November 13, 2020: Dairy Product Production and Inventory

Dairy markets have certainly behaved strangely this year. We have had milk price extremes for Class III. While Class IV milk prices have been less volatile after an initial plunge earlier this year, they continue to struggle to catch up to Class III or reach pre-COVID-19 prices. It looks like the spread between Class III…

Crop Production and Progress

November 6, 2020 Markets & Management Update: Weather is unpredictable from year-to-year. In my limited travel this year, I did not see as much of Pennsylvania compared to last year, but in southcentral Pennsylvania, most corn and soybean fields looked good. However, it was obvious that there were drought conditions in some of the western…

October 30, 2020: October

You can learn a lot from people or cultures different from your own. One of the things I miss most about dairy farming is the people I worked with. I learned a tremendous amount about Mexican culture from the Latino employees who worked for us over the years. As they assimilated into the U.S. culture,…

October 23, 2020: Team Grants

would wager that if the word “team” is mentioned without any other context, thoughts begin to form in your head of your favorite sports team. I am guilty of it. As I am writing this column, I  cannot help but think about my alma mater, NC State, and the numerous Wolfpack football and basketball teams…

Managing Change

October 16 2020 Markets & Management Update: Change is inevitable in all aspects of business and life. This year, we have certainly seen how quickly change can happen. When economies shut down in mid-March, the dairy industry lost nearly 50% of its sales almost overnight because restaurants were forced to close or offer limited service….

October 9, 2020: 2021 DMC Enrollment

The 2018 Farm Bill made the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program available in 2019 as a much-improved version of the Margin Protection Program (MPP) that it replaced. DMC is margin-based insurance where the margin each month is calculated by subtracting the national corn, soybean meal and blended alfalfa hay price from the U.S. all-milk price….

October 2, 2020: September

Welcome to Fall 2020! It is amazing to me how fast this year has seemed to go by. There has certainly been a change in the weather in my part of Pennsylvania—we even a had some light frost a couple of mornings a week or so ago. Thankfully, it was not significant enough to kill…

September 25, 2020: CFAP 2

This has certainly been a year to remember. Unprecedented milk price volatility perhaps has left you not knowing what is going to happen next. At the end of 2019, market fundamentals were pointing to stronger prices in 2020 compared with 2019, which, for the most part, was a decent year. No market indicators were pointing…

2019 Fluid Milk Sales and Per Capita Consumption

September 18, 2020 Markets & Management Update: Each year in Aug/Sept., the USDA releases fluid milk sales and per capita consumption data for the previous year. The data is appended to a spreadsheet that shows historical numbers since 1975. It is quite interesting to look at the data and see how consumption and sales have…

September 11, 2020: Fall Harvest

Ever since I can remember, Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I grew up in Wilkes County, North Carolina, at the foot a small mountain range called the Brushy Mountains, which is part of the larger Blue Ridge Mountains that stretch from Georgia to South Central Pennsylvania. There are several reasons why…