In your February 25, 2019 issue

BUTTERFAT CONTENT CLIMBED TO 3.84 PERCENT in 2017. After hovering between 3.64 and 3.69 percent for 30 years, milkfat pushed past the 3.70 percent range in 2011. During the next five years, fat content in the nation’s milk supply rose from 3.71 to 3.79 percent.

FAT WAS WORTH DOUBLE THAT OF PROTEIN when evaluating January’s federal milk marketing order prices. Butterfat was $2.50 per pound; protein was $1.19. Other solids netted 29 cents per pound.

A 4.2 PERCENT FAT AND 3.2 PERCENT PROTEIN would be an ideal mix for the national milk supply, suggested Jack Britt. That’s because there is an imbalance between fat and protein usage, as the domestic utilization of milkfat is 98 percent but only 83 percent on a skim milk basis.

AVERAGE MILK CHECKS COULD CLIMB $1.10 per cwt. with those percentages, estimated Britt, due to higher payouts for butterfat.

AT THE MOMENT, MILK PRICES REMAIN SLUGGISH with March and April Class III futures trading in the low- to mid-$14 range. May and June futures traded higher, improving to $15 and $15.40, respectively. Meanwhile, July to December Class III contracts averaged $16.20.

FIVE POSITIVE TRADING SESSIONS dating back to December 4 have buoyed markets at New Zealand’s Global Dairy Trade. At the February 6 biweekly session, seven of the eight dairy products rose to higher levels. Market gains ranged from 1.7 to 6.7 percent dating back to December.

NEW ZEALAND’S FONTERRA COOPERATIVE and its Global Dairy Trade (GDT) platform will pursue a joint venture with the European Energy Exchange. Prior to announcing its plan, the tandem met with more than 50 dairy participants from across Europe and Asia. The first auction of the new joint venture could take place in 2020.

U.S. DAIRY COULD LOSE SALES in Japan, its fourth-largest dairy export market, without a completed trade agreement. Those lost sales could be cut in half ($5.4 billion) over two decades. Conversely, with a ratified U.S.-Japan trade agreement, sales could double during that time.

WHOLE MILK FOR HEALTHY KIDS ACT was introduced by Representative Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Peterson also serves as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

ADDING WHOLE MILK BACK TO SCHOOL MENUS would reflect research showing that full-fat products benefit children and give administrators one more tool with which to develop healthy eating habits.

DAIRY FARM EQUITY CLIMBED 3.45 percent to reach $2.5 million in 2017. However, farm liabilities grew at a faster percentage rate, moving from $549,600 to $674,100 or 22.6 percent, according to USDA.

In your next issue . . .

For effective communication, we need to follow three rules: keep a sense of humor, use fewer words, and slow down.

The Dairy Revenue Protection Program can help dairy farmers weather the difficult price storms.

The transition period can be tough, and Jerseys, in particular, may need a little extra attention and care.