Dairy prices hemorrhaging

Dairy prices plunged the last full week of March and the bleeding continues as COVID-19 fear reigns supreme, pulling Class III milk futures down with them. Cheddar block cheese did a free fall of 15 cents on Friday alone, as uncovered offers took them to close at $1.59 per pound, down 24.75 cents on the week and 5.5 cents below a year ago. The barrels finished Friday at $1.34, down 9 cents, 26.25 cents below a year ago and 25 cents below the blocks. Monday’s trading took 15.25 cents off the blocks, and they fell 10.75 cents Tuesday to $1.33, down 54.25 cents in two weeks, mirroring CME prices in December 2018, and the lowest they have been since May 23, 2016. The barrels gave up 4 cents Mond

February Ag Prices Received Rises, Prices Paid Decreases

February Prices Received Index Up 1.8 Percent The February Prices Received Index 2011 Base (Agricultural Production), at 90.4, increased 1.8 percent from January and 0.1 percent from February 2019. At 85.9, the Crop Production Index was up 4.4 percent from last month and 0.9 percent from the previous year. The Livestock Production Index, at 94.8, decreased 3.7 percent from January and 0.4 percent from February last year. Producers received higher prices during February for market eggs, oranges, turkeys, and cotton but lower prices for lettuce, broilers, soybeans, and milk. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the volume change of commodities producers market. In February, the

Crop Progress - State Stories

COLORADO: This report for Colorado is for the week ending March 29, 2020. Topsoil moisture 12% very short, 22% short, 65% adequate, 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture 8% very short, 24% short, 67% adequate, 1% surplus. Barley planted 8%, 2% 2019, 4% avg. Winter wheat pastured 8%, 21% 2019, 12% avg; jointed 1%, 1% 2019; 1% avg; Winter wheat condition 11% very poor, 16% poor, 22% fair, 45% good, 6% excellent. Cows calved 62%, 55% 2019, 55% avg. Ewes lambed 58%, 53% 2019, 46% avg. Livestock condition 1% very poor, 4% poor, 27% fair, 60% good, 8% excellent. Cattle death loss 72% avg, 28% light. Sheep death loss 49% avg, 51% light. Pasture and range condition 4% very poor, 9% poor, 30% fair, 51% good,

Less than Half of U.S. Dairy Farms Signed up for DMC

Fewer dairy farmers chose to opt into the Dairy Margin Coverage Program that was authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. At the beginning of this year, the forecast was for an improving dairy economy and the USDA prediction tool that showed either low or no DMC payments this year. However, the rapidly-evolving situation brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak is a reminder about how important safety net programs can be in agriculture. DMC is a voluntary, insurance-style program that makes payments when the national average income-over-feed-cost margin falls below a coverage level selected by each farmer. Coverage is available from $4 a hundredweight to as much as $9.50 per hundredweight. At the time o

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 13

California milk supplies continue to be available for all processing needs. Many customers have stocked up on bottled milk to insure they have enough if the stores were to close. As a result, some grocery stores’ shelves are empty and Class I demands have hit the roof. Class III sales are also trending higher. Moving milk across regions is still possible for California handlers, but it is a bit costlier. Arizona milk production is strong. Milk loads are readily accessible to processors. However, they also continue to help with out-of-state milk clearing. Bottled milk sales are up despite the closing of educational institutions during this coronavirus outbreak. Milk buying for use i

This Week's Drought Summary (3/26)

Storms delivered much-needed precipitation to California’s key watershed areas before soaking an area from the southeastern Plains into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys with as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain. Some of the rain overlapped existing drought areas in southern Texas, providing substantial relief. Widespread precipitation also fell across the remainder of the West, except in the northern Rockies. Significant precipitation was also noted in Iowa and environs, while wind-driven snow blanketed parts of northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska. In contrast, warm, dry weather dominated the lower Southeast, including Florida, boosting irrigation demands and further reducing topsoil moistu

Coronavirus sours milk prices

Dairy Outlook: Dairy economists advise farmers to cut milk production 2% to 3% now. Prospects for higher milk prices in 2020 were riding high in January and February, and then along came the coronavirus. “The world has turned upside down. Back in January, we were forecasting a great year for dairy farmers. Milk prices were going to average way above 2019,” says Bob Cropp, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist. Now with COVID-19, that’s no longer the case. Cow numbers have risen, and an increase in milk per cow is not helping matters, Cropp says. “Cow numbers went up about 9,000 head from January and 21,000 from December,” he explains. “Production per cow is up 1.4%. That give

