As printed in our April 25, 2013 issue...

REVERSING COURSE, NASS WILL PUBLISH partial Milk Production estimates for the remainder of its fiscal year by gleaning data from various administrative reports. In using that data, it cannot estimate cow numbers and milk per cow statistics. For more, see the April 10 issue, page 244.

IN RESPONSE TO THE OCEANIA DROUGHT, the U.S. spot markets rose by over a dime per pound from April 1 to midmonth. Cheddar cheese blocks climbed 14-1/2 cents to $1.83-3/4; barrels, 14-3/4 cents to $1.75-1/2; butter, 11 cents to $1.74; and nonfat dry milk, 19 cents to $1.78.

LIKEWISE, USDA INCHED UP its All Milk price estimate for the remainder of the year. The latest projection of a $19.70 midpoint is up 45 cents from January. Since the beginning of April, Class III CME futures also climbed over 30 cents to a $19.04 average through the end of the year.

NEW ZEALAND'S MARCH MILK FLOW SLUMPED 16 percent compared to last March due to the lack of rain. Poor pasture conditions, higher culling and earlier than desired dry-offs all slowed milk output.

MILC PAYMENTS WERE NOT MAILED on time in February or March as sequestration held them up for 30 days due to government rules. No MILC payments are projected for midsummer and beyond.

U.S. DAIRY EXPORT VOLUME grew for the second straight month in February, up 8 percent from January (measured on a daily average). Total dollars moved upward for the fourth consecutive month, up 9 percent.

AT 1.47, THE MARCH MILK-FEED RATIO edged closer to last year's historic low. Values used: $19.10 milk, $7.18 corn, $14.50 soybeans and $219 alfalfa. Total bill was $13 for a $6.10 income over feed cost.

PURCHASED FEED COSTS JUMPED 16 PERCENT or 99 cents per cwt. in New York last year, estimated Jason Karszes. Net milk price fell $1.99 per cwt., and this resulted in a 46 percent drop in net farm income per cow.

IMMIGRATION REFORM HAS PICKED UP STEAM in the House and Senate. Most pundits say August passage needed or the window may close.

GENOMIC BULLS GAINED A STRONGER FOOTHOLD. There were 2,766 active bulls in April's genetic evaluations; 1,571 or 57 percent were genomic young bulls compare to last April's 45 percent market share.

BRIEFLY: Dairy's credit rating within the Farm Credit system has improved from 2009's 4.8 percent nonaccrual status to 2.4 percent last year, stated Leland Strong, a Farm Credit board member. Dairy loans accounted for 7.7 percent of the organization's loan portfolio. A bill introduced by Representative David Valadao (R-Calif.) would allow California producers to vote on a federal order . . . if the bill is first approved by Congress. California Dairies, already owner of North American's largest single-site powered milk plant, filed a permit to add two additional dryers.

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