Dairy Information: Protecting Your Profits

The Center for Dairy Excellence offers several information resources to help producers identify opportunities to protect their profits. These documents are reviewed on a monthly “Protecting Your Profits” conference call. Click here  to access the latest “Protecting Your Profits” Webinar.

Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Scorecard: The Center for Dairy Excellence publishes a monthly “PA Dairy Industry Performance Scorecard,” which looks at key factors supporting the growth of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and evaluates trends affecting Pennsylvania’s dairy farms.

  • Dairy cow numbers in Pa and the US have held stable at 525,000 cows and 9.4 million cows nationally for the past twelve months.
  • The Commonwealth’s rolling monthly milk production fell to 10.965 billion pounds of milk in April as total production in the Commonwealth dropped 1.7% year over year since last April. National production grew +.6%
  • Pennsylvania’s milking herd averaged 68 pounds per cow per day,-1.2 pounds less than last April. National production grew to 75.1 pounds per day, +.3 pounds per cow more than last April.
  • PA’s DHI herd average fell to 22,382 pounds of milk and 1552 pounds of total fat and protein in April. This is a -.1% drop in milk production, but a +.4% increase in solids compared to April 2017.
  • The March Pennsylvania All Milk Price is $2.80 below last year. Feed costs are very similar, netting margins that are around $1.80 per hundredweight under last year stressing the checkbooks on many dairy farms.
  • The average somatic cell count in PA fell below 200,000 to April 2016 levels.
  • Average days in milk was 177, four days less than last year.
  • Pregnancy rates are similar to last year, but higher than 2015 & 2016.
  • 50% of Pennsylvania’s DHI herds have a calving age between 21 & 24 months in April compared to 38% in April 2015
  • Cull rates are 2.2% above last April and 4% more than April 2015 & 2016.

US Dairy Industry ScorecardTo provide an overview the national dairy industry, with consumption, marketing and production trends, the center publishes the monthly “US Dairy Industry Performance” scorecard.

  • The April MPP Margin is $6.61635
  • The Pennsylvania MPP margin, calculated with NASS values for milk, corn, alfalfa hay, and a soybean meal value of + $40.00 over the MPP value was $6.53 for the same time period.
  • April dairy cow slaughter numbers reached their highest level since 2013. The U.S. sent 8 percent more dairy cows to slaughter last month than a year ago.
  • Butter stocks are similar to last year, but still highest April value since 1993.
  • Domestic cheese stocks are still building. 3.6 percent more than last April and the rolling one year average is 6 percent larger than the three-year average.The rolling annual average of cheese production is 3 percent above the 3 year average.
  • Nonfat Dry milk inventories are falling, but are still 3 percent more than they were a year ago.
  • CME butter prices are 12 % less than last April, still trading significantly lower than other world markets.
  • Federal order Cheddar Cheese prices climbed 6% since last May.
  •  U.S. dairy export volumes set a record of 18.8 % of domestic production in April.

Alan Zepp, the center’s risk management program manager, reviews both of these scorecards monthly during his “Protecting Your Profits” calls. The calls are held the last Wednesday of every month. Click here to access a recording of the latest call.