2011 St. Helena/Tangipahoa Dairy Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Vinicius Moreira, Bardwell, Ronald D.  |  12/1/2011 11:55:17 PM

St. Helena/Tangipahoa
Dairy Advisory Committee Meeting
July 26, 2011

The St. Helena/Tangipahoa Dairy Advisory committee met on July 26th at Mike’s Catfish.

Present were: Mark Williams, Charlie Hutchison, Tony Beaubouef, Patrick Babineaux, Teddy Thompson, Sandra Benjamin, Marshall Cutrer, Ladd Blades, Eugene Robertson, Mike McCormick, Ronnie Bardwell, Mike Miller, Henry Capdeboscq, Jr., Delos Thompson, Jr., Mark Waller, Shannon Petz-Bonaccorso and Jenny Guy

Mike Miller, chairman, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Charlie Hutchison, LSU AgCenter Dairy Specialist, discussed the dairy situation with the members and stated that the prices look very good. Class 3 futures are above $19.77 through December. This economic growth forecast is 0.7%, with not much economic growth expected. U.S. cow numbers are 9.2 million, half a percent more than previous years. Heifer numbers are 4.2 million, largest number in recent history. Slaughter numbers and milk production were still up. Feed prices, corn and soybeans not going much lower. August price for milk is $25.23 per hundred, record price.

Eugene Robertson commented on the National Milk Producers Association dairy program. Need more export help; some USDA inventory is low this time of year. Mr. Robertson encouraged farmers to read up and find a program that would work for them.

Mark Williams, LSU AgCenter Extension Associate discussed social media and how it can help with spreading information. No one was using facebook. Mark stated that it could be a good business wise tool. You can connect to people that you would not normally connect with to discuss aspects of dairying. It is an open media to exchange information to market your product. 37% of U.S. citizens have passports, 50% have facebook accounts. People are not traveling very much these days and you can search and be in touch with people through facebook. Mark said there are privacy settings to help you; you just have to remember that it is available worldwide and you may need to set your settings to fit you.

The board discussed broadband internet and the technology that is available and will be available. The LSU AgCenter is working on developing rural broad band system to bring internet in the next 6 months in part of St. Helena, East Feliciana and north Tangipahoa Parish.

Dr. Mike McCormick, LSU AgCenter, Southeast Research Station Director, discussed the programs taking place. There are two Field Days this year. Pasture renovation for dairy, beef and livestock was held. Summer annuals BMRs are being studied. Last spring grazing studied with steers on 10 acres. Holsteins weighing 250 lbs. were pulled off in late May weighing 500 lbs. They brought 89 cents per pound at the stockyard.

Mike discussed research being done on cheaper byproducts for the farmer. There is an ethanol plant in Vicksburg and the byproduct, condensed distillers soluble, is being looked at as an alternative to higher feed cost. Mike passed around a jar of corn gluten feed, chicken litter and the ethanol byproduct. The Station is going to have a project this winter with corn distiller’s solubles feeding milking herd. It has high sulfur content 9%. More than 0.5% in diet is not good. Have to be careful how much to feed. It is not recommended to feed free choice. It is high in protein and fat and cost $200/ton on a dry matter basis.

Another area of research would be the broiler litter and damaged corn gluten feed and the study would go for 2 years. Corn gluten feed would be applied 2-4 tons / acre and is higher in nitrogen and lower in phosphorus than broiler litter.

Patrick Babineaux, USDA, Farm Service Agency, discussed the programs available through that office. One program going on is the drought livestock feed program. Producers had to make their payment by February 28, 2011 to qualify. A program payment to dairy farmers for milk loss due to high levels of Aflatoxin will soon be complete.

Tony Beaubouef, USDA, Farm Service Agency discussed the conservation side of the USDA. EQUIP program. Practices for farmers that are covered is livestock shade structures, water irrigation, & pasture renovations.

Mark Waller, First South Farm Credit, discussed their programs. Dairy and Forestry distressed with not much lending in that area. They are servicing a lot of crop insurance claims because of the drought. Interest rates are down. On the local level, First South Farm Credit will get a new building with more space the office is responsible for Tangipahoa, St. Helena, Washington Parish areas. The new office is located west of I-55, next to Hood’s Chevrolet.

Eugene Robertson, Farm Bureau Dairy Chairman, commented on the La. Farm Bureau Commodity meeting held in New Orleans. Mr. Robertson asked if anyone had any questions. The speaker at the convention professor from University of Nebraska was discussed. Ronnie made the committee aware that Ron Harrell, Farm Bureau, will sponsor Dr. Ron from Nebraska to present a seminar, possible in November 2011 for agriculture producers. The talk would be for any agriculture producer. Concerning communications involved in ‘estate planning’.

Dr. Hutchison gave a report on the verification study. They are looking for 5 or 6 dairymen on DHIA to participate in dry cow treatment (DCT) of springing dairy heifers to lower somatic cells.

Ronnie discussed the on going dairy educational programs. A handout was given on the fescue demonstration planted at Stewart LeBlanc.

The Dairy Business Analysis information form was handed out and discussed. Ronnie would like to get a few dairymen to finish the 2009 analysis. This program can be put on a producer’s computer or completed with a farm visit. It calculates the direct cost of producing a hundred weight of milk.

Henry Capdeboscq, Jr. and Mike Miller reported on the La. Family Farms. This board continues to facilitate the marketing of a Louisiana produced and processed milk.

Mike Miller discussed ALamp Association of Louisiana Milk Producers, it being a way to get dairy farmers together to have a voice, like the La. Cattlemen’s Association, Forestry Association, etc. This committee supports an effort to reactivate this organization.

The chairman for the dairy advisory committee was discussed. Henry made the motion to keep Mike Miller as chairman, Delos Thompson seconded. Motion carried.

Ronnie reported on Dairy Day income and expenses. A copy of the financial statement and bank statement was handed out to everyone.

Mark Waller was the only one left on the signature card when Tangipahoa Parish had a separate Dairy Day bank account at First Guaranty Bank. Since the Bank of Greensburg has been recently purchased by First Guaranty, Mark Waller will close the old account and transfer dollars, approximately $450, to the Dairy Day account in Greensburg. That account has three on signature card. They are Donald Duncan, Teddy Thompson and Mike Smith. When the change over to first Guaranty Bank is complete, the committee will look at adding another signature to the card for convenience to have checks signed.

Mike Miller asked for a motion to adjourn, Mike McCormick made the motion, Henry seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned 12:15 p.m. Lunch was served.

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