July 5, 2024: May Margin and Look Ahead

May’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) margin closed out at $10.52 per hundredweight (cwt), $1.02 over the $9.50 maximum coverage level and did not trigger indemnities at any coverage level. May’s margin jumped 92 cents per cwt from April’s margin at $9.60. Year-over-year, May’s margin shot up from 2023, when it was at $4.83 per cwt…

June 28, 2024: Making Safety a Real Issue

A young girl had her mouth and throat burned when she drank pipeline cleaner in the milkhouse. She thought it was Kool-Aid. A man was badly injured when his ragged coat sleeve was caught in a power take-off shaft. Another man was killed when his tractor rolled and trapped him beneath it. One more man…

June 21, 2024: Making Heads or Tails of the Class III Market

It’s been a long time since there’s been consistently positive news to talk about in the dairy markets. Class III prices are heading into the second half of 2024 with prices above $19 per hundredweight.

June 14, 2024: Employee Risks on the Farm

As the dairy industry navigates HPAI cases now on more than 80 dairy farms in 11 states, one issue to come increasingly more in focus is workplace safety. Three cases of HPAI in workers have now been documented, with the most recent leading to respiratory illness and not just infection in the eyes. USDA and…

June 7, 2024: Margins Improving

USDA posted its April margin through the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program earlier this week at $9.60 per hundredweight, down 5 cents from March but $3.76 above year ago levels. The margin was 10 cents above the $9.50 maximum threshold for coverage, so the program did not trigger an indemnity payment this month. From March…

May 31, 2024: Planting Season Off to a Slow Start

After a couple of weeks of rain, last week’s drier weather allowed some folks to catch up on spring planting across Pennsylvania. Others are still waiting for fields to dry out. Nationally, corn planting remains a little behind where we were a year ago, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report. The report released…

May 24, 2024: U.S. Milk Production Down Again

Total milk production in the US was down again in April, falling 0.4% from a year ago to 19.135 billion pounds, the lowest U.S. production level in April since 2020. On the positive side, production per cow was up 9 pounds to 2,049 pounds per cow. The number of milk cows in the U.S. fell…

May 17, 2024: HPAI in Dairy Update

If you have not been following the spread of HPAI in dairy cattle, as of May 14, there are 46 herds in 9 states that have been infected with the disease. Most herds have reported a 10 – 14 day recovery period for the cattle that were affected, with decreased milk production, rumination and feed…

May 10, 2024: Dairy Exports Continue to Slip

Dairy exports continued their downward trend from 2023 in the first quarter of 2024. Total dairy exports declined year over year in March, with total dairy export volumes dropping 4.5 percent to 527 million pounds, while the value of those exports fell 9.2 percent to $740 million. The year-over-year decline in March came on the…

May 1, 2024: Class III Prices Increasing

The March margin under USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage Program was announced just after the enrollment for the 2024 Program closed. The margin is 15 cents above the maximum $9.50 margin coverage level, announced at $9.65 per cwt, the highest since Dec. 2022. March’s all-milk price was announced at $20.70 per cwt., up 10 cents from…