April 3, 2020: COVID-19 Dairy Crisis

We are certainly in unprecedented times, at least in my lifetime, with the COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide disease is wreaking havoc on economies across the globe. The U.S. has not been immune to this. The national economy has taken a huge hit with businesses closing and travel and work restrictions across the country. There is…

March 27, 2020: March

The unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and how rapidly it may spread are certainly having a negative effect on milk prices. While prices were still relatively favorable in January and the first of February, they have fallen dramatically over the past few weeks. Those farms that locked in the higher prices through risk management are better prepared…

March 13, 2020: Adapting to Change

Daylight Saving Time started this past weekend, and it has felt like spring in South Central Pennsylvania the last week or so. Last week, my mother was texting me pictures of daffodils and violets blooming in her yard in North Carolina. I think she was trying to make me jealous, homesick, or both. I found…

March 6, 2020: 2019 Milk Production and Farm Numbers

Milk price started low at the beginning of 2019 but increased through the year, ending strong compared to recent years. The U.S. all-milk price was $16.60 in January and finished the year at $20.70 in December. At $18.60, the 2019 U.S. all-milk price averaged $2.33 higher than 2018 and the highest since 2014. Prices in…

February 28, 2020: February

What a difference a month makes in the dairy industry. Milk futures prices have declined significantly during the last month. Feed futures prices are looking relatively stable going through the year but declines in the milk price are driving the margin down. This volatility illustrates the need for a risk management plan. If you are…

February 21, 2020: Traceability

The average consumer is about three generations removed from agriculture. This means that the last family member to be involved in agriculture was their great grandparents. As consumers get further removed from agriculture, their knowledge and understanding of where their food comes from diminishes and fear more rapidly becomes a factor in food purchases. As…

February 14, 2020: Heifer Inventory

Last year’s milk price was a welcome relief compared to the previous two years. The U.S. All-Milk price for 2019 averaged $18.60 per hundredweight, the highest since 2014. After several years of low prices, 2019 was not enough time to see much expansion in the industry and total milk production only increased about 0.3% over…

February 7, 2020: Export Competition

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has grown from a minor global milk supplier to one of the top-5 dairy exporters in the world. In 2000, the U.S. was exporting less than $1 billion worth of exports (by value). Through November of 2020, the U.S. had exported over $5.4 billion worth of dairy products,…

January 31, 2020: January

January has been an active month for the dairy industry. The new U.S.-Japan trade agreement started on January 1st. Barring something unforeseen, the President will have signed the USMCA trade agreement by the time this article reaches you. Phase 1 of the new U.S.-China trade deal, which promises increased purchases of U.S. agricultural products, was…

January 24, 2020: Why USMCA?

Last Friday, the U.S. Senate passed the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) in a bipartisan vote of 89 to 10. The next step is for President Trump to sign the legislation, which he is expected to do this week. Once that happens, the main factor holding back implementation is waiting for Canada’s House of Commons to…