VISALIA, Calif. — September 16, 2015 — California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), the largest dairy processing cooperative in California, is pleased to announce it has commissioned a new evaporator at its Visalia, California plant. The addition of a third evaporator at the Visalia plant moves CDI’s export powder portfolio up the value chain in to higher specification powders.
The additional evaporator provides CDI the ability to produce low-spore nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder, in addition to high heat, heat stable and low-spore milk powders for UHT application. The expansion and enhancement of its assets and product offerings not only enables CDI to meet its customer needs for value-added milk powders, but also increases CDI presence in the global marketplace.
“Striving to be a global market leader that produces the value-added and specialty dairy products the world prefers, CDI has positioned itself so that its assets and its capabilities align to produce the products the world market demands,” said Andrei Mikhalevsky, president and CEO.
About California Dairies, Inc.
California Dairies, Inc. is the largest member-owned milk marketing and processing cooperative in California producing 43 percent of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 410 dairy producers who ship 18 billion pounds of Real California Milk annually, California Dairies, Inc. is a manufacturer of quality butter, fluid milk products and milk powders. In addition, California Dairies, Inc. is the home of two leading and well-respected brands of butter – Challenge and Danish Creamery. California Dairies’ quality dairy products are available in all 50 United States and in more than 50 foreign countries. For additional information on California Dairies, Inc., visit www.californiadairies.com.
For further information, contact:
California Dairies, Inc.
Two college students each awarded $2,500 to pursue organic farming careers
Broomfield, Colo. (August 4, 2015): Horizon Organic® today announced the two recipients of the 2015 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarships, an award that encourages young people to enter the field of organic agriculture. The students, each of whom will receive $2,500, are children or grandchildren of Horizon’s nearly 700 family farmers.
With the launch of the HOPE Scholarship program in 2007, Horizon became the first national organic dairy brand to offer a scholarship program designed to build the next generation of organic leaders. Today, the organic industry continues to see growing consumer demand for organic foods, due in part to concerns about the effects of pesticide use and growth hormones, the impacts of antibiotic resistance, and increased awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“The continual rise in demand for organic food in the U.S. is proof that consumers are more conscious of their choices,” said Mike Ferry, president of Horizon. “The 2015 HOPE Scholarship winners share our passion to educate communities on the merits of organic agriculture, and we are proud to assist their efforts to pursue careers that will help meet consumer demand for organic.” This year’s two scholarship recipients are:
Mia Brown (Gouverneur, N.Y.), age 18, is the daughter of Horizon producers Gary Jr. and Colleen Tweedie of Beaver Creek Farm. Mia is a first-time HOPE Scholarship recipient. She will begin her freshman year at Morrisville State College in New York this fall, seeking a degree in animal science. Mia says her love of working with dairy cattle developed at age 6, when her parents gave her a calf. As she got older, she began buying her own cows, in hopes of one day owning a dairy farm. HOPE Scholarship committee member Margaret Scoles, executive director of International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), says Mia “conveys a depth of practical understanding of dairy production and passion for learning more about organic production.”
Callie Brodt(Ferndale, Calif.), age 21, is a four-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship and will graduate from Chico State in the spring of 2016 with a degree in agriculture business. Callie is the granddaughter of Horizon farmer Jim Walker of Walker Dairy, and the sister of Horizon farmer Colton Brodt of Brodt Dairy. Callie credits the HOPE Scholarship for growing her passion and interest in organic farming. Callie plans to use her degree to help promote organic dairy farming. “I hope to continue to educate people and teach them not only the basics of organic agriculture, but also the overall importance of it,” she said. “I believe that organic agriculture is a promising part of our future as farmers.” HOPE Scholarship committee member Steve Gilman, policy coordinator at Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council, (NOFA-IC) says: “Callie shows an extraordinary level of commitment and passion for the success and growth of organic agriculture.”
The 2015 HOPE Scholarship recipients were chosen by a committee of organic industry leaders, including: Tracy Favre, organic inspector and former chief operating officer, Holistic Management International (HMI); Steve Gilman, policy coordinator, NOFA-IC; Margaret Scoles, executive director, IOIA; Faye Jones, executive director, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); Bob Scowcroft, a long-standing organic advocate who has served in various leadership positions for 35 years; and Glenda Yoder, associate director, Farm Aid.
