May 5, 2023: Feed Costs Declining

The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) feed cost declined by 39 cents during March compared to February. All three DMC feed cost factors – corn, soybean meal (SBM), and superior alfalfa hay – experienced declines that resulted in a final total DMC feed cost of $15.02 per cwt. Unfortunately, the U.S. all-milk price declined an additional…

April 28, 2023: April

The improvement in Class III milk prices that were seen in March did not continue into April. Class IV milk prices stabilized somewhat from previous months’ drops but continued a downward  trajectory. Slightly increased milk production, coupled with building dairy product stocks, have resulted in lower dairy product prices across the board. This is bringing…

April 21, 2023: Is Export Growth Slowing?

The answer to this question is complex, but based on information published by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) in its April 6, 2023 “U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog,” the short-term answer is: Yes. You can find and subscribe to the “U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog” at www.usdec.org. The blog mentions several reasons why exports will be…

April 14, 2023: FMMO Reform

There have not been any major changes to the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system since 2000, except for the legislative change in the formula for pricing the Class I Mover, which was  implemented in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed flaws in the current system, with this formula change in place, that resulted in lower…

April 7, 2023: 2022 PA Corn and Soybean Yield

Like most years, the 2022 growing season in Pennsylvania was not consistent across the state. Some portions of the state experienced drought conditions while other parts of the state were too wet at times. According to the USDA Crop Production Annual Summary released back in January, the result was reduced corn grain, corn silage, and…

March 31, 2023: March

The trend of year-over-year (YOY) increasing national milk production continued during February, while Pennsylvania’s YOY trend of decreasing milk production continued. With an improving  world milk supply, U.S. prices are similar to European and New Zealand prices with perhaps the biggest determining factor being proximity to international buyers. That being said, January  exports, the most…

March 24, 2023: What is Risk Management?

As the risk education manager at the Center for Dairy Excellence, it is a main responsibility of mine to not only understand the available risk management opportunities, but also to be able to  explain them to dairy farmers to help them determine what strategies will work best for their operations. I thought this week would…

March 17, 2023: 2022 Estimated Fluid Milk Sales

Each month, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service publishes its Estimated Fluid Milk Products Sales Report. The most recent report was released on Feb. 22, which covers the month of Dec.  2022. Each month has a year-to-date column in addition to the current month column. Although the 2022 numbers will not be finalized and released until…

March 10, 2023: 2022 Milk Production

Each February, the USDA’s Milk Production report contains annualized cow numbers, milk production, and licensed dairy farm numbers. The following is a summary of some of the data contained within the report. U.S. total milk production remained relatively flat compared to 2021, increasing only 0.1% to 226.5 billion pounds during 2022. Cow numbers averaged 9.402…

March 3, 2023: February

Global milk supply continues to improve, thanks in part to increasing production in the U.S. and the European Union (EU). This, and a strong dollar will provide headwinds for U.S. dairy exports  this year. However, domestic demand is expected to remain strong. These inter-relationships are resulting in mixed outcomes on dairy product prices and Class…