As printed in our March 10, 2017 issue . . .

A PROPOSED FEDERAL ORDER IN CALIFORNIA came one step closer to reality when USDA released its “Recommended Decision” on February 14. The order would require the pooling of all Class I milk, but optional pooling for Class II, III, and IV just like all other orders. At the same time, California’s Class I quota program would stay in place.

COMMENTS REMAIN OPEN on the California’s federal milk marketing order plan until May 15. The USDA Secretary and his staff will review comments and issue a “Final Decision.” A producer vote would follow, and two-thirds must vote in favor of the proposal to enact the order. For more insight, turn to pages 153 and 160 in this issue.

CLASS III FUTURES SLIPPED in late February falling to a $17.10 average for March to December contracts ranging from $16.60 for March to $17.50 in October. Earlier in the month, prices had averaged $17.50.

DAIRY CASH RECEIPTS REMAINED VOLATILE over the past several years. In the economic disaster of 2009, revenue from milk totaled $24.3 billion and climbed to $49.3 billion by 2014. More recently, the nation’s collective milk check totaled $35.7 billion in 2015 and $34.2 billion last year.

MPP-DAIRY BUY-UP COVERAGE FELL OFF this year as only 1,623 dairy farms selected coverage above the $4 introductory level. Last year, 5,799 farmers bought up coverage in USDA’s signature dairy program. Overall, 19,115 farms are covered by MPP-Dairy at the $4 minimum.

COW PRODUCTIVITY COULD CLIMB 21 PERCENT over the next decade as milk per cow moves from 22,775 to 27,405 pounds, reported USDA in its Agricultural Projections to 2026. During that time, national milk production would grow from 212.4 billion pounds to 259.7 by 2026.

THE NATION’S DAIRY HERD could expand by 85,000 cows to 9.415 million cows by 2026 with dairy exports climbing from 15 to 21 percent on a skim solids milk equivalent basis. During that time, the All-Milk price could climb steadily to an $18.30 to $19.65 range from 2020 to 2026.

CALIFORNIA ACCOUNTED FOR 33 PERCENT of all U.S. dairy exports, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The Golden State’s best customer was Mexico, which purchased 28 percent of that total. China and Canada tied for second with 9 percent each.

HOVERING AT 200,000, somatic cell counts remained in a holding pattern five straight years based on an analysis of national DHI records. Previously, SCC had dropped from 296 to 217 from 2005 to 2011.

THERE WAS A FURTHER DROP in pick-up tanker milk samples testing positive for antibiotics . . . 350 out of 3.08 million or 0.011 percent. That was down from last year’s 0.012 percent, and that number had represented an all-time low for the collective U.S. dairy industry.

In your next issue!

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