About Horizon Organic
Horizon® believes in providing great-tasting products that make it easy for moms to provide nutritious options for their kids. Founded in 1991, Horizon was a pioneer in the organic industry and was the first company to supply organic milk nationally. Today, Horizon offers a delicious variety of certified organic dairy products to satisfy a broad range of consumer needs. Horizon works with nearly 700 active and transitioning organic family farmers across the U.S. to supply 99 percent of the milk used to make its organic dairy products. Giving families more organic choices is just one way we champion the organic movement, so we are proud to offer pantry staples such as Mac & Cheese, Snack Crackers, Sandwich Crackers and Snack Grahams from Horizon. These products are available in certified organic and made with organic options, all of which fall on the organic spectrum and are regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program. For more information about Horizon’s products, visit .
Critical Water Savings For Dairy Forage Production
Critical Water Savings For Dairy Forage Production
Buried drip irrigation and strip-tillage systems providing critical water savings for dairy forage production in the California drought
By Cecilia Parsons on behalf of Sustainable Conservation
As the California drought continues, higher yields per acre, coupled with the critical need to use water more efficiently, are making silage and alfalfa growers take another look at both subsurface and ground level drip irrigation solutions for their crops.
“Yields and water use efficiency are driving demand for this technology,” Todd Rinkenberger, Regional Manager for NetafimUSA confirmed. NetafimUSA (www.netafimusa.com) is a worldwide leader in drip irrigation solutions with local offices and a manufacturing plant in Fresno, CA where they manufacture a comprehensive line of drip/micro irrigation products. Rinkenberger observes that as the drought continues, his company is seeing dramatic changes in the use of drip irrigation solutions for orchards and row crops in the Central Valley.
Alfalfa growers tend to use the more permanent subsurface systems while corn silage growers have a need for flexibility with both surface and subsurface delivery.
Subsurface drip is the application of water below the soil surface through emitters with discharge rates in generally the same range as surface drip. Drip lines with a lifetime of 6-12 years are buried 8-18 inches below the surface on 30-80 inch centers between lateral drip lines depending on soil type. Surface drip tape has the same setup only the tape is on the surface and used only once.
A pressurized system, as well as filtering and filter maintenance system, are necessary for drip irrigation with all crops. Water treatment capability and fertilizer injection are also required.
De Jager Farms, Inc., a custom farming company that manages 17,000 acres of dairy forage and alfalfa production in Chowchilla, CA is an early adopter of subsurface drip in corn silage. Nate Ray, one of the farm managers at De Jager farms, has been actively involved in converting fields from flood to drip irrigation.
“We decided to go that route three years ago as the water shortage began,” said Ray. “The potential for water savings with subsurface drip prompted us to look for an alternative to flood.”
Ray said the first field was chosen because of its lower water holding capacity. He also believed subsurface drip had the potential for better field uniformity and irrigation efficiency. He is also pleased with the yields from his first silage field.
Compared to adjacent fields under flood, the 180 acres of corn silage yielded three tons plus per acre, using an acre foot less water.
With flood, corn silage takes 40 inches depending on soil type. Ray said they applied just under 30 inches.
The transition to buried drip however requires a significant change in approach to tillage practices. In order to utilize subsurface drip lines for row crops, tillage can now only occur between rows. Tilling the entire field will destroy buried drip tape, so a transition to strip-till, a form of conservation tillage, becomes necessary. Strip-till involves disturbing only a narrow strip of land where the crop is planted using precision guidance while leaving the rest of the field intact. The buried drip system therefore fits well with De Jager Farms because they already had years of success with the strip-till system, Ray said.
The initial subsurface drip field had been in a strip-till corn and no-till winter forage rotation. Ray said they did a flood pre-irrigation, planted, then shanked in the drip lines eight inches below the surface. They did not want to go deeper with the drip, he said because lighter soils make it more difficult to push water out.
Combining this technology with conservation tillage delivers additional water saving benefits. The soil’s capacity to hold water improves as organic matter builds. As a result, the soil also has a high nutrient holding capacity. Ray finds that he is also able to more precisely control nutrient application through the drip irrigation system, a key challenge that many dairy farmers experience with flood irrigation systems.
However, existing drip irrigation systems cannot handle liquid manure, and Ray has had to purchase additional synthetic fertilizers in spite of having plenty of manure, the normal source of nutrients on dairies. Seeing this challenge as an opportunity, De Jager Farms has partnered with Sustainable Conservation (www.suscon.org) and NetafimUSA to test technology that allows liquid manure to be applied through drip systems.
