CHEESE BLOCKS AT $1.60, barrels, $1.58 at close. Class III Futures for April through December average $17.15, September is high $17.91. CLASS IV MAY OUTPACE CLASS III IN 2011, projects ERS. Class IV $17.05 to $17.65, Class III $16.10 to $16.60, all-milk $18.15 to $18.65. DAIRY EXPORT VALUE for January and February was $675 million, up 52 percent from the same period last year. Value of cheese exports during that period was $148 million, up 79 percent from 2010. CHEESE EXPORTS AT 85 MILLION POUNDS. So far, the Cooperatives Working Together program has helped export 29 percent of total. FIRST TIME IN EIGHT YEARS stored cheese dropped in March. Normally a time when cheese production is growing. Just over 1 billion pounds in storage. Down slightly from February, up 3 percent from last March. BUTTER SUPPLIES RUNNING LOW at 144 million pounds. Inventories down 26 percent from last March, up 4 percent from February. FLUID MILK SALES STRUGGLING. Down 1.9 percent in February compared to year earlier. November to February sales down 1.1 percent compared to 2009-2010; down 2.2 percent from two years ago. MILK OUTPUT in March was up 2.2 percent over last year. Production higher for 13 straight months. Cow count was 9.175 million, up 76,000 or 0.8 percent from a year ago. Milk per cow: up 1.4 percent. CALIFORNIA was up 3.1 percent, mostly due to more milk per cow. Wisconsin, New York, and Idaho were up 1.3, 3.1, and 3.7 percent. Production drops in Pennsylvania (-0.7 percent), Minnesota (-1.5). SENATE BILL WOULD EXPAND H-2A visa program to include dairy workers, not just seasonal employees as under current legislation. FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS include $350 million in dairy. Cuts immaterial, $290 million in DELAP payments, $60 million for cheese distribution. BRIEFLY: Hidden video captures abusive euthanasia at Texas calf ranch. Gives industry another black eye. Upstate Niagara joins growing list of cooperatives no longer accepting milk from cows treated with BST. Release some CRP acres urges letter sent to President Obama by 26 U.S. House Representatives. Wisconsin extends tax credits for modernizing dairy and livestock farms through 2017, will cost state an estimated $13.6 million. IDFA and California Milk Producers Association separately urge Congress to provide more funds for USDA's LGM-Dairy gross margin insurance program, funds now depleted.
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