Wisconsin's dairy farmers will receive an average of $19.70 per hundred for the milk they shipped in April, according to a report this week by the state's field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
This is a 30-cent per hundred increase from March and is 40 cents more than the national weighted average for the month.
Among the top 10 milk production states, Pennsylvania's $20.50 per hundred is the top all-milk gross price for April but it is down by 20 cents from March while Michigan is down by 30 cents to $19.40. New York's all-milk price is down by 20 cents to $20.20 for April.
California, meanwhile, is expecting an 89-cent increase from March to April to $18.40 per hundred. Minnesota and Idaho are both anticipating 40-cent increases to $19.90 and $18.70, respectively.
A combination of the national $19.30 per hundred all-milk gross price for April and declines in the costs of basic dairy ration ingredients raised the milk/feed ratio for April to 1.56 compared to 1.48 for March.
Prices were down by 46 cents per bushel for corn to $7.13, by 40 cents for soybeans to $14.20 per bushel, and by $4 per ton for dry alfalfa hay to $215.
In the spot market for dairy commodities on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, one of the widest price spreads between Cheddar cheese blocks and barrels has developed in recent weeks.
Following small price gains for both on Wednesday of this week, the prices stood at $1.90 per pound for blocks and $1.67 for barrels.
Spot market activity on Wednesday included a sale of one carload each of blocks and barrels, one unfilled bid for blocks and two unfilled bids for barrels, and one uncovered offer for barrels.
The AA butter spot market also had one carload sale, an unfilled bid for two carloads, and an uncovered offer on one carload. Despite that activity, the price remained at $1.69 per pound.
In a quiet non-fat dry milk spot market, prices stood at $1.76 per pound for Grade A and $1.70 for Grade Extra. On Wednesday, futures prices for dry whey were trading in a tight range of 56 to 60.2 cents per pound for all remaining months of 2013.
Class III milk futures posted small losses for nearby months on Wednesday but increases of $1-1.80 per hundred are on the trading board for upcoming months. Just before the announcement of a Class III cash price for April, the trading on futures closed at $17.60 per hundred.
After the setbacks on Wednesday, Class III futures prices were at $18.64 per hundred for May, in the $19.40s for June through August, and in the $18s for the final quarter of 2013.
Futures prices then drop to the $17s and $16s per hundred for 2014.
Cooperatives Working Together has received a group of eight bids from Swiss Valley Farms, Dairy Farmers of America, Darigold Cooperative, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, and Upstate Niagara O-AT-KA.
The bids were for financial assistance on the export of 1.102 million pounds of butter and 935,942 pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to countries in North Africa and Asia. Deliveries are scheduled from May to October.
At its biennial meeting, the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments voted narrowly to keep the upper limit on somatic cell count at 750,000 per milliliter instead of lowering it to a proposed 400,000 to the match the standard in the European Union and several other countries.
Each state or territory has one vote in the organization. Two years ago, the vote against making the change was 26 to 25. This year's vote was described as "very close" but the actual numbers have not been publicly disclosed.
The most recent national report on dairy cow slaughter numbers put the total at 274,000 head for March. This is was up by 15,000 from February but down by 4,000 from March of 2012.
The 297,000 head of dairy cows sent to slaughter in January of this year was the highest number for any month since 1986.