Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. (3/28)

In California, it has been raining a lot recently. Nonetheless, milk production hasn't been much affected. Milk output remains seasonally strong and manufacturing plants have the capacity required to handle current milk supplies. As so, most of the milk is being processed close to its production site. Plant facility managers do not foresee any issue with milk handling during the spring flush. Milk sales to retailers are steady. In Arizona, milk output is increasing. However, supplies are manageable within the state. Processing plants are still running near full capacities. Bottled milk demand is back up for supermarket sales now that the spring break is over. Overall, there is a good ba

February Ag Prices Received Index Rises, Prices Paid Up Slightly

February Prices Received Index Up 4.9 Percent The February Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 89.4, increased 4.9 percent from January 2019. At 83.9, the Crop Production Index increased 8.5 percent. The Livestock Production Index, at 94.7, decreased 2.6 percent. Producers received higher prices for cattle, corn, lettuce, and milk but lower prices for broilers, market eggs, strawberries, and soybeans. Compared with a year earlier, the Prices Received Index is down 2.0 percent. The Crop Production Index decreased 3.5 percent and the Livestock Production Index increased 0.5 percent. The indexes are calculated using commodity prices and volumes of commodities that producers ma

This Week's Drought Summary (3/28)

Dryness and drought intensified across parts of the South, while the overall trend toward drought recovery continued in the Four Corners region. Elsewhere, dryness concerns increased in the Northwest where drought expanded slightly; rain and snow will be needed soon across the northwestern quarter of the nation to prevent the region from slipping further into drought. Most of the nation from the central and northern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remained free of drought, with severe flooding the primary concern in the nation’s heartland. Northeast Cooler-than-normal weather with heavy rain and mountain snow were reported across the region, with 7-day precipitation topping 3 inches

Dairy Market: Cheese prices still climbing

CME dairy prices saw little change in the St. Patrick’s Day week as traders anticipated the February Cold Storage report Friday afternoon. Block Cheddar climbed to $1.5825 per pound Tuesday but slipped back to close the week at $1.57, up a penny on the week and 2 1/2-cents above a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.5650, up 7 1/4-cents on the week, after gaining 12 3/4-cents the previous week, and were 5 1/2-cents above a year ago. Five cars of block traded hands last week at the CME and 37 of barrel. Monday’s trading took the cheese to new highs for 2019, jumping the blocks 7 cents on two unfilled bids. They added a nickel Tuesday on bids, and hit $1.69, the highest CME price si

Crop Progress - State Stories March 2019

IDAHO: Idaho was waiting to start planting due to high moisture and low temperatures. Ground in Boundary County was still frozen with snow cover. Snow was melting rapidly on the Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern slopes in Latah and Nez Perce Counties, but soils remained too saturated to work. Spring calving was nearing completion in Southwestern Idaho. Topsoil in Cassia and Minidoka Counties were dry, but subsoil continued to be very wet. Rangeland needed more heat before it became usable. Tractors recently started to enter fields in Jerome and Twin Falls Counties. Winter pastures were in poor conditions while spring pastures began to green. Camas County had at least three feet of sno

USDA Sets Enrollment for 2018 MPP For Some Dairy Producers

Dairy producers who enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) insurance product for the 2018 calendar year can now enroll to retroactively participate in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for that year. Previously, those with the LGM insurance were unable to participate in MPP, but the signup running through May 10 will allow those producers to be able to get a one-time MPP payment for 2018. Producers will be required to visit their local Farm Service Agency office to signup for the limited retroactive MPP program. USDA said this will apply to a "limited' number of dairy producers. The option to get the 2018 MPP coverage in addition to having the 2018 LGM coverage was authorized in t

Dairy Producers Enrolled in Livestock Gross Margin Program Eligible for 2018 MPP

Dairy producers who participated in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program now can participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy for 2018 coverage. The Department of Agriculture announced the eligibility last week. Producers enrolled in 2018 LGM-Dairy, administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency under 2014 Farm Bill, were ineligible for coverage under MPP-Dairy, a safety net program available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says changes in the 2018 Farm Bill “includes the ability for producers with LGM coverage to retroactively enroll in MPP-Dairy for 2018.” The MPP-Dairy program offers protection to dairy producers when the diffe

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S.

