July 30, 2021: July

The July 26, USDA Crop Progress report shows that the corn crop across the country is progressing on par with last year and, in general, on par with the five-year average: 79% of the U.S. corn  crop is silking, which is the same as last year but slightly above the five-year average of 73%. Pennsylvania,…

July 23, 2021: Shifting Utilization

In the two and half years I have been working in the Pennsylvania dairy industry, Pennsylvania has lost over 12% of its dairy farms, but the herd size of those remaining has increased by 6% to 89  cows per dairy in 2020. This does not sound like much of a herd size increase, but it…

July 16, 2021: Sustainability

Over the last 10 to 15 years, “sustainability” has become a hot topic. However, the definition of sustainability may be different depending on the individual asked. A simple definition prior to 15  years ago might have been the ability to maintain something at a certain rate, or for a dairy farmer, sustainability may be the…

July 9, 2021: Dairy Production and Stocks

May’s U.S. milk production posted a 4.6% year-over-year (YOY) increase to 19.9 bil. pounds. This was the largest YOY growth in nearly 10 years. With the release of the USDA Dairy Products report July 2, we have a full picture of what May dairy product stocks and production looked like because of a near 10-year…

July 2, 2021: High Feed Cost

In general, the largest expense on a dairy operation is by far the feed cost. Maybe a grazing herd’s feed costs are lower, but in the Northeast, cows cannot graze year-round and feed cost increases  in the winter with grasses dormant and perhaps covered by snow. Unfortunately, commodity prices began to rise last fall and…

June 18, 2021: June Dairy Month

My elementary and middle school years spanned the early 1980s to the early 1990s. I always remember how proud I was, as a young kid, to be a dairy farmer’s child when June Dairy Month came  around. It was always toward the end of the school year, and I would get to talk to my…

June 11, 2021: Post Pandemic Demand

As new COVID-19 cases decline across Pennsylvania and the nation, many states have relaxed or lifted mask mandates and restaurant capacities. On Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf  lifted the restrictions on restaurant capacity, which can now operate at 100% capacity. Mask mandates will remain in effect with some flexibility for individuals or groups of…

June 4, 2021: Global Milk Supply

Over the last couple decades, our world seems to have gotten a lot smaller. Technological advancements in communications and transportation have brought the world closer together in many  ways. I am sure not everyone reading this has a smartphone, but I am positive that more people do than do not. When I first moved to…

May 28, 2021: May

With dry weather over most of Pennsylvania in the last week, corn planting across the state took a decent leap towards completion. According to USDA, as of the week ending May 23, 77% of the  corn across the Commonwealth is planted with 29% of that emerged. 77% is well ahead of the 5-year average of…

May 21, 2021: Historic Annual Milk Production: Northeast

So much can change in 51 years, no matter what industry you talk about. This has certainly been the case in the dairy industry. Looking back on 2020 and the disruption that COVID-19 had on so  many aspects of the U.S. economy, including dairy, a lot can change in a matter of months. The Economic…