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 not changed for twenty months but the national herd grew almost to last May’s peak in the December report.
  • For the second consecutive month these 530,000 cows equaled production from the corresponding month in the previous year.63.2 lbs./cow/day in December.
  • The average wholesale milk price of $18.16 is 10% below last month and 20% below last Decemeber.
  • Feed costs are 6% less than last December but margins fell by 20%.
  • Pennsylvania dairy cows continue to grow their milk and component production.
  • December pregnancy rates are .6% lower than the past two Decembers.
  • Both somatic cell count and calving age continue to decline
  • Cull rates were below the past two Decembers.

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 November/December MPP margin is $9.55705.
  • US dairy cow numbers have only fallen 1,000 cows from the May peak of 9,323,000. The previous price cycle bottomed at 9,186,000 cows in October 2012, 135,00 below last May’s peak.
  • Slaughter numbers in December were slightly less than the previous 3 Decembers.
  • Milk production per cow increased .3 lb year over year but is 1.7 lbs/cow more than December 2012 and 2013.
  • Butter stocks are high, but comparable to December 2012,2007 &2002, while there has not been this much cheese in December inventories since 1983!
  • In spite of the recent bump in milk check prices, Class III and IV futures prices are under $14.00 for the first quater of 2016, portending $15.00 milk next spring.
  • The value of U.S. dairy exports is 30% under the three year average, at December 2012 values.

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.