Dairy owners say drought shriveling profits

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Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune Cass Anderson feeds cattle on his family’s dairy near Portales Thursday afternoon. Due to droughts around the West, prices for hay are up while quality and quantity are down, putting stress on dairy finances. Argen Duncan While dairy cattle are holding up well in the hot, dry weather, the drought is […]

Dairy owners say high feed costs bringing down profit margins

Argen Duncan After a few months of good milk prices, dairy farmers say they are again seeing their profit margins drop, but forecasts indicate rising milk prices later in 2011. In 2009, milk prices were low and feed costs high, meaning dairies lost money. Roosevelt County dairy owner Alan Anderson said dairies came back a […]

Dairies work to keep milk antibiotic-free

Argen Duncan While people may worry about overexposure to antibiotics, local dairy industry representatives say a system of safety checks keep those substances out of milk produced in the area. “Most antibiotics in the dairy industry are used in a very cautious manner, and there are several reasons for that caution,” said dairy owner Alva […]

Portales man upset over dumped carcasses

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Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan Tim Mitchell of Roosevelt County buries a dead calf he found along his property. He said an average of three or four calf carcasses a week are dumped in the area. Jared Tucker A Portales man is outraged because he said someone keeps dumping trash, furniture and dead calves near […]

Dairy farmers say proposed regulations could put them out of business

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File photo Agendas for the Portales City Council and the Roosevelt and Curry County commissions include a resolution opposing proposed regulations for maintaining groundwater quality under dairies. A trio of governmental bodies meeting today are set to consider opposing proposed state regulations that some dairy farmers say will drive them out of business. But state […]

N.M. dairies to share nearly $3 million

The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE — The Farm Service Agency says it will issue nearly $3 million in payments to dairy farmers in New Mexico. The payments will be made through the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Program. Eligible producers will receive a one-time direct payment based on the amount of milk both produced and commercially marketed […]

Dairy attrition continues

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico Ten dairies in Roosevelt and Curry counties have gone out of business since wholesale milk prices began dropping more than a year ago, a Dairy Farmers of America spokesman confirms. Walter Bradley, government and business affairs director for the DFA in Clovis, said five of the dairies were participants […]

Livestock sale helps offset cost of raising animals

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Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Madison Belcher, 9, of Portales shows her Reserve Champion rabbits during the Junior Livestock Sale at the Roosevelt County Fair on Friday. Her rabbits sold for $3,500. By Clarance Plank: Freedom New Mexico Local buyers had a chance to pick up extra heifers for their dairies or a hog for […]

Point of contention

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Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan Dairy owner Alva Carter Jr. pulls the cap off a groundwater quality monitoring well beside the wastewater lagoon at his family’s dairy south of Portales. By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico The New Mexico Environment Department and dairy producers disagree on how dangerous dairies are to groundwater and what should […]

Manure can be real money-saver

By Robert Hagevoort: Ag Sense Dairies nowadays are in the process of producing M & M & M. Milk and milk and milk you might say, or as we say, “Have you had your three-a-day yet?” Milk product servings that is. Well that’s one way of looking at it, however I am referring to three […]

Tuberculosis confirmed in dairy

Freedom Newspapers New Mexico state veterinarian Dr. David Fly confirmed bovine tuberculosis was found in a herd in a Curry County dairy outside the zone where TB was detected three years ago. The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits cattle from being moved in or out of the zone, which includes parts of Curry and Roosevelt […]

Governor pushes methane gas initiative

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Local dairy farmers support the idea of turning manure into electricity, and now that Gov. Bill Richardson wants state incentives to encourage the idea, they say it’s more feasible than ever. “Local dairies here have been wanting to do some projects, but we need help,” said Art Schaap, a […]

Milk laws leave no room for innovation

By Freedom Newspapers One of the more shameful actions Congress took last year was crushing an innovative dairyman who found a way around federal dairy regulations that artificially raise the price of milk. It was a bipartisan conspiracy, embodied in an amendment never subjected to committee hearings. Hein Hettinga is a Dutch-born dairyman who started […]

Farmers hope for bill to give relief on compounds

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Cows spend Friday evening in a stockyard along Brady Street. Farmers are concerned the manure cows produce may be classified as hazardous waste and become a big obstacle to maintaining agricultural business. (Staff photo: Tony Bullocks) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Anxious farmers have flung hopes on Congress to clarify an environmental law they […]

Ag Sense: Dairies efficient water users

By Victor Cabrera: Guest Columnist There seems to be a misconception about how much water dairy farms actually utilize and their efficiency with this precious resource. According to officials at the Office of the State Engineer, dairies account for only 1.3 percent of the state’s water usage. Yet, dairying in New Mexico produces more cash […]

Q&A: Dairy man loves challenge

Editor’s Note: Albin Smith is a local dairy owner and a Curry County commissioner. Q: How long have you been in the dairy business? A: I came to Portales 30 years ago this month with 28 cows. Q: What does the dairy business mean to you? A: I like the cows, but I have come […]

4/25 Candidate profile

The following is one of a series of profiles on state candidates who visit the Clovis-Portales area: Jim Baca is campaigning for the Democratic ticket position of State Commissioner of Public Lands against Ray Powell. The office is currently held by Patrick Lyons, R-Cuervo. Baca held the office from 1983 to 1986 and from 1991 […]

Environmental report debated

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Highland Dairy Farm employee Alfredo Ordonez of Clovis looks over the ponds used to collect dairy waste, called lagoons. (Staff photo: Tony Bullocks) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer About half of New Mexico’s 160 dairies have groundwater beneath them that’s been polluted with nitrate, according to a New Mexico Environment Department internal review completed […]

MAXED OUT?: Experts disagree on whether or not there’s room for more dairies in eastern New Mexico

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The number of dairy cows in Curry County has doubled in the past five years, and nearly doubled in Roosevelt County, according to a National Agriculture Statistics Service survey. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The presence of more than 120,000 dairy cows in Roosevelt and Curry counties does not […]

Cheese plant changes dairy landscape

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A semi-truck has the green light Thursday to enter the Southwest Cheese Plant southwest of Clovis. (Freedom Newspapers: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers In a matter of months, the cheese plant lauded as an economic boon for Clovis and Portales will devour seven million pounds of milk per day. The demand has already […]