NMPF Thanks USDA for Coronavirus Response, Outlines Dairy Needs

Dairy farmers welcome the response by the Department of Agriculture to the coronavirus crisis, but say more relief is needed. The National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue detailing the needs of dairy farmers during the crisis. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says in the letter, “The demand shock experienced by our entire economy is turning what initially looked to dairy farmers like the first decent year in the last five into one of potentially widespread economic devastation." Dairy farmers expect to face price declines and unstable demand over the next several months, as joblessness rises, schools remain closed, and farm and dairy processing

February milk production 'leaps'

February milk output shot higher, thanks to an increased herd size and favorable weather. The Agriculture Department’s preliminary data in its Milk Production report shows output at 17.87 billion pounds, up 5.3% from February 2019. However, the data is skewed in that February had an extra “leap day” of production than 2019. Adjusting for the extra day, output was up 1.7%. February output in the top 24 states totaled 17.0 billion pounds, up 5.6%, but after adjusting, it was up 2.0%. Revisions added 40 million pounds to the original 50-state January total, now put at 18.8 billion, up 1.1% from January 2019. Cow numbers in the 50 states in February totaled 9.37 million head, up 9,000 from Janua

February Milk Production up 5.6%

February Milk Production up 5.6 Percent Milk production in the 24 major States during February totaled 17.0 billion pounds, up 5.6 Percent from February 2019. However, adjusting production for the additional day due to leap year causes February milk production to be up 2.0 percent on a per day basis. January revised production, at 18.0 billion pounds, was up 1.5 percent from January 2019. The January revision represented an increase of 38 million pounds or 0.2 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 24 major States averaged 1,927 pounds for February, 94 pounds above February 2019. When production is adjusted for the additional day due to leap year

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 12

In California, the outbreak of covid-19 is not much affecting the supplies of milk. Several plant managers report having plenty of milk along with plant issues. Milk production is strong, and the spring flush started earlier this year. Industry contacts are wondering if milk volumes will peak sooner or lead to a longer, steeper peak flush. Despite the closing of most schools in the state, retail sales of milk have been increasing as households continue to secure enough milk for future use. As the result, Class I demand is a bit up. Some processors are limiting outlets for whole raw milk and are focusing on moving condensed skim out of the state. Milk yield is solid in

This Week's Drought Summary (3/19)

The U.S. Drought Monitor week ending March 17 saw another round of winter storms, bringing above normal precipitation to parts of the northern High Plains, Southwest, southern plains, and Tennessee Valley. Many areas recorded totals that exceeded 200% of normal over the seven-day period, leading to improvements to areas of abnormal dryness and drought in areas where the excess moisture erased deficits and improved soil moisture and streamflow. Once again, precipitation over the Northwest and Gulf Coast states was below normal with most areas having received less than 50% of their normal amount over the last 30 days. The lack of precipitation, combined with warmer than normal temperatures, le

Dairy Market: GDT auction prices fall 3.9%

Powder pulled Tuesday’s Global Dairy Trade lower again, as the world falls to its knees from coronavirus, COVID-19. The weighted average of products offered dropped 3.9% Tuesday, following the 1.2% drop on March 3, 2.9% on Feb. 18, and 4.7% plunge on Feb. 4. Skim milk powder led the declines, down 8.1%, followed by whole milk powder, down 4.2%, after declines of 3.2% and 0.5% respectively March 3. Lactose led the gains, up 4.9%, and GDT Cheddar was up 2.6%, after it dropped 4.7% last time. Rennet casein and anhydrous milkfat were both up 1.0%, after the milkfat slipped 1.7% last time. Butter inched up 0.3%, following its 1.0% rise in the last event. FC Stone equated the GDT 80% butterfat but

Dairy farm numbers decline in 2019

Number of dairy operations falls most since 2004. Since the end of 2014, dairy farmers in the U.S. and throughout the world have struggled with low prices resulting from large supplies outweighing demand. In 2019, several dairy operators decided it was time to exit the industry. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service’s monthly Milk Production report, released on Feb. 20, showed the largest annual decline in the number of licensed dairy operations since 2004. Dairy herd and milk production Annual milk production in the United States in 2019 was 218.4 billion pounds, increasing 0.4% from the 217.6 billion pounds produced in 2018. Milk production in the U.S. has grown every year over t

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