AMERICANS HAVE BEEN EATING MORE DAIRY than anytime since the 1960s. At 627 pounds of dairy products per capita (on a milk equivalent basis), dairy food intake grew 13 pounds this past year.

MILK PRODUCTION HAS SLOWED in six of the seven largest dairy export countries, said Rabobank's Tom Bailey. The U.S. remained the lone exception as milk output continues to grow in the third largest export market.

AS MARKETS REBALANCED, prices started to rebound as New Zealand's Global Dairy Trade climbed to its highest point in 19 months. That prompted Fonterra to raise its projected payout from $11.34 to $12.67 per cwt.

JULY'S ALL-MILK PRICE CLIMBED to $16.10 per cwt., which was the highest price in seven months. USDA's milk-feed ratio improved to 2.14 based on $140-per-ton alfalfa, $3.60-per-bushel corn, and $10.20-per-bushel soybeans. The MPP-Dairy income-over-feed-costs margin was $7.60.

MICHIGAN CONTINUED TO EXPAND milk flow and has climbed into fifth among all states by passing Pennsylvania. The last time a shift took place in the top five occurred in 2002 when Idaho nudged out Minnesota.

JULY CHEESE OUTPUT ROSE 1.4 PERCENT on the strength of Mozzarella, which climbed 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, Cheddar fell 1.7 percent. Yogurt was off 6.9 percent from last July while butter rose 6 percent.

CHEESE EXPORTS WERE DOWN for the 22nd straight month when compared to the same time a year earlier as U.S. cheese sells at a premium on the world market. On the flip side, nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder climbed 31 percent year-over-year. In July, U.S. dairy sales to other countries represented 14.4 percent of all milk production.

SOMATIC CELL COUNTS AVERAGED 194,000 cells per milliliter last year in four major federal orders - Upper Midwest, Central, Mideast, and Southwest. That was down from 2010's 206,000 SCC.

A SETTLEMENT was reached in Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) litigation dating back to 2011. The National Milk Producers Federation and named cooperatives will pay $52 million to the plaintiffs in a combination of cash and in-store loyalty cards for the purchase of fresh milk products.

THE HERD RETIREMENT PROGRAM - the activity at issue in the settled litigation - has long been terminated by CWT. Also, the court found no antitrust violation, and NMPF and involved co-ops admitted no wrongdoing in the lawsuit's final settlement agreement.

AG OVERTIME RULES COULD CHANGE if California's Governor signs a bill lengthening the workday from 8 to 10 hours per day or from 40 to 60 hours per week. The Golden State is one of the few states to even have any overtime requirement for agriculture and farm employees.
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