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The Burroughs Family Farm: Denair, CA
FEATURE FARM: The Burroughs family has been farming in the San Joaquin Valley of California since 1896. Today, their ranch features two certified organic dairies, an almond farm, a pastured egg business ... and much more. Learn more >

Take a load off ... and catch up on the latest in organic dairy politics and production

With the early spring comes an April and May demanding lots of out door activity; from building fence to fixing machinery, to working the fields, to transitioning livestock out on pasture. For many it also means a heavy dose of calvings allowing the farmer to take advantage of  a high value crop (pasture) when their cows are in high production mode. Personally, I feel like I 'hit the ground running' in early April and have not yet been able to sit back and relax, as there are a few more things to take care of before all the spring chores are complete.

If you are in the same boat, I encourage you to take a little time here and there and reward yourself with some wonderful and informative articles included in the May E-Newsletter. If you subscribe to the NODPA News, your May newsletter is on the way! If you don't currently receive our print newsletter, find out how you can. (link here).

Ed Maltby, NODPA's Executive Director, spent some time in DC last April as part of the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee and has provided us with a nice summary of the meeting. Some small edits to the article didn’t make the deadline for the print newsletter, but you can read the full, updated report by clicking here. It is encouraging to see that organic dairy is clearly a part of the discussions. A second meeting is schedule for early June, so we can look forward to more news.

The last pasture rule training, which took place April 26th in Woodland California was the best attended workshop yet, with over 80 people - many of whom were producers. To read a summary of what was covered and where we go from here, click here.
This month, the NODPA News features a California operation called Burroughs Family Farm. It is a multigenerational family farm business with a number of enterprises including 2 certified organic seasonal grass based dairy herds. I was able to visit this farm in person and was impressed with the size and scope of their ranch, abundant with beautiful pastures to graze. I was equally impressed with the planning that they have laid out to ensure that their children and their grandchildren could continue the legacy of growing high quality nutrient dense food for themselves and the broader community. Read more >
During the month of March and April, there was a lot of discussions on Odairy regarding whether or not cows should be offered a free-choice mineral bar and the pro's and con's of doing that. Dr. Susan Beal, the Agricultural Science Advisor for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, was happy to write an article for us on 'Free Choice Smorgasbord Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation for Livestock'. We anticipate that there will be another article coming soon from Dr. Beal, where she will be able to go into the rudimentary design of some mineral feeders as well as determining what vitamins and minerals to offer.
Learn more >

Pam Moore, an organic dairy producer from Nichols, New York, pulled together a questionnaire asking producers how they have been faring over the past couple years as a result of the organic milk surplus. We have offered to help circulate this questionnaire with the hopes that she will hear from a wide spectrum of producers from all parts of the U.S. All information will remain confidential; Pam's mailing address is included at the bottom of the Questionnaire. Check out the Questionnaire.

Lisa McCrory, NODPA News Managing Editor

News, Stories & Events

Organic Dairy Study Results
for the 2008 Production Year

Over the past 5 years a joint project between NOFA Vermont, UVM Extension and UMaine Extension has examined the economics of organic dairy production in Vermont and Maine, with the study looking only at Vermont for the last 2 years.  What we have found is an agricultural sector that experienced a surge in   profitability and prices in 2006 only to see those profits erode by 2009.
Read more >

Improving Net Profit By Reducing Grain Inputs
The results of research from Chico State University in California studying the impact of reducing grain inputs in an intensive grazing system on milk production, milk quality and income over feed costs.
Learn more >










Feed price update
Producers report that their grain bins are full due to an excess of corn and wheat in the market, organic grain prices have again declined this period with end users unwilling to buy ahead with the potential of lower prices as this year’s planting continues at full speed. Non organic corn price at $3.57/bushel, organic at $4.48/bushel ...
Read more >
Pay price update
Organic milk products’ sales for March 2010 are up 3.6%, the highest month for sales since December 2008. Year to date, total organic milk products sales are up 2.7% and organic fluid milk sales for March 2010 in the Northeast Marketing Order were 7.8% higher than in March 2009, an increase of 2.01 million pounds of milk (1/4 million gallons) and 5.18 million more than in 2008, an increase of 23% from 2008 to 2010. Pay price is approximately the same as it was in 2008. Read more >

NODPA’s 10th Annual Field Days And Producer Meeting
October 7 and 8,
MOFGA's Common Ground Fairgrounds in Unity Main

Save the dates! NODPA Field Days will be October 7th and 8th at MOFGA's Common Ground Fairgrounds, Unity, Maine and is shaping up to be a great educational and social event. Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) will be attending and has been invited to address the group at NODPA’s Annual Dinner Meeting on Thursday evening and to lead a Q & A session on the Final Access to Pasture Rule on Friday.

Click here for more details.

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