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Hay Quality Indicators

Dr. Mike Hutjens joins us on our Feed Forum Friday to update us on the latest hay conditions.

Ag Labor and Trade Priorities

As public impeachment hearings kicked off in Washington, the National Milk Producers Federation continues to push congress to pass the U.S. Mexico Canada trade deal and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan immigration bill that advances agriculture...

Dean Foods Files For Bankruptcy

America's largest milk producer will sell to Dairy Farmers of America: http://www.deanfoods.com/newsroom/news/dean-foods-company-initiates-voluntary-reorganization-with-new-financial-support-from-existing-lenders/

Geek Out on Calves

Geek out on calves at the PDPW Calf Care Connection® training, repeating in three locations, Nov. 19, 20, and 21, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. in Chilton, Eau Claire, and Fennimore, Wis. Click Here For More Info

NMPF Annual Meeting Recap

Hoard's Dairyman managing editor Cory Geiger recaps last week's annual meeting in New Orleans.

Immature Corn Silage

Dr. Mike Hutjens looks at immature and frost damaged corn silage:

Annual Meeting Wraps Up in New Orleans

NMPF’s main policy conference of the year, featured discussions of the state of the dairy industry and economy, with remarks from the organization’s chairman, Missouri dairy farmer Randy Mooney :

Don’t Limit Winter Barn Circulation

The Crystal Creek® approach to calf barn air circulation challenges the long standing belief that calf barns should limit ventilation in the winter to 4 air exchanges per hour. Dr. Ryan Leiterman explains in this month's installment of "A Breath of Fresh Air" on Dairy...

China and Japan Trade Update

The U.S. dairy industry stands to benefit from purchases made by China and Japan, according to HighGround Dairy's