Field selection for subsurface drip is an important consideration Ray said. High gopher populations in fields can affect the integrity of a subsurface system and lead to higher labor costs for eradicating the pests.
Ray said he anticipates installing more subsurface systems in alfalfa and working more silage acres into the rotation.
Two Merced-area growers report successful prior years with surface drip systems in their corn silage crops. Both Kurt New and Matt Strickland are now in their second year of planting corn silage and using surface drip to irrigate. New, who manages crops for TeVelde Farms said he furrow pre–irrigates then installs the drip tape.
New said water conservation is the motivation, keeping fields in production with less water. In his case, subsurface drip does not work because of the high traffic with silage choppers. Their farming operation also employs conventional tillage methods, and they don’t have experience with strip-till. Strickland also said he went with the surface drip system due to a lack of a GPS system in the tractors he rents.
In the last three years, Rinkenberger said, the number of alfalfa acres irrigated with subsurface drip irrigation as increased statewide. Netafim and University of California Cooperative Extension alfalfa specialist Dan Putnam pegged the growth to four percent of the total alfalfa acres in the state. Rinkenberger said the highest rates are in the Valley areas from Woodland to Bakersfield. Drip adopters in silage are fewer, but the growth there is centered in the higher dairy production areas of Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Kings counties.
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has cost share funding for growers who adopt conservation tillage practices. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) pays about $18 per acre for growers who enter into a contract for implementing no-till or strip-till on their fields. Similar cost share funding also exists for drip irrigation projects.
Sustainable Conservation is a conservation organization with an office in the Central Valley working to promote low intensity tillage and irrigation efficiency practices that have both an economic and environmental benefit. Ladi Asgill, Sr. Project Manager, indicates that as more farmers consider integrating drip irrigation with strip-till, there are many experienced farmers in the Valley willing to share their experiences with others. Asgill is excited about the business benefits but encourages farmers considering switching to drip irrigation to think not just about water savings, but also about the impact it could have on their overall nutrient management plan, particularly as it relates to manure application.
Dairy coach tours are currently scheduled to visit dairies in the Merced County area where interested producers can learn about the latest methods of precision tillage and irrigation systems. The tours are the result of a partnership between California Ag. Solutions and Sustainable Conservation. For information about the July 15th strip-till tour, click HERE Another tour is scheduled for August 26th and will focus on new technologies that utilize liquid manure in drip irrigation. Contact John Cardoza (209) 576-7731, firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council Annual Meeting Taking Shape
Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council Annual Meeting Taking Shape
Key dairy reproduction decision-makers and industry influencers to gather in Buffalo November 12 – 13
Hartland, Wis. (May, 19, 2015)
—The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council announces an impressive lineup of sessions and speakers for the 2015 Annual Meeting.
“The DCRC program committee has been hard at work and continues the organization’s strong tradition of providing a wide-ranging roster of educational sessions that feature the latest research and dairy reproduction information,” says Dr. Joe Dalton, DCRC president.
Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s on the agenda for this year’s meeting in Buffalo:
Sexed semen: 10 years of gender selection. Dr. George Seidel
New developments in synchronization of ovulation. Dr. Paul Fricke
Activity monitoring systems: What’s new and what’s improved? Dr. Ray Nebel
Managing the immune system during the transition period. Dr. Barry Bradford
Managing ketosis in the transition cow for health and reproduction. Dr. Stephen LeBlanc
Keys to success in reproduction: A practitioner’s perspective. Dr. Mark Thomas
Genomic selection and reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle, Dr. Jose Santos and Dr. Joseph Dalton
Progesterone supplementation during timed-A.I. programs in dairy cows. Dr. Rafael Bisinotto
Tools for making economic reproductive decisions. Dr. Victor Cabrera
Even more topics and speakers will on the docket as the committee continues to fine-tune the program in the coming weeks. Additional meeting details will be available in future issues of the DCRC member e-newsletter and on the DCRC website so check back often for updates.
“We hope you will join us in Buffalo,” says Dalton. “Take the time to enjoy the cutting-edge educational sessions and enlightening conversations with other dairy industry professionals. It’s time well spent.”
The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry—producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals—for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level. For more information, visit www.dcrcouncil.org.