This week in Dairy Profit Weekly:
1) Crop reports: With many crop marketing analysts portraying the 2011 planting season as “acreage wars,” two of the more highly anticipated USDA reports were released, March 31. Anticipated corn acreage came in higher than many market analysts had predicted, but corn inventories were lower. Soybean acreage and stocks estimates were lower than many forecasts. The impact was felt on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
2) Dean and the courts: Attorneys General in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin joined the U.S. Department of Justice in filing proposed consent decrees requiring Dean Foods to sell its milk processing plant in Waukesha,Wis. The proposal regards a federal lawsuit challenging Dean’s 2009 acquisition of the fluid milk plant from Foremost Farms USA.
3) DPW Trends: March federal order Class II, III and IV prices are the highest in three years, and probably the highest of 2011. (California order prices were unavailable at DairyProfit Weekly’s press deadline.) The March milk-feed ratio improved a little; cull cow prices remain high.
4) DPW Numbers: January U.S. fluid milk sales were down a little. A new study measures the U.S. beef industry’s social and environmental impact.
5) DPW Washington: Low levels of radiation found in milk in Washington and California; Congress addressing ag credit issues; Senate ag committee to launch 2012 Farm Bill hearings.
Dave Natzke, Editor
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