Before the customary deductions, Wisconsin dairy farmers will be receiving an average price of $20.30 per hundred for the milk they shipped in January, according to a report early this week by the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
This is $2.16 more than the national Class III milk cash price of $18.14 per hundred for January - down from the $18.66 for December.
The January all-milk price for Wisconsin is down $1 per hundred from December, 80 cents higher than in January of 2012, and 30 cents above the national all-milk average of $20 per hundred for January.
All of the top milk production states had price drops from December to January.
The largest decreases were $1.50 per hundred to $21.20 in Pennsylvania, $1 to $20.50 in Michigan, and 90 cents to $20.50 in Minnesota. California's all-milk price dropped from $18.91 in December to $18.40 for January.
After some quiet sessions, activity picked up in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday of this week. In addition, there were some fairly strong price gains in the Class III milk futures prices for nearby months.
The Cheddar cheese barrel spot market led the way on Wednesday with a price pickup of .75-cent per pound during a session with three carload sales, one unfilled bid to buy, and one uncovered offer to sell.
This put the day's closing price at $1.55 per pound - up two cents from a week earlier.
For Cheddar blocks, the day's activity was one carload sale and an unfilled bid to buy one carload. The day's price was up by .25-cent to $1.6475 per pound for the first price increase in two weeks.
In the AA butter spot market, the price held at $1.5550 per pound on Wednesday as two carload sales were made and an offer to sell two carloads was not covered.
With no spot market activity, the non-fat dry milk prices stood at $1.52 per pound for Grade A and $1.56 for Grade Extra.
After some days of price declines, the Class III milk futures posted gains of 42 cents per hundred for March, 38 cents for April, 29 cents for May, and 34 cents for June in trading through early afternoon on Wednesday.
Added to smaller gains in other recent days, the increases totaled about 70 cents per hundred for some of those months compared to a week earlier.
Prices on the trading board early on Wednesday afternoon included $17.27 per hundred for February, $17.41 for March, and $17.63 for April. For all of the remaining months of 2013, the Class III futures prices ranged from $18.11 to $18.71 per hundred.
Dry whey futures prices, which provide significant strength to the Class III milk price by being worth about six cents per hundred on the milk price for every cent of their price, continued to be relatively stable.
At the middle of the trading session on Wednesday, the dry whey prices were 63.125 cents per pound for February and between 54.475 and 57.225 cents per pound for all other months of 2013.
Cooperatives Working Together has announced the acceptance of a package of 13 bids from Bongard's Creamery, Darigold Cooperative, United Dairymen of Arizona, and Dairy Farmers of America
These bids were for financial assistance on the export of 4.696 million pounds of Gouda, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar cheese to countries in South America, North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Deliveries are scheduled from February to June.
As of Feb. 1, Wisconsin had 11,119 dairy herds licensed to ship milk to the commercial market - down from 11,715 a year earlier. Of these, 9,670 were Grade A and 1,449 were Grade B shippers.
By county, Clark continued to lead the way with 924 dairy herds, followed by Marathon with 664.
Other counties in the top 10 for herd numbers were Grant at 433, Vernon at 418, Chippewa at 348, Monroe at 346, Shawano at 340, Dodge at 305, Dane at 300, and Green at 280.
Among other counties that rank near the top in total milk production with over one billion pounds annually, Fond du Lac had 279 herds, Manitowoc 266. Brown 193, and Kewaunee 187 as of Feb. 1.