DairyProfit Update for May 17, 2012
Dairy ‘solids’ trade balance
March U.S. dairy product exports were equivalent to 13.6% of U.S. milk solids production for the month, the 24th straight month in which exports have been between 12%-15% of output. Exports were equivalent to 13.3% of U.S. milk solids production in 2011 and 12.8% in 2010.
Meanwhile, March imports as a percent of milk solids production were just 2.8%.
Source: USDEC, National Milk Producers Federation
California dairy producers’ average costs to produce 100 lbs. of milk rose 15.3% in 2011 compared to a year earlier, according to the California Department of Food & Agriculture Dairy Marketing Branch annual Cost of Production report.
Statewide, the total cost of milk production on a hundredweight basis increased from $13.70/cwt. in 2010 to $15.79/cwt. in 2011. On a per-cow basis, monthly costs increased 17.8%, averaging $293.10/cow/month in 2011, compared to $248.00/cow/month in 2010.
The increased cost was largely due to higher feed prices. The statewide average feed cost for 2011 averaged $10.10/cwt. of milk produced, up from $8.74/cwt. (up $2.26/cwt., or 28.8%) compared to 2010. Feed cost in 2011 represented 63.9% of the total cost to produce a hundredweight of milk, compared to 57.3% in 2010.
With the higher costs, statewide average return on investment was 87¢/cwt. in 2011, down 3.3% from 90¢/cwt. in 2010. The return on management was 74¢/cwt., up 25.4% from 59¢/cwt. in 2010.
Find the full report at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/dairy/dairycop_annual.html.
Research and related publicity suggesting both automobiles and dairy cows contribute heavily to southern California’s ammonia air emissions has drawn skepticism from dairy researchers and industry leaders in the West.
The study, “Ammonia sources in the California South Coast Air Basin and their impact on ammonium nitrate formation,” was published as a Geophysical Research Letter, a geosciences journal by the American Geophyisical Union (AGU). Visit www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051197.shtml. The report was summarized in a Washington Post article and distributed by Reuters News Service.
The airborne measurements were used to estimate automobile NH3 emissions (62 metric tons/day, plus or minus 24 metric tons/day), and dairy facility NH3 emissions (33 to 176 metric tons/day, plus or minus 16-88 metric tons/day).
Dairy leaders disputed the conclusion, and how it was reported.
“The combination of incorrect animal inventories and inflated ammonia estimates per cow with the inappropriate framing by the media caused some confusion that could have been easily avoided,” said Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist at the University of California, Davis.
Others questioning the results included Ying Wang, with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy; Michael Marsh, executive director, Western United Dairymen; Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager, Milk Producers Council; and Robert Hagevoort, Extension dairy specialist, New Mexico State University, Ag Science Center at Clovis, N.M.