California milk production is inching up and dairy product manufacturers are staying busy, running their dryers near full performance levels. Overall, milk intakes are consistent with previous years' levels. The processing of the holiday dairy products is slowly ramping up. Retail milk orders and bottled milk demand are unchanged from a week ago. In Arizona milk production is going to the satisfaction of dairy farmers. Milk supplies are adequate to fulfill all end users' needs. Dryers are kept at full or close to full manufacturing capacities. Butter churning remains active. With a few schools on spring break or just coming back from spring break, there is less milk moving into Class I accou

Milk prices may start moving in the right direction

USDA’s release of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report in February had mostly good news for U.S. dairy producers. On the input side, feed costs are expected to climb only slightly in 2019 when compared to the previous year. If realized, feed costs would climb due to higher corn prices, which would be offset by a lower soybean price. On the other side of the equation, the U.S. All-Milk price midpoint is projected to be $17.25 per hundredweight (cwt.), up $1.05 from 2018’s price level. If the 2019 All-Milk price is realized, it would be the eighth highest in history. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? The improvement in milk prices offsets the slight increase in feed costs to push

DFA Sales Drop More Than $1 Billion in 2018

The largest dairy cooperative in the nation had a “challenging” 2018 and lost a lot in net sales numbers from the previous year. The Dairy Farmers of America cooperative held its annual meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, and reported that net sales fell by $1.1 billion during 2018. That’s a 7.5 percent decrease over 2017. Net sales in 2018 came in at $13.6 billion, while the previous year’s total was $14.7 billion. As most industry folks expected, the decrease is primarily due to lower milk prices. The all U.S. milk price was 8.2 percent lower than the previous year. Prices averaged $16.20 per hundredweight in 2018 compared with $17.65 per hundredweight the previous year. The cooperative’s ne

This Week's Drought Summary (3/21)

A historic major winter storm impacted much of the country this past week with blizzard conditions, category-2 hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding. Funnel clouds and tornadoes were seen in south central Arizona and southeastern New Mexico. Up to a foot of snow fell across the Denver, Colorado, area, while up to two feet fell over southeastern Wyoming, western Nebraska, and into southwestern and central South Dakota. To the south, thunderstorms rolled across Texas and parts of the lower Mississippi River Valley into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, including eastern Arkansas, southwestern Tennessee, and northwestern Mississippi. Heavy rainfall melted snow

U.S. loses over 2,700 licensed dairy farms in 2018

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Ohio lost greatest number of farms. The number of dairy farms in the U.S. has been sharply declining, and now a U.S. Department of Agriculture report has revealed by just how much. According to the data, the U.S. lost 2,731 (6.5%) licensed dairy farms from 2017 to 2018. The total number of dairy farms is now at 37,468. The largest atrophy was seen in the Midwest and East. Although Wisconsin is still home to 8,500 farms, the state registered the largest decline, losing 590 farms during the year. Pennsylvania lost 370 farms, New York lost 280 and Michigan and Ohio both lost 230. USDA reported that milk production fell slightly below expectations

Ag labor shortage fix offered for dairy industry

A new federal bill has been introduced by Reps. Anthony Brindisi (D., N.Y.) and John Joyce (R., Pa.) to expand the current H-2A visa program to allow for its use by dairy farmers. The bill will amend the Immigration & Nationality Act, making it suitable for the year-round labor needs of the dairy industry by allowing for an initial three-year visa with an option to extend for another three years. Under current law, dairy workers are not allowed to utilize H-2A visas because the dairy industry is not considered seasonal. The new legislation will change this and allow workers from outside the U.S. to utilize H-2A to access agricultural jobs on dairy farms. “It is clear that one of the reasons

Cheese prices climbing again

Dairy traders had a lot of information to assimilate last week and took CME block Cheddar to a $1.56 per pound Friday, closing the week 2 1/2-cents higher but 2 1/2-cents below a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.4925, up an impressive 12 3/4-cents on the week but 6 3/4-cents below a year ago. Monday’s cheese was unchanged as traders anticipated Tuesday morning’s Global Dairy Trade auction and Tuesday afternoon’s February Milk Production report. The blocks jumped 2 1/4-cents Tuesday, to $1.5825, and the barrels were up 1 3/4-cents, hitting $1.51, highest since Sept. 10, and reduced the spread to 7 1/4-cents. Midwestern cheesemakers continue to report seasonally quiet orders, according to

February Milk Production in the United States up 0.2 Percent

February Milk Production up 0.6 Percent Milk production in the 23 major States during February totaled 16.0 billion pounds, up 0.6 percent from February 2018. January revised production, at 17.5 billion pounds, was up 1.3 percent from January 2018. The January revision represented a decrease of 7 million pounds or less than 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,838 pounds for February, 21 pounds above February 2018. This is the highest production per cow for the month of February since the 23 State series began in 2003. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.72 million head, 47,000

El Niño odds favorable through the summer

Conditions could favor corn and soybean production in the U.S. but cause problems overseas. The latest El Niño advisory from NOAA, out March 14, indicates there is a strong likelihood those conditions will last through the spring and also predicts a better-than-average chance it will extend through the summer months. “The current event bears some similarities to the 2015 spring El Niño that went on to become a strong event by winter,” NOAA forecasters note in their summary. “However, it's too soon to tell whether this event will follow the same path.” Currently, NOAA predicts an 80% chance that weak El Niño conditions will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere through this spring, with a 60% ch

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