Stories by Normand St-Pierre

Only the smart survive: Looking for resilient dairy farms

Thursday, March 20, 2014

With current feed and milk prices, a black and white cow producing 22,000 pounds/year could net between $1,200 and $1,600.

What triggered high milk prices? Exports

Friday, February 14, 2014

As a percentage of total U.S. production, we are now exporting more dairy products than corn. (We exported the equivalent of 31.2 billion pounds of milk, or more than the total annual milk production from New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania combined.)

Dairy prices look favorable for 2014, but anything could happen

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dairy prices, while hard to predict, do look favorable for new year.

There will be a farm bill … eventually

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It is always difficult at best to forecast prices more than a couple of months ahead, but judging on current Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) cash and futures prices, dairymen should be enjoying a pleasant pre-Christmas season.

Producers can work on creating value

Thursday, September 12, 2013

America can do more to expand the dairy export markets.

How often should you test forages?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Phone caller: “You tell us to regularly test our forages, but how often should we do that?” Expert: “Um…” Now, there’s an answer.

Squeezing the energy out of your grain!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Some things were tolerable with $2 corn that are out of the question now that we deal with $7 corn. Undigested grain in the manure is one of them. Seeds Corn kernels were not designed to be eaten; they are seeds, and what surrounds the dormant embryo — the endosperm — is there to support […]

Don’t manage your farm like the government manages the country

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You cannot manage your money like the federal government. Why? Because you can’t print money!

The sky isn’t falling: Good news on milk price horizon

Saturday, October 6, 2012

With skyrocketing feed prices and negative margins to dairy producers, it may seem as if 2009 is repeating itself. But I don’t think that this is the case — there is some sunshine showing up in the currently cloudy dairy skies. The feed situation It was not that long ago the USDA and most experts […]

Good news on milk price horizon

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Integrated dairy farms producing a large amount of the feeds consumed by their cows have a distinct cash flow advantage. This should be very good to Midwestern dairy producers in the long run.

Feeding your herd this year will take planning, strategy and little creativity

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I had the privilege of traveling overseas to conduct research during part of the summer, so I missed all of the hot and dry weather during July. Using the Internet, I could follow the ongoing drama of the rain that never showed. But one can never appreciate the devastation until one sees it with his […]

Don’t blame the weatherman for the black clouds at the dairy wedding

Thursday, June 28, 2012

As I write this column in mid-June, the dairy and feed markets are displaying much uncertainty and even some incoherence. The increase in milk futures over the last two weeks has no fundamentals; it just doesn’t make sense.

Dark, stormy skies over dairyland

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but the sky over dairyland looks to be very stormy with good possibilities of tornados. There is a lot of milk being shipped from U.S. dairy farms right now. Unless the demand for dairy products increases markedly, potential disaster may be looming. As I write […]

It’s time to produce green milk!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I receive many invitations to speak at dairy conferences across the country. I try to participate in these conferences whenever my schedule allows because I learn a lot from listening to other speakers and talking to conference attendees. Recently, I participated in a dairy conference where Dr. Mike Hutjens was also a speaker. Disappearing breed […]

Dairy Excel: What if we applied animal welfare freedoms to human actions?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

After eight years of sitting through hours of lectures and experimentation on animal welfare issues I thought that it was time to share some of my thinking in this column.

Dairy Excel: Who knows what milk prices will do!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

USDA December forecast for the incoming year has been so bad over the last 10 years that it is very tempting to advise people to take a position opposite to the forecast.

Dairy Excel: If accepting risk is your personal preference, why am I paying for it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some people believe that non-pasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized milk. I myself wouldn’t care that some people willingly decided to consume raw milk if their choice wouldn’t affect others, myself included. But it does, both financially and from a public safety standpoint.

Dairy farmers should analyze their operation closely to ensure profits

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Class III price moved from $21.67/cwt in August to $19.07/cwt in September, a drop of $2.60/cwt. Although a Class III price above $19/cwt would have been a high price just a few years ago, this is no longer the case with current feed prices.

Dairy Excel: Practical things to do about rising feed costs and today’s milk prices

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Since September 2006, U.S. corn has not traded under $3/bushel — not one single time — and chances are good that we will never see corn under $3 per bushel ever again. Meanwhile, milk prices have played yo-yo like never before.

Dairy Excel: Feed quality critical from here on out

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On June 30, the USDA issued two bearish reports: the updated acreage figures and the quarterly grain stocks report as of June first.

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