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Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

(USDA Market News)

May 17

In California, milk production was steady this week. Good weather outcomes are keeping a good comfort level for cows. Milk supplies are adequate to meet all buyers’ needs.


Processing plants are working well to handle the available milk intakes. Bottled milk sales are steady, but expected to decrease in the coming weeks as schools close for the summer break.


Arizona farm milk output is steadily decreasing in line with what is expected for this time of the year. Milk volumes are more manageable now and processing plant managers are doing maintenance work they couldn’t schedule a few weeks ago. Class I demand continues to be even.


In Arizona, 85 percent of alfalfa hay is rated good to excellent with harvesting taking place on two-thirds of the alfalfa acreage across the state.


Topsoil moisture is seventy percent adequate to surplus while subsoil moisture is 68 percent adequate to surplus.


In New Mexico, farm milk yield is flat at seasonal levels. Class I, II and III sales are down. As educational institutions prepare to close, their intakes are starting to decrease. Milk intakes from grocery stores are flat. Some milk is being redirected to other regions as repair/maintenance takes place and manufacturers reduce their daily intakes.


Overall, 99.9 percent of New Mexico is rated abnormally dry or worse. Harvesting has taken place on 41 percent of alfalfa hay acreage this week, compared to 31 percent last week.

Pacific Northwest dairy contacts suggest the spring flush is at hand within the region. Milk intakes are generally in good balance with processing needs. Bottling demand is easing somewhat as the first of the educational institutions end their spring terms.


Because of strong demand for cheese, butter and other manufactured dairy products, processors can use the milk that is no longer needed for school bottling.


Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado continues to climb. Manufacturers have plenty of milk for their processing needs. Although some discounted loads are available, industry contacts say they are not hearing of any milk being dumped and only a few loads are getting pushed into surrounding regions.


Favorable weather has aided in cow comfort. Industry contacts say water reservoirs are in good shape for the start of the growing season and farmers expect to begin forage harvest in the next few weeks.


Western condensed skim availability has decreased this week. Prices are increasing. Sellers report not knowing what is really happening. Western cream supplies although sufficient to meet all buyers inquiries, continue to firm. As cream demand for ice cream production increases, cream prices are also rising.


Some report suggest that due to the heat in Arizona, cream shipment is not as frequent.

According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of May 11-17, the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $2.48, down $0.03 from last week, and down $0.10 from last year.


The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $2.42 with a price range of $1.99-$2.99. The weighted average regional price in the Northwest is $2.75 with a price range of $2.50-$2.99.


According to California Department of Food and Agriculture, June 2018 Class 1 prices in California are $17.19 in the North and $17.46 in the South. The statewide average Class 1 price based on production is $17.21. This price is up $1.11 from the previous month, and $.21 higher than a year ago.


Milk pooled on the Arizona Order 131 totaled 442.2 million pounds in April 2018. Class I utilization accounted for about 23.7 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $14.50, up $0.48 from last month but $.85 below one year ago.


Milk pooled on the Pacific Northwest Order 124 totaled 624.2 million pounds in April 2018. Class I utilization accounted for 23.7 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $14.32, up $0.44 from last month but $0.91 below one year ago.

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