July 31, 2020: July

July is here as is the summer heat and humidity. July 2020 is currently tied for the hottest July on record for Pennsylvania. At the time of writing this article, a few days remain in July with a couple more 90 plus degree days in the forecast. With the current forecast, this is likely to…

July 24, 2020: Dietary Guidelines from Then you Now

According to the USDA, the federal government has provided dietary advice to its citizens for over 100 years. I found an article online from the National World War II Museum that stated the first chart developed by the USDA was in 1943 and was called the “Basic 7 Food Chart.” It showed a breakdown of…

July 17, 2020: Exports and Retail Sales

The last four months have certainly been challenging for dairy farmers and the entire dairy supply chain. We saw a huge shift in demand from food service to retail almost overnight. This disruption created extreme volatility in milk prices, resulting in May milk prices being the lowest prices we have seen in over 10 years….

July 10, 2020: Producer Price Differential

In 2000, Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) Reform occurred and set up a class pricing system by which dairy producers would be paid based on class utilization of milk within the FMMO.  The system also set minimum prices for each classification based on historic actual values. The class pricing system was developed assuming that the…

July 3, 2020: June

We will celebrate our nation’s 244th anniversary on July 4, 2020. Pennsylvania is rich in Revolutionary War history, including the formal signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. With recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed civil rights discussions, it is easy to lose sight of how far we…

June 26, 2020: Dairy Revenue Protection

Milk price volatility has been the reality in the dairy industry for decades. Unfortunately, today’s volatility seems to be much more difficult to manage without some sort of risk management  strategy. Risk management strategies have existed for a long time but have been underutilized by the dairy industry. There are more options now than ever…

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…