An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: Feb. 28, 2011
The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC), concerned the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future (FFTF) plan was “on a fast-track” while dairy organizations across the United States were waiting on more details, voted instead to move forward with an alternative plan. Called the “Cornerstone for Change,” it identifies what DPAC sees as problems in current federal dairy policy, and outlines suggested solutions.
Higher feed prices offset milk price increases, resulting in a February 2011 milk-feed price ratio of 1.96, unchanged from the January 2011 revised estimate.
While many dairy producers grow their own feed, the monthly milk-feed price index – estimated by USDA – is an indicator of milk income relative to feed costs. It represents the pounds of 16% mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 lb. of whole milk. A ratio of 3.0 or higher is considered positive for milk production. February’s ratio is the 39th straight month below that threshold.
The February preliminary U.S. all milk price was estimated at $18.40/cwt., up $1.70 from January’s 2011’s revised estimate of $16.70/cwt., and $2.50 more than February 2010. Corn averaged $5.66/bushel, up 72¢ from January and $2.11/bushel more than a year ago. The soybean price, at $12.10/bushel, was up 50¢ from January and $2.69 more than February 2010. Alfalfa baled hay was $127/ton, up $6 from January, and $17/ton more than February 2010.
Cull cow prices jump
Monthly cull cow (beef and dairy combined) prices rose in February 2011, averaging $71.20/cwt., up from January 2011’s revised estimate of $65.00/cwt., and $19.50/cwt. more than February 2010. The February 2011 average puts the value of a 1,400-lb. cull cow at just under $1,000.
Cheese ends February higher; Class III futures mixed
Closing on Monday, Feb. 28:
Cheddar barrels: up 0.25¢, to $1.9525/lb.
Cheddar blocks: up 0.5¢, to $1.9925/lb.
Butter: unchanged, at $2.02/lb.
Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.
Grade A nonfat dry milk: down 1.0¢, to $1.8225/lb.
Class III milk futures: steady to mixed in narrow range, -5¢ to +13¢/cwt. through January 2013.
Corn futures: +1.0¢ to +10.4¢/bushel through December 2012.
Soybean futures: -10.2¢ to -1.0¢/bushel higher through November 2012.
Soybean meal futures: mixed, -$3.30 to +2.20/ton through December 2012.
In Tuesday’s DairyLine broadcast, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist Dr. Brian Gould reports many dairy producers are protecting themselves with the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance program. Last Friday, 15 million hundredweights of milk were insured, according to Gould, raising the LGM total so far to 34.5 million hundredweights. That’s a little less than 2% of 2010’s total production, he said.
• Pennsylvania Grazing Conference registration closed
• Penn State Dairy Digest online
• Dairy webinar to address heat stress
• Advance dairy reproduction workshop offered
• Monthly conference call discusses LGM for Dairy margins, markets and risk management
• Florida Dairy Production Conference is March 30
• Winter Forage Field Days set in Florida
• Kentucky Dairy Partners to meet
Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.
For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.
Dave Natzke, Editor