April Milk Production Up 2.7 Percent, Scholarships Available: This Week’s Industry News

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April Milk Production Up 2.7 Percent in Vermont
Milk production in Vermont during April 2016 totaled 228 million pounds, up 2.7 percent from April 2015, according to Gary Keough, State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New England Field Office.

Production per cow averaged 1,740 pounds in April, 45 pounds more than April 2015. The number of milk cows on farms in the State was 131 thousand head, unchanged from April 2015, or the previous month. The average milk price received by Vermont farmers in March 2016, at $16.50 per hundredweight, is down $0.40 February 2016 and down $1.50 from March a year ago. View the complete report here.

Scholarship Donation Made
The Vermont Farm Show Board of Trustees made a commitment to donate one scholarship to the FARMS 2+2 program. The four-year cost of tuition is $43,050 and will be made in equal payments to the Agency of Agriculture. The FARM 2+2 program is currently funded by the legislature through the Agency of Agriculture.

NNYADP Dairy Forage Research Evaluating Alfalfa-Grass Combination Options
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of a 2013-2015 research project evaluating ways to improve dairy cattle forage options, specifically with alfalfa-grass combination crops. The grass plantings in the early trials in NNY, however, averaged 3.5 percentage units higher in neutral detergent fiber digestibility, NDFD, a measure of the feed value of forage crops. High NDFD forages encourage dairy cows to eat well to meet their daily energy needs.

Center Offers Scholarships for Economic Reset Webinars
The Center for Dairy Excellence is offering $25 scholarships to discount the price for any Pennsylvania dairy producer or allied industry representative to participate in the World Class Webinar Series on “Success During an Economic Reset” hosted by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin. Two webinars will be held on June 8 and July 6, both featuring Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech University. Register here.

To get the scholarship, register for the webinar and select the “Member Rate” of $100 per session or $175 for the entire series. PDPW will bill the Center for Dairy Excellence for the difference for all Pennsylvania residents once all registrations are received.

USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding
FSA offers targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to assist underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes, targeted underserved groups are women, African Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Cover Photo: NNYADP-funded research by Cornell University is evaluating winter-hardy grass-alfalfa crop combinations in support of the dairy industry. In this photo, USDA researchers examine frost-stressed forage in West Virginia, 500 miles south of New York’s harsher northern winters. Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA