Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CWT No Winners

(click on images to enlarge)

From my perspective there is no good news in the CWT press release today. The release states:

CWT officials released more detailed information today about the size and scope of the selfhelp program’s second–largest herd retirement. 73 percent of the farms selected are located east of the Mississippi River, while 70 percent of the 87,000 cows to be retired come from the Western and Southwest regions of the U.S. 72 percent of the milk removed will come from those two regions [see chart on p. 2].

“The increase in the percentage of farms selected east of the Mississippi in this herd retirement compared to the one just completed is an indication that the financial distress farmers are feeling is not unique to one or two regions of the country, but being felt nationwide,” said Jim Tillison, Chief Operating Officer of CWT.

The population of the country is East of the Mississippi. There is no extra milk East of the Mississippi, if indeed there is extra milk anywhere. So, the amount of fossil fuel required to bring milk to America’s tables just increased.

There is another significant point. Taking out those herds means the milk supply system just became less resilient. The smaller farms are where a young person starting out might get a start.

Talk about financial stress. CWT is in court because the liens immediately attached to one CWT payment, in California, from last fall are greater than the CWT payment. The grain lien alone is greater than the CWT payment.


  1. Glad some one has sense enough to oppose this program. Not much more than a cash for clunkers program for cows.

  2. The problem is , for the most part, these are good healthy cows. Being that NZ and Aus are the main exporters has anyone thought that they should be "cwting" their cows? What makes us think we can balance the world supply when nobody else is held accountable? Isn't that like pissing on a forest fire? Is it simple American arrogance or is it part of the plan by the corruptives so they can continue to play both sides of the fence? Cwt is a joke.dwc

  3. where a young person might get a start? why would any of them want to? I have been dairying full time for 10 years now and this is the third time in as long that the prices have been terrible but now at least we have extremely high inputs ot help us all along on the road to ruin. I read a market report the other day that said not to expect to break even until mid 2010, who will be left by then?

  4. Our questions are, what about the feed stores, equipment dealers, service men ie. De Laval, Surge, Etc...(touchy point with but none the less). There are quite a few people who feed off of us dairy farmers.

    While it doesn't make sense to take milk out of an area where this isn't a surplus... But what better way to help the CA, NM, AZ, farmers than to truck it east? Isn't it just perfect timing that DFA and those 3 other co-ops have banded together?

  5. CWT is sure a sore spot with alot of you. It makes me sad and mad too, but for different reasons. Like dwc noted above NZ and other countries continue to grow their breeding herds. The NZ dairy herd grew about 6% last year according to DairyNZ. While our dairy, poultry, pork and beef industries dwindle and die a slow, painful death. How long until the entire animal ag industry in this country is decimated? How long before we cannot even feed our own nation? We're already dependant on foreign energy; how long before we're dependant on food from overseas? A country that cannot feed itself can never be free - as our breeding herds and flocks dwindle so does our freedom.
    NZ has about 5.5 million people and a little over 4 million dairy cows, the U.S.A. about 310 million people and about 9.5 million dairy cows. What does your brain say?
    Jeff Suehring

  6. I wrote a poem about Jeff's comment one other time when I was discusted with the price and way things were going. The last line was something about soon will be 2020, there'll be no more toil for food on American soil the battle then will be for food not oil. I think that was about the time of the first Gulf War. What blows me away is now that with the "Local" food movement they seem to throw dairy farmers to the side because we have to follow regulations which puts us as part of the problem of the conventional food system; which has allowed people to live to ripe old ages without too much worry over whether they would be able to obtain food without having to work too hard.