biweekly report containing non-organic and organic dairy product retail pricing information. The report lists data for non-organic and organic dairy products, divided into four main sections: (1) Narrative and graphs; (2) National tables; (3) Regional tables; and (4) a breakdown between national and store branded products plus summarized data for advertised dairy products. The National Dairy Retail Report is able to provide analysis for example on the price gap between organic and non-organic plus comparisons between store brand and branded product, 'Organic milk's national weighted average advertised price for half gallons, $3.71, is up 33 cents from last period. This results in an organic-conventional half-gallon milk advertised price spread of $1.75, up from $1.02 two weeks ago.' For more details please see the full report at:

NODPA summarizes the information from USDA AMS and other sources in its regular articles on feed prices, and pay and retail price update.

Fly Control and Pink Eye

In this timely article Jerry Brunetti highlights the 'one potential unsavory outcome of fly persistence, namely pink eye, scientifically called keratoconjunctivitis. Pink Eye is an infectious bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Moraxella bovis, which attacks the cornea, or the transparent layer of the eye which allows light in.' Jerry examines the problem in detail plus provides short and long term solutions involving natural treatments plus building immunity by improving the natural balance of trace elements in the soil. To read more of Jerry's wisdom please go to:


Managing For High Quality Forages,
Part 2: The Plant

In his first article on grazing dairy cows, Gary Zimmer emphasized that the soil is where it starts but also where there are many limits on production. As soils change, so do plants. This second article, on the plants, will address how to plant pastures, which plants to grow, and how to manage them. So what makes an ideal pasture? For Gary's answer please go to:


Graziers - Be on Alert for Increased Number of Ticks in Your Pastures

This year has not been a typical year for weather - usually we still have snow until mid-May, but not this year. The warmer weather is cause for concern because it has increased the number of ticks out so early in the season. Ticks usually emerge during early summer, not spring, but because of the warm weather they are showing their biting heads early.
Livestock producers need to be on the lookout and use prevention to protect their herd or flock from the diseases spread through tick bites. The tick-borne diseases that are spread to livestock include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and equine encephalitis. These diseases can cause a range of problems from mild fever, fatigue, lameness, head tilt, blindness and/or reduced appetite which can result in death if not treated. Submitted by Megan Weidner, Morrisville State College.

-- Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director  


The Latest Feed Prices

National organic grain and feedstuffs are trading slightly higher than May with a firm undertone noted on corn and soybeans. For details, click here >

The Latest Pay And Retail Prices for Organic Milk

With input prices rising and processors re-emphasizing that pay price will not increase, it is increasingly important for producers to understand the retail market place, the relationship between price and retail sales, the price gap between organic and non-organic dairy products, and fluctuations in sales of fluid product. Learn more >

Recent Odairy Discussions

The NODPA sponsored Odairy listserve has many rich conversations from production tips on calving, mastitis to political and philosophical questions about the intent of organic agriculture. Liz Bawden attempts the impossible by summarizing some of the discussions that happen on the list. To join the list serve (its free and posts come directly into your email) and get the full flavor of the diverseness of organic dairy, click here.

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