As printed in our September 25, 2013 issue...
THE FATE OF THE FARM BILL remained uncertain at the magazine's close. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Ohio) indicated the House would consider a food assistance bill in mid-September that would cut $40 billion from current spending levels over a 10-year span.
EVEN IF THE HOUSE BILL WOULD GAIN APPROVAL, the two chambers would remain far apart on food stamp idealogy. The Senate approved $4 billion in cuts this summer, just 10 percent of the House's proposal.
IF THE TWO SIDES CANNOT REACH AN AGREEMENT, there is little support for an extension from President Obama and Senate leadership when the farm bill expires on September 30. Democratic leadership has indicated that the President would veto an extension this time around.
DRY JULY AND AUGUST WEATHER in major crop areas reduced soybean production estimates. USDA projected new crop beans at $12.50 per bushel, up $1 from last month. Corn was pegged at a $4.80 midpoint.
AT 17.6 PERCENT OF MILK SOLIDS, July dairy exports set a new monthly record. July export sales were valued at $612 million. Through the first seven months, international sales accounted for 15.1 percent of domestic production while imports were at 2.8 percent.
COOPERATIVES WORKING TOGETHER (CWT) continues to impact dairy export sales. Through June, CWT export assistance helped market 51 percent of all butter sales and 18 percent of cheese sales.
CHEESE CONSUMPTION remained near record pace as Americans ate 33.5 pounds per person in 2012, reported USDA. The "other cheese" category (including Mozzarella) continued to lead the way at 20.3 pounds.
ON A MILK EQUIVALENT BASIS, each citizen consumed 612 pounds of products; the highest level since 2007. It was the eighth straight year over 600 pounds; from 1975 to 2000 that threshold was only crossed once.
FOUR OF THE 20 LARGEST DAIRY PROCESSORS hail from North America. DFA ranked No. 6; Dean Foods, No. 8; Kraft, No. 16; and Schreiber Foods, No. 19, according to data gathered by Rabobank.
BRIEFLY: USDA raised its All-Milk price projection by 70 cents for 2014 over the previous month to $19.85 citing tighter global supplies and robust U.S. exports. Spot market Cheddar and butter rose over 16 cents per pound from August 22 to September 13 trading. Meanwhile, October to March Class III futures held steady near $17. MILC payments expired at month's end; contributed $192 million nationally in 2013. Genomic bulls represented 52 percent of A.I. breeding population, reported NAAB. Export semen sales grew 7.7 percent to 19.4 million units. NASS will resume producing quarterly cow numbers and milk-per-cow estimates in October.