As printed in our June 2015 issue...
CLASS III FUTURES TRADED IN A NARROW RANGE over the past 90 days. June to December contracts averaged $17.37 at the magazine's close.
USDA'S FIRST 2016 ALL-MILK PRICE FORECAST ranged from $17.45 to $18.45. That was $2.25 per cwt. lower than the initial forecast for 2015.
SEVEN FACTORS COULD PULL DOWN milk prices, suggested UW's Mark Stephenson. China's stronger domestic production and slowing economy; Russia's import ban; sunsetting EU quotas; strong New Zealand and U.S. milk flow; and strengthening U.S. dollar all could lessen prices.
SLOWING WESTERN MILK FLOW, strong domestic sales and growth in North African and Indian markets could pull prices higher, stated the Wisconsin ag economist. For more, click here.
WITH A $9.04 FEED COST, the March-April Margin Protection Program-Dairy (MPP) was $7.51. Dairy producers who bought up coverage to $8 will be due a payment under the government's new dairy program.
MARGINS HAVE BEEN SLIMMER in the west. If milk prices drop even further or feed moves higher, net margins will quickly evaporate, predicted Frazer LLP, which is a western-based accounting firm.
DAIRY FARMS IN SEVEN OF ITS EIGHT REGIONS netted over $1,000 per head last year. At $1,337 profit, Idaho topped the Western region, while New Mexico's $745 per head return was the lowest, reported Frazer LLP. Returns ranged from $4.10 to $5.83 on a cwt. basis.
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS OF $49.3 BILLION were collected by U.S. dairy farmers for marketing 205.5 billion pounds of milk in 2014. That monetary value was up $9 billion over the prior year's watermark.
CANADIAN DAIRY FARMERS DOUBLED DOWN on their resolve to reconfirm domestic support for their quota system as the U.S. Senate passed legislation to move ahead on the 12-nation trade deal (TPP). Quebec newspaper ads warned compromising quotas would threaten jobs.
PATIENCE WAS WEARING THIN with some trade partners. USDA Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack warned Canada could be sidelined if there isn't movement on the issue as time is running out for more TPP negotiations.
THE EPA RESET 2015 BIOFUEL BENCHMARKS to 16.3 billion gallons, down from Congress's 20.5-billion goal in its Renewable Fuel Standard.
BRIEFLY: Average farm size stood at 438 acres nationally, reported USDA. That compared to 657 acres for dairies in our latest readership study. Amazon plans to develop its own milk brand along with a host of other food products. Federal or state milk marketing orders helped market 83.3 percent of all U.S. milk last year.