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 fell to 529,000 cows while the national herd grew to 9.36 million cows, the largest herd since the 1990’s.
  • The Commonwealth’s rolling monthly milk production peaked at 10.848 billion lbs. of milk in July as Pa’s total milk production in August fell below August 2015.
  • Production per cow was .1 pound lower than last August, pushing the state’s DHI rolling herd average to 22,235 pounds per cow.
  • August margins are the highest since December 2014 because feed costs are the lowest since August 2010!
  •  30.2% of Pa herds still have a combined butterfat and protein yield over 1650 lbs
  • 4.3% fewer farms utilized DHIA testing in August than a year ago. This probably reflects the financial stress dairy farm businesses.
  • Somatic cell counts and average days in milk are both lower than last August.
  •  Pregnancy rates 1% over the past two Augusts will help Pa dairies this winter.
  • Almost half of Pa herds calve their heifers between 21 & 24 months of age.
  • Cull rates are lower than the past two years as cull cow prices fell.

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

  • The final July/August  MPP margin is $8.42515
  • There were 9.360 million dairy cows in the United States in August as the national herd continues to grow. This is the largest dairy herd since the last cycle peak of 9.334 million cows in December 2008.
  • U.S. milk production per cow averaged 70.3 lbs. in August, 1 lb. above last year.
  • August slaughter numbers are above August 2014 & 2015, but under 2013.
  • August butter stocks are 59% above the three year average and 151% of 2015.
  • Domestic cheese stocks are at an all-time high, but only 12% more than the three year average even though they have grown by 6% in the past year.
  • International cheddar cheese and butter prices have risen or surpassed domestic CME prices. This should improve export opportunities from the United States
  • Milk powder prices in the U.S. are below other world market prices, making these products competitive internationally even with the strong dollar.
  • U.S. dairy export volumes in August were the highest since May 2015.  The value of these sales was 3% more than August 2015, but the volume was 23% greater than last year.

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.