March 5, 2021: 2020 Dairy Producer Survey

COVID-19 was a tremendous disruption   to dairy markets last year, and it continues to disrupt markets the beginning  of this year. Late last spring, the Center along with input from the Penn State University Smeal College of Business developed a survey to gather information on the demographics of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms and to evaluate what…

February 26, 2021: February

Here we are at the close of another month. It has certainly been a snowy February in Pennsylvania. Hopefully, spring is around the corner. Class III prices have moderated somewhat since the end of January. Class III futures price for the next 12 months averages $17.20 per cwt, only 3 cents less than the end…

February 19, 2021: 2020 Dairy Export Results

2020 was certainly a year for the record books. Unfortunately, not all the records are things we want to remember. Record volatility in Class III and Class IV led to record low producer price  differentials (PPD) in the Mideast and Northeast Milk Marketing Orders, the two orders found in Pennsylvania. In July, the Mideast order…

February 12, 2021: 2020 Crop Production

It is no secret that the most expensive part of running a dairy operation is the feed bill. The USDA is projecting the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) feed cost (corn + soybean meal + blended alfalfa hay price) to average about $2.10 per cwt of milk produced more in 2021 than it  did in 2020….

February 5, 2021: DMC Net Benefit and Retail Dairy Sales

As we end the first month of 2021 and move into February, this is the time of year when tatistics from the previous year become available. The program year for 2020 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) has ended, and the December DMC margin was announced late last week. Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) recently released retail sales…

January 29, 2021: January

The first month of 2021 is nearly in the books. We have certainly had somewhat of a tumultuous beginning to the year. Dairy markets are still behaving erratically, but at least for now, they are in dairy farmers’ favor. The Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook released by the USDA on January 19, 2021 increased its…

Behind the Numbers: Fluid Milk in U.S. Households

January 22, 2021 Markets & Management Update: It is no secret that fluid milk sales have been in an overall decline since after World War II. There have been years, here and there, where fluid milk sales increased slightly year-over year. Unfortunately, we have yet to achieve sustained growth in this area. Certain categories, like…

January 15, 2021: Current COVID Relief Bill

On December 27, 2020, the Federal administration signed into law a $900 billion stimulus package. Provisions for agriculture and dairy are included in the stimulus bill. I have received several emails and phone calls from folks with questions about the recent bill. While there are perhaps more questions than answers at this point, I thought…

January 8, 2021: Resolutions

Happy New Year! I did a Google search for the “History of New Year’s Resolutions” to learn the origins of this tradition in preparation for this week’s column. The first several links returned were different sources but told the same basic history. I was surprised to learn that the first recorded evidence of New Year’s…

December 25, 2020: December

It is hard to believe that this is my last column of the year and that I have been in Pennsylvania for two years already. December 10th marked my second anniversary working at the Center. It has been a big transition from dairy farmer to risk management consultant. I look forward to another year here…