As printed in our July 2015 issue...

CORN AND SOYBEAN PRICES ROSE due to wet field conditions, faster drawdowns in grain inventories and the lowest corn acreage since 2010. September beans traded at $10.40 per bushel, corn at $4.22.

CLASS III FUTURES TRADED 90 CENTS LOWER over the past four months as ample domestic milk supplies and abundant dairy product inventories around the globe combined to drive down milk prices. At the magazine's close, July to December future contracts averaged $16.60.

BUTTER INVENTORIES POSTED THE LARGEST April-to-May gain in eight years by growing 26.2 percent on 32 million pounds of additional product, compared to a year earlier. Cheese stocks expanded 4 percent.

THE 2016 SIGN-UP PERIOD for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) started July 1 and concludes September 30. Nearly half of the nation's producers will be re-enrolled automatically due to prior participation. That group only needs to select their margin protection level.

FAST TRACK OR TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY (TPA) legislation passed both the House and the Senate. The measure gives President Obama authority to negotiate a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal with 12 nations. Once finalized, Congress can only vote "yes" or "no."

CANADIAN AND JAPANESE DAIRY MARKETS continue to be a hang-up from a U.S. perspective. Right now, high tariffs and other protectionist measures have limited America's ability to expand dairy exports into those countries while New Zealand could grow its sales into the States.

WESTERN CULLING PICKED UP after farmers got their first-quarter accrual accounting numbers, stated DFA's Ed Gallagher. That perspective matched May's milk totals as California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon were the only major states to see milk output fall.

HIGH BULL CALF PRICES, in excess of $500 per head for week-old Holsteins, have decimated the veal sector. Output was down over 20 percent from a year earlier as high milk replacer prices also eroded profitability.

BEEF SALES WILL BE TRUMPED BY PORK for the first time in U.S. history, said INTL FCStone's Ryan Turner when evaluating 2015 data. As the U.S. beef herd hit a 30-year low, 57 feedyards, three major packers and countless small processors have closed their doors in the past five years.

AT 3.15 PERCENT, MILK PROTEIN LEVELS have climbed steadily from 2000's 3.03 percent to post a modern-day high in the Central federal order. Butterfat fell from 3.75 to 3.73 percent over the past year.

BRIEFLY: A battle over nitrate levels in drinking water caused the Des Moines' municipal water district to file a lawsuit against three ag-based Iowa counties. See page 454. The dairy portion of April's consumer price index fell for the first time since January 2014.
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