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Wisconsin continues

to outpace national trend on milk production

Nov. 22, 2012 | 0 comments

The national milk production figures for October which were released on Monday afternoon of this week continued to show that Wisconsin's totals are increasing while the rest of the nation, as a whole, is on a slight downward trend.

With its 2.269 billion pounds for October, Wisconsin easily set a new record high in milk production for the month. This was a 4.7 percent or 108 million pound increase compared to October 2011.

Even more impressively, Wisconsin's dairy cows produced an average of 1,785 pounds of milk during October - 70 pounds more than in October 2011. The state had 1.271 million dairy cows for the month - 7,000 more than a year earlier.

As of Nov. 1, Wisconsin had 11,260 dairy herds licensed to ship milk into the commercial market. This was a decrease of 595 herds from a year earlier and of 64 from Oct. 1 of this year.

The preliminary national report for October indicated a milk production total of 16.255 billion pounds in all 50 states, down from the 16.278 billion pounds for October 2011. Dairy cow numbers were estimated at 9.187 million head - down by 25,000 from October 2011 and by 9,000 from September of this year.

Revised data for September lowered the originally reported milk production for the month by 19 million pounds. This put the decrease when compared to September 2011 at .6 percent. For October, the decrease was .1 percent.

Among the top 23 milk production states, California continued on its recent downswing with a 3.5 percent decrease to put its October total at 3.307 billion pounds. Other significant decreases in the October comparisons were 5.9 percent in New Mexico, five percent in Texas, and 4.5 percent in Arizona.

California's cow numbers were up by 2,000 to 1.778 million, but the average milk per cow was down by 70 pounds to an average of 1,860 pounds per cow for October. Arizona's cow numbers were down by 12,000 to 180,000, while New Mexico had declines in both categories - 8,000 in cow numbers to 324,000 and 75 pounds in milk per cow for an average of 2,025 pounds for October compared to a year ago.

Joining Wisconsin in milk production increases were Colorado at 5.9 percent, Kansas at 5.1 percent, Minnesota at 2.9 percent, Michigan and New York at 2.7 percent each, and Ohio at 2.6 percent. In the October comparisons, nine of the top 23 states had decreases in the October comparisons, 13 had increases, and Oregon was unchanged.

Despite the slight downturn in milk production, prices for dairy products have not strengthened in spot market trading on the Chicago Mercantile this month. On Thursday, Nov. 15, there were price declines of 11.25 cents per pound for Cheddar cheese barrels, 9 cents for Cheddar blocks, and 2.5 cents for AA butter. The butter price fell another seven cents per pound on Friday, Nov. 16, and two more cents on Tuesday of this week.

With no sales in the spot market early this week, Cheddar blocks and barrels closed at $1.8250 and $1.7250 per pound, respectively, on Tuesday of this week. The AA butter price was at $1.70 per pound compared to $1.89 a week earlier.

Spot market prices for Grade A and Grade Extra non-fat dry milk sit at $1.5625 and $1.56 per pound. Dry whey futures prices on Tuesday were at 63.7 cents per pound for November, 62.5 cents for December, in the 50s for all months of 2013, and then sharply down to 42 cents for most of 2014.

Class III milk futures prices were mixed on Tuesday of this week. The largest price movements for nearby months were an increase of 15 cents per hundred for February 2013 and a decrease of 18 cents for April 2013.

Near the end of Tuesday's trading session, the Class III futures prices stood at $20.71 per hundred for November, $19.40 for December, and close to the mid $18s per hundred for most months of 2013. They then slip all the way down to the high $14s per hundred by the late summer of 2014.

Butter led the way in volume in the announcement early this week by Cooperatives Working Together, which had received a total of 25 bids from Bongard's Creamery, Foremost Farms, Darigold Cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, United Dairymen of Arizona and Upstate Niagara/O-AT-KA Milk Producers Cooperative for financial assistance on the export of dairy products. The requests total 4.381 million pounds of butter and 2.784 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese going to customers in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa in deliveries scheduled from November to May of 2013.

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