Milk production during June in the top 23 states increased by two percent compared to June of 2013, according to the monthly report issued late last week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
States throughout the country contributed to what was the highest percentage of increase in the monthly comparisons for the first half of 2014. Another factor was the record high average of 1,888 pounds of milk per cow for the month of June.
The two leading milk production states — California and Wisconsin — did not match the overall national increase of 1.9 percent for the month. California had an increase of 1.7 percent to 3.549 billion pounds for June while Wisconsin's 14 million pound increase to 2.316 billion pounds was an increase of .6 percent.
California 1.779 million cows produced an average of 1,995 pounds of milk during June. In Wisconsin, the 1.269 million cows posted an average of 1,825 pounds during the month.
States that posted the highest percentages of milk production increases for June were Colorado at 9.7, Texas at 8.3 for a total of 866 million pounds, Kansas at 7.4, South Dakota at 5.4, Virginia at 4.2. Utah at 4, and Washington at 3.9. Ohio was the only state among the top 23 with a milk production decrease — 1.5 percent —in the June comparisons.
Among the other top milk production states, the June increases included 2.1 percent to 1.18 billion pounds in Idaho and .3 percent to 1.15 billion pounds in New York. Michigan's production was up by 3.2 percent to 795 million pounds while Minnesota had a slight increase to 761 million pounds.
The nation's milking herd of 9.266 million pounds was up by 11,000 head from May of this year. No statistic is available for June of 2013 on cow numbers because of the federal government sequestration in effect at the time.
After several relatively quiet days, activity picked up on Wednesday of this week in the spot market for dairy commodities on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
An attention-getting phenomenon in that spot market is the persistent and rapidly jumping of the AA butter price. Including the gain of 4 cents per pound on Wednesday as nine carloads were sold, the price rose to $2.62 — up by 23 cents from a week earlier.
Spot market prices for Cheddar cheese went in opposite directions on Wednesday. Blocks picked up 1 cent per pound to close at $2.04 as three carloads were sold but barrels lost 3.75 cents per pound to close at $2.0325 after six carloads were sold.
The Grade A non-fat dry milk spot market remained quiet with the price standing at $1.6750 per pound.
Despite the volume and price changes in the spot market for dairy commodities, there was virtually no price movement in either the Class III milk futures and dry whey futures markets on Wednesday.
The Class III milk futures prices on the Wednesday afternoon trading board suggested the possibility of record high cash prices for two more months. The futures prices of $21.54 per hundred for July and $21.80 for August are 15 and 13 cents respectively above the existing record highs for those months.
Class III futures for other months were $21 per hundred for September, $20.22 for October, in the $19s for November and December, and in the $18s per hundred for all months through September in 2015.
With no price movement on Wednesday, prices on dry whey futures for selected months were 67.95 cents per pound for July, 59.5 cents for October, and no lower than 51 cents for any other month through September of 2015. Each one cent of the dry whey price provides about six cents per hundred on the Class III milk cash price.
On Tuesday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the receipt of 17 bids for financial assistance on the export of 3.646 million pounds of Cheddar cheese and 661,387 pounds of whole milk powder to countries in Asia, Europe, North Africa, Central and South America, and Oceania.
Those bids came from Dairy Farmers of America, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), and Tillamook Creamery of Oregon. Deliveries were scheduled from July through January of 2015.