November 17, 2023: How Production, Exports Impact Your Milk Price

For most dairy farm families, the days when the milk price you receive is based primarily on what supply and demand looks like in your backyard are long gone. In today’s marketplace, the mailbox price you receive each month is determined by national and international factors influencing both the demand and the supply side of…

November 10, 2023: Margins Improve in September

USDA announced the September 2023 margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program at $8.44 per hundredweight (cwt.), up $1.98 from August and the highest for 2023. While it still resulted in an indemnity payment of $1.06 per cwt., or about $830 per each one million pounds covered at the maximum $9.50 level, the margin…

November 3, 2023: Understanding Your Basis

Each week this page includes a report on the average basis dairy producers can expect to see in their milk check each month, based on historical trends from the past 5 years. What’s published here is the average for the region, but your basis is unique to your individual farm operation. It’s basically the difference…

October 27, 2023: Stocks Show Mixed Growth Despite Lackluster Milk Production

Two major reports come out around this time each month that together present a good picture of what could influence dairy markets in the near term. Those are the USDA Milk Production Report and Cold Storage Report. When milk production is growing and stocks reported in the Cold Storage report are declining, it means dairy…

October 20, 2023: Feed Costs Pressure Margins

The price we receive in our milk check each month is only part of the equation that determines profitability on the farm. The prices we pay for our inputs – like feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other supplies – can also have a major impact on our margin. Feed costs, including the cost of purchased…

October 13, 2023: Exports Remain Challenged

While dairy prices are slowly moderating higher from the very low levels we witnessed this summer, a cooling demand for dairy globally continues to burden the marketplace. Much of this is due to worldwide inflation and uncertainty in countries traditionally importing a lot of dairy. The pandemic hit China harder than other regions of the…

October 6, 2023: Butter Stocks Push Class IV Higher

Declining butter stocks are helping to contribute to a recent increase in the Class IV milk futures prices on the CME. Butter inventories were down 40.3 million pounds, or about 12 percent, from July to 289.1 mil. lbs at the end of August. That is the largest August decline in inventories since 2015. Butter stocks…

September 29, 2023: Pricing Rebounding, Production Wanes

Milk prices are starting to rebound from the devastating lows we saw this summer. October’s Class I milk price was announced last week at $19.47 per hundredweight, up 57 cents from September and $2.85 above August’s low point. However, it’s still more than $3 below the Class I price a year ago. Looking ahead, CME…

September 22, 2023: A Reminder To Be Safe

The National Safety Council always earmarks the third week in September as National Farm Safety and Health Week. The annual promotion was first an initiative by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 to remind the farm community to prioritize safety. As farm equipment has gotten much larger and farm practices have gotten much more complex,…

September 15, 2023: Fluid Milk Sales Trends

This time of year, fluid milk sales start to ramp back up after slipping back in June and July when schools let out for the summer. USDA reported its June fluid milk product sales a couple of weeks ago, with total June milk sales falling almost 300 million pounds, or 8.5%, from May to about…