FARME Institute June 2019 Management Report

For June, our example herd was UP

Protein retreated $0.12/lb, and fat advanced $0.09/lb. The price of Other Solids decreased 7%. On a hundred-weight basis, Statistical Uniform Price (3.5% fat) increased $0.48/cwt and Class III price decreased $0.11/cwt which resulted in PPD increasing $0.59/cwt. This was consistent with our prediction of $0.58/cwt. Regionally, fat and protein continued their seasonal downward trend. Normally, USDA reports the price of cheese for the month, which was $1.69/lb this month. However, this month they reported the price of barrels and blocks due to a $0.14/lb difference between the price of blocks ($1.75/lb) and barrels ($1.61/lb). This unusual difference for barrels and blocks kept the price of milk protein a little lower than some expected; our prediction for June milk protein was $1.95/lb.

Is that Normal? – It is amazing how atypical events can come to be considered normal. In the current economic environment, this is an important question to ask on dairy farms. During a recent overseas trip, we visited a large farm that drenches all fresh cows with propylene glycol for the first 5 days as a “normal routine”. When quizzed about it, the farmer replied, “if we don’t drench them, they get ketosis. All fresh cows get ketosis”. This is normal for them. On some other farms in Mexico, I suggested adding 150 g urea to the diet to improve rumen function. I was met with a look of panic – “But, urea kills cows. We never feed urea”. Again, this was normal for them. These examples are extreme, but we all fall into traps of behaviors we consider “Normal” which are anything but when viewed by outsiders.

MUNs – We have found herds recently where MUN values are rising while protein percentage is dropping. Traditionally, this is a case of lower ruminal production of microbial protein. There might be a heat stress component that is resulting in poorer rumen function. It is true that single digit MUN values are possible on some herds. However, a safer level is between 10 and 12 ml/dl to ensure adequate rumen nitrogen.

What Drives Your Milk Price? – Larry will make a presentation as part of the Dairy Profit Seminars at the Empire Farm Days on factors that drive your milk price. It will highlight that Class III milk price is not on the milk check and the impact of the weekly National Dairy Products Sales Report. If you are at the show on Wednesday, stop in and hear the presentation (1:15 pm) or just say “Hi”.


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