How long are you expecting to limit production because of co-op, processor, or personally instituted milk production restrictions?

That was the question posed to our DairyLivestream audience on May 6, 2020. With nearly 250 responses, 45% of the audience agreed that production limitations would last between three and six months.

Given that many of these measures were instituted in April, we would be looking at a return to more normal production levels between July and October. DairyLivestream presenters on May 6 included University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mark Stephenson, Cornell’s Chris Wolf, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association CEO Jay Bryant, and United Dairymen of Arizona CEO Keith Murfield. That team guessed that we have reached the bottom of the COVID-19 impact.

“May is the bottom. May is the place we are expecting prices to be the lowest and coming up over that time period, but never returning to our optimism that we had at the beginning of the year,” said Stephenson.

United Dairymen of Arizona CEO Keith Murfield shared that they have seen a pickup in processing over the last couple weeks as food service is starting to reopen, the supply chain is adjusting, and USDA is purchasing some products for food pantries.

Returning to the poll, only 11% of respondents were more positive than the three to six month outlook thinking that production curtailments would only last one to two months. The rest of the audience had a more dismal outlook, expecting production restrictions through six to 12 months (29%) or greater than one year (15%).

During last week’s webcast, extension experts shared best practices for stepping back production if necessary. If your farm is still struggling to enact cutbacks, we encourage you to watch that episode.

The May 6 webcast, “Co-ops, Customers, and COVID-19” addressed the lessons learned by co-ops and industry and took a peek at the future.

An ongoing series
“Where are dairy exports headed?” will be the focus of the May 13 DairyLivestream. Former Secretary of Agriculture and current CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Tom Vilsack, will be the featured guest.

As always, the panel of experts will discuss over 30 minutes of audience questions. You can also submit questions ahead of time by emailing If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here. Registering for previous broadcasts registers you for every week.

Archived presentations of the previous DairyLivestream broadcasts are also available.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2020
May 11, 2020
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