June 19, 2020: April Commercial Disappearance

Seems like every week I start this column with some comment about COVID-19 and the disruption it has caused and is still causing. Unfortunately, that is the reality we live in right now. COVID-19 has disrupted nearly ever sector of the U.S. economy. The USDA collects and reports numerous statistics each month for all sectors…

June 12, 2020: Cheese and Butter Rally

Pennsylvania has 46 counties in the green phase of the reopening process and 21 counties in the yellow phase. All counties in Pennsylvania are now out of the red phase. The red phase was the strictest, and only businesses considered essential could remain open. Restaurants could only provide carry-out or delivery services. Some businesses, such…

June 5, 2020: Crop Progress

COVID-19 has slowed or shut a lot of things down since the middle of March. One thing it has not slowed down was the weather. Except for some colder than average temperatures in late April and early May that brought light snow in parts of the state, the weather has been good for getting spring…

May 29, 2020: May

Volatility continues to be the norm for milk prices as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. However, for the last three weeks, milk prices have trended up more than down, even though much of the U.S. economy is still shut down. In a conference call hosted by the Center on May 26, 2020, Matt Gould, editor and…

May 22, 2020: Direct Payment Details Announced

After much anticipation, USDA announced how it will distribute $16 bil. in direct payment relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This program is not meant to cover the full loss, but it will provide much-needed help. The USDA reported April 17 that $2.9 bil. of the total would go to support dairy farmers,…

May 15, 2020: Retail Sales and Exports Updates

Despite the negative impacts COVID-19 has had on the U.S. economy and especially the dairy economy, there have been some positive outcomes that hopefully will continue after things return to a new normal. Several states, including Pennsylvania, have started the process of reopening their economies and slowly and strategically lifting some of the restrictions imposed…

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)…