USDA PEGGED AN $18 ALL-MILK PRICE for 2019 in its latest forecast published in World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. The projection for the 2020 calendar year stood at $18.90 per cwt.
THE BUTTER BOOM CONTINUED as the U.S. has the world’s most expensive butter, selling for nearly $2.40 per pound. As a result, the U.S. imported 8 million pounds of butter in April, up 50 percent from just one year earlier. Meanwhile, U.S. butter exports fell 71 percent.
DESPITE A HISTORIC RUN, consumers are still clamoring for more milkfat. The trajectory has been so swift that milkfat posted the largest back-to-back yearly percentage gains in documented U.S. history.
BY 2018, THE 3.89 PERCENT MILKFAT MARK reached the cusp of levels not seen since the post-World War II Harry Truman administration. For more details, read “Milkfat has just begun a historic run” on page 386.
MONTHLY MILK PRODUCTION FELL for just the second time in six years. The 0.4 percent reduction was one of the many reasons that U.S. milk prices have begun to rebound. Of the top 24 dairy states, exactly half reduced milk flow, two held steady, and 10 grew production.
OF THE BIG FIVE, California grew May milk 1.3 percent compared to the same time last year; Wisconsin fell 0.4 percent; Idaho expanded 1.4 percent; New York was up 1 percent; and Texas climbed 5.4 percent.
SIGN UP STARTED JUNE 17 for USDA’s signature dairy safety net program — the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC). Dairy farmers have until September 20, 2019, to sign up for current year coverage at FSA offices.
TO MORE CLOSELY ALIGN TO FEED PRICES, USDA updated the DMC’s feed-cost-margin adjuster by adding a 50 percent blend of Premium and Supreme alfalfa mix to the hay portion of the feed formula. As a result, feed costs climbed 14 to 31 cents per cwt. over previous calculations. This action will result in higher DMC payments.
TRADING PARTNERS HAVE SUGGESTED that retaliatory trade-relief program payments to U.S. farmers, announced by President Trump and USDA, violate WTO rules involving trade-distorting agricultural payments. The $28 billion package would be over America’s $19.1 billion limit.
AIR EMISSIONS FROM ANIMAL WASTE on farms are not subject to reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), according to the EPA. Court challenges are expected.
In your next issue . . .
We can do more harm than good when reattaching milking units that don’t need to be.
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE BREEDS.
Our yearly report of breed association activities and finances, along with annual meeting reports.
A WEIGHT TAPE WORTH $1,000.
If you think estimating heifer weights visually is good enough, think again.