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 Performance 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.

  • Pennsylvania’s dairy cow numbers have remained constant for almost two years while the national herd grew 1%.
  • Production per cow in March was 66.7 lbs / cow, 1.1 lbs more than  March 2015 and +1.8 lbs more than March 2014 .
  • The $16.60 average Pa wholesale milk price is the lowest since April 2010.
  • Pa estimated feed costs are $1.00 per hundredweight less than March 2014 & 2015.
  • More than 28% of Pa DHIA dairy herds averaged over 80 pounds of milk / cow / day in March.
  • The average somatic cell count was under 200,000 in February and March!
  • Days in milk and pregnancy rates are increasing while calving age is decreasing.
  • Cull rates remain strong, but have not climbed to 2012 levels yet.

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

  • The final January/February MPP margin is $8.01.  March is $7.47
  • There were 9.325 million dairy cows in the United States in March, This is the largest U.S. dairy herd since December of 2008 in spite of the catastrophic losses in Texas and New Mexico last December.
  • U.S. milk production per cow averaged 73.2 lbs. / cow in March, up from 72 lbs. / cow a year ago.
  • Slaughter numbers are similat to last March
  • March butter stocks are the highest since 2013 but cheese stocks are at their highest level since 1985!
  • Domestic cheese prices are trading at $.20 per pound or more over the world price today. CME butter is trading $.70 / lb. or 150% of world prices.
  • CME powder prices are essentially trading at the world price, but this is 45% below their three year average!
  • The value of dairy imports in March is 11% more than the three year average but these relatively strong domestic prices lowered the value of dairy exports by 27% compared to the average of the past three years.

To read the “Forensics of a Crash” presented by Tim Hunt at the annual meeting of US Dairy Export Council, click here. 

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.