DairyBusiness Update for 7.31.13

Federal order July Class III lower

July 2013 federal order Class II & IV milk prices are up slightly from June, but the Class III price declined. All are well above a year ago. July 2013 prices, compared to previous months and year, include:

• Class II: $19.22/cwt., up 8¢ from June 2013, and $4.71 more than July 2012. The 2013 Y-T-D  average is $18.72/cwt., up $2.28 from January-July 2012.

• Class III: $17.38/cwt., down 64¢ from June, but 70¢ more than July 2012. The 2013 Y-T-D Class III average is $17.69/cwt., up $1.68 from January-July 2012. 

• Class IV: $18.90/cwt., up 2¢ from June, and $4.45 more than July 2012. The 2013 Y-T-D average is $18.27/cwt., up $3.43 from the same period in 2012.

July California 4a/4b prices are announced tomorrow (Aug. 1).

Source: USDA , July 31


July milk-feed price ratio steady

Lower monthly average milk prices, with small declines in average alfalfa hay and corn prices offsetting a higher average soybean price, combined to keep the preliminary July 2013 milk-feed price ratio unchanged from a month earlier. At 1.52, the index is up from 1.34 in July 2012.  

The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a ration of 51% corn, 8% soybeans and 41% alfalfa hay. June 2013’s index marks the 28th consecutive month the milk-feed price ratio is below 2.0.

The U.S. average all-milk price was $19.10/cwt., compared to $19.50/cwt. in June 2013 and $16.90/cwt. in July 2012. Corn, at $6.83/bu., was down 14¢ from June, and 31¢ less  than July 2012. July 2013 soybeans averaged $15.40/bu., up 30¢ from June and unchanged from July 2012. Alfalfa hay averaged $209/ton in July, down $11 from June, but $11 more than July 2012.

Source: USDA/NASS Ag Prices report, July 31


Cull cow prices higher 

Estimated U.S. July 2013 cull cow prices (beef and dairy combined) averaged $81.80/cwt., up $1.50 from June’s revised estimate, and 90¢/cwt. more than July 2012.

Current trend: The July increased ended a string of three consecutive monthly declines.

The year-to-date average is $80.91/cwt., compared to $82.99/cwt. for the same period a year ago.

Source: USDA/NASS Ag Prices report, July 31


Grant funds free nationwide access to ‘Dairyland Initiative’ 

The Dairyland Initiative, a UW School of Veterinary Medicine outreach program that works with farmers to optimize cow comfort, health and milk production, has received a $50,000 grant from the Dean Foods Foundation to make its web-based resources available at no cost to dairy farmers across the country.

The Dairyland Initiative delivers building plan assessments and other valuable information based on the latest dairy animal research and years of collective field experience in dairy housing. For example, its experts work closely with farmers to plan new construction and remodels of dairy barns, changes likely to help reduce injury, disease and lameness and increase milk production.

Dairy farmers can take advantage of The Dairyland Initiative’s services through consultations, workshops and web-based tools. Previously, Wisconsin farmers could access the website for free while those outside of the state paid a nominal fee. The grant will help make the website available at no cost to farmers and university extension programs nationwide for two years. Read more ...


Renewable Energy on Farms’ study released

USDA has published a study examining states’ adoption rates of distributed generation for solar and wind energy on U.S. farms. The results show that states with higher energy prices, more organic acres per farm, and more Internet connectivity adopt renewable electricity at higher rates.  For solar systems, full-farm ownership and solar resources were also significant factors.  Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) targets were found to increase state level renewable electricity adoption at the distributed-generation scale while electric cooperative prevalence in the state was found to have a negative relationship to renewable electricity adoption share.

The results of this study highlight the importance of coordinating approaches to policy formulation, and can assist states in refining their policies for promoting renewable electricity, particularly during an era of declining government budgets.

To read the study, and click on Factors Affecting the Adoption of Wind and Solar-Power Generating Systems on U.S. Farms: Experiences at the State Level


MARKETS: Products quiet again; Class III futures mixed in a narrow range

One could almost hear the snoring this morning in Chicago, according to DairyBusiness Update associate editor Lee Mielke. The block cheese price remained at $1.77lb., and the barrels held at $1.76/lb., leaving just a 1¢ spread; 1 unfilled bid of barrels at $1.7475 was the only activity.

Butter didn’t move either, holding at $1.43/lb., on 1 sale and a bid; 1 offer at $1.4350/lb. went uncovered.

Powder was really quiet: Grade A remained at $1.7825/lb.; and Extra Grade at $1.73/lb., with no activity whatsoever.

Today’s market closing prices:

Class III milk: -17¢ to +12¢ through December 2014. Based on current CME closing prices, the August-December 2013 average is $17.99/cwt.; 2013 average is $17.86/cwt.; and 2014 average is $16.87/cwt.

Butter: unchanged, at $1.43/lb.

Cheddar blocks: unchanged, at $1.77/lb.

Cheddar barrels: unchanged, at $1.76/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.7825/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.73/lb.


Corn, soybeans and meal futures mostly slightly higher 

A summary of today’s futures prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange:

Corn: +1¢ to +3¢ through July 2014, settling in a range of $4.79-$5.05/bushel.

Soybeans: +1¢ to +6¢, September 2013 through November 2014. Nov. 2013-Nov. 2014 contracts settled in a range of $11.87-$12.17/bushel.

Soybean meal: -$1.20 to +$5.90/ton through December 2014. October 2013-December 2014 contracts settled in a range of $356-$369/ton.

Thursday on DairyLine:

• NMPF’s Chris Galen reports that failure is not an option when it comes to passing a new farm bill.

• Ray Nebel from Select Sires has tips on alleviating heat stress.


Today on Facebook


• Two new Holstein haplotypes impacting fertility will be labelled starting with the August 2013 national genetic evaluation

• To celebrate and honor the late Andrea Crowe of Hi-Calibre Holsteins, Burntcoat, N.S., a committee of her friends are creating the Andrea Crowe Achievement Award. 


• Can you make hay? The deadline is nearing to enter the World Forage Analysis Superbowl.

• Thanks to a grant from the Dean Foods Foundation, dairy farmers can now access the resources from The Dairyland Initiative website at no charge.  


Today in DairyBusiness Weekly: (our weekly digital-only magazine)

  • Chaney’s Dairy Barn serves ice cream, fun and education
  • 2013 Empire Farm Days: Dairy resurgence 
  • Living and learning with the herd
  • DairyBusiness Communications adds staff
  • Vermont Farmstead Cheese: Branding quality cheese and quality cows
  • Premier National Junior events unveil third calf, fourth youth-owned champion
  • Views from the International Intrigue at Ferme Blondin
  • Check out our industry briefs, view our product spotlight, see what's happening on social media, listen to our podcasts and more!


 Looking ahead 

The June Dairy Products report is released Aug. 1, as are California’s July 4a and 4b milk prices.


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