May 8, 2020: Employee Rights (FFCRA)

We are approaching the 2-month mark of travel and social restrictions and Stay-at-Home orders in Pennsylvania. Last week, Governor Wolf announced a plan to reopen the Pennsylvania economy in phases. The phases include red, yellow, and green. The red phase is the most restrictive and is what the state has been operating under for the…

May 1, 2020: April

As we deal with continued market volatility as a result of COVID-19, here is how current milk prices and March production numbers were reported. The major impact as a result of COVID-19 is expected to be much more pronounced when April numbers start being reported in early May. Class III and IV futures continued their…

April 17, 2020: Paycheck Protection Program

Unfortunately, things have taken a drastic turn for the worse over the last several weeks, with both the Class III and IV milk futures prices losing over 30% of their value since January. On the positive side, retail stores and processors seem to have gotten supply back on track. Most grocery stores have relaxed purchase…

April 10, 2020: Spring Safety

COVID-19 has interrupted our way of life in some major ways and is hitting milk futures prices extremely hard. In order for us to attempt to get things back to normal, we must do our part to help control the spread of this virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to “Do the Five!” 1)…

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…