As printed in our August 25, 2011 issue...

USDA CORN GRAIN CROP estimates reduced by 500,000 acres to 84.4 million. Projected 12.9-billion-bushel output would be third highest. Soybean forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year.

CASH CHEESE was at $2.05-1/2 per pound for blocks. June production, up 1.3 percent from last year's strong output, sets a new June record at 29.8 million pounds per day. Overall cheese production up 3 percent this year.

BUTTER PRODUCTION CLIMBS 13.5 percent during first half of year. Prices remain firm trading at $2.04-1/4 per pound on the CME.

JULY CLASS III PRICE leaps $2.28 to $21.39, rising $4.87 in the last two months. Breaks July 2007's previous all-time high by one penny.

USDA BUMPED 2011 Class III projection midpoint to $18.50, up 35 cents from last month's estimate. 2011 All-Milk estimate at $20.40.

PRODUCT USE rose 2.5 percent through May. Butter up 12.4; Italian cheese up 6.9; American up 3.5. Nonfat (-7.2) and fluid (-1.5) down.

DEMAND FOR WMP (whole milk powder) believed to be a key factor in rising dairy prices earlier this year. China largest importer, up 80 percent in 2010 and projected to be up 34 percent this year.

NUMBERS OF USDA 500-plus-pound heifers up 4 percent from last year. Despite growing supply, prices climbed to $1,480, up $140 since January.

USDA'S NEW STANCE ON ID includes proposed rule requiring animals to have official identification and interstate certificate of veterinary inspection. Public comments accepted through November 9.

HAY SHIPMENTS CHEAPER from southern California to China than from southern to central California, reports Bloomberg. Shipping costs down on return trip to Asia. May result in record hay exports, again.

LAND PRICES JUMPED 9.4 percent moving to $3,030 per acre last year with Northern Plains, +17.2 percent, and Corn Belt, +16, leading pace.

PLAN REQUIRING A CDL to drive farm equipment on roads nixed after ag groups voiced concerns to U.S. Department of Transportation.

BRIEFLY: Kraft plans to split into two companies by separating its snack and grocery businesses. Currently, it ranks third for U.S. dairy sales behind Dean and Saputo. Upstate Niagara Cooperative could resume yogurt production next month after buying shuttered Breyers plant from Healthy Food Holdings in May. Boost soybean yields 15.9 bushels per acre to achieve 59.5 bushels goal by 2030, says United Soybean Board. Group commits $3.5 million to fund yield-based research to reach goal. Dean Foods' settlement awarding $30 million payout to Northeast dairy farmers receives final approval from federal judge.

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