A NEW MILK PRICE CYCLE COULD BEGIN early next year, predicted the IFCN Dairy Research Network and its dairy economists located in 95 countries. This new cycle would start with a downward price trend, unless a strong jump in dairy product demand takes place.

FIVE CYCLES HAVE OCCURRED SINCE 2006. Overall, it takes three to 12 months from a price signal on the world market to change milk supply growth. “All cycles are following patterns, so does the milk price and with it the delay in supply response,” said IFCN’s Torsten Hemme. “So, be ready for the next cycle with its ups and down,” he suggested.

USDA LOWERED ITS 2018 ALL-MILK PRICE projection by 15 cents to a $17.90 midpoint with a range of $17.45 to $18.35. This year could net $17.80. January-to-June Class III future contracts traded near $15.60.

BALLOTS HAVE BEEN MAILED to all California dairy producers for a vote on a stand-alone quota system. A “yes” vote would enable the state to run the quota plan should Golden State producers decide to join the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. All ballots are due by December 4.

CALIFORNIA’S QUOTA HAS A $1.2 BILLION value. Just 252 of the state’s 1,293 farms own quota on more than 50 percent of their milk, estimated Western United Dairyman. Nearly 800 farms own some quota that pays an additional $1.70 per cwt. for milk produced under quota.

FDA RULED THAT ROBOTS, referred to as automatic milking installations by the agency, will receive only one debit, not to exceed four points. This paves the way for new technology to pass Grade A inspection. A full review on the matter will take place at the next PMO conference in 2019.

USDA RELEASED THREE YEARS OF ANALYSIS in one day on the dairy checkoff. While the reports were delayed, the independent analysis verified the dairy checkoff’s value. For every $1 invested in dairy promotion and research, it returned: $2.99 to $3.98 on fluid milk; $6.21 to $7.72 on cheese; and $29.49 to $32.06 on butter.

CHEESE CONSUMPTION NOTCHED a new record once again as Americans ate 36.62 pounds per person in 2016. That was up 1.25 pounds from the previous year’s record. The “Italian cheese” category, led by Mozzarella, ranked the highest at 15.19 pounds. American cheese, paced by Cheddar, was at 14.31 pounds per person.

BRIEFLY: In August, dairy exports posted the second-highest volume in the last 10 months and climbed 17 percent. Hurricane Irma inflicted $12 million of damage to Florida dairy farms. Total includes lost milk sales, building repairs, and crop damage. Organic dairy sales accounted for 18.3 percent of all organic farm commodities in 2016, reported USDA. While the top 23 dairy states expanded milk flow 1.6 percent from January to August, three Western states fell: California, down 1.6 percent; Oregon, off 3.5 percent; and Washington fell 2.1 percent.

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