In a report issued on Tuesday of this week, the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated that milk production during October increased by one percent in the United States as a whole and by 1.2 percent in the top 23 states when compared to October of 2012.
With an increase of .9 percent from October of 2012, Wisconsin set a milk production record for the month on its total of 2.277 billion pounds. Cow numbers in the state remained steady at 1.272 million but the average milk per cow was up by 15 pounds from a year ago to 1,790 pounds.
California's average milk per cow was also up by 15 pounds to 1,875 pounds. With an addition of 3,000 cows for a total of 1.781 million head, the state posted a one percent increase for a total of 3.339 billion pounds of milk.
Other states with more than one billion pounds of milk production for October were New York at 1.113 billion pounds (up 2.8 percent) and Idaho at 1.106 billion pounds (down 2.7 percent). Pennsylvania had a .2-percent increase to 865 million pounds while Texas was up to 3.8 percent to 801 million pounds.
States in the lower ranks of production among the top 23 posted most of the highest percentage increases for October. They included Kansas at 6.1 percent, Indiana at 5.7, Florida and Utah at 5.0 each, Arizona at 4.1, and Virginia at 2.9 percent. Missouri, which is the lowest production state in the top 23, was down by another 2.7 percent while Ohio was down by 1.8 percent.
The average milk per cow for the month in the top 23 states was up by 14 pounds to 1,806. Cow numbers in those states stood at 8.503 million head — up by 36,000 from a year earlier but down by 3,000 from September.
New Mexico's cow numbers were down by 4,000 from a year earlier to 322,000 but total milk on average per cow held at 2,025 pounds. Colorado had a 15-pound increase for the top milk average of 2,030 pounds per cow while Michigan tacked on 15 pounds of milk per cow for an average of 2,005 pounds in October.
After a quiet start to the week in the spot markets for dairy commodities on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, there was a bit of activity on the trading board and one price change on Wednesday. That change was a one-cent per pound drop of Cheddar cheese barrels to $1.7450 as the result of an uncovered offer to sell one carload.
Two carload sales of Cheddar blocks on Wednesday left the price steady for the week at $1.82 per pound. The AA butter spot market price remained at $1.65 per pound on Wednesday following an unfilled bid to buy two carloads and an uncovered offer to sell one carload.
Non-fat dry milk continues to be the top priced dairy commodity in the spot market. Both Grade A and Extra were priced at $1.9650 per pound on Wednesday. There was a sale of one carload of Grade A and one unfilled bid to buy on Wednesday. The Grade Extra price caught up to Grade A with a 6.5-cent gain during transactions earlier in the week.
The dry whey futures market continued to show price stability, promising at least a $3 per hundred proportional value in the Class III milk price through 2014. Prices on Wednesday ranged from a high of 57.045 cents per pound for December of 2013 down to 50.025 cents for December of 2014.
Class III milk futures were down slightly for nearby months and up a bit for several months during mid-2014 on Wednesday. For the week ending on Wednesday, there was little overall price movement.
Trading prices on Wednesday afternoon stood at $18.80 per hundred for November, $17.77 for December, and $17.21 for January. For all remaining months of 2014, prices were in the upper $16s and lower $17s per hundred before dropping into the $15s per hundred by February of 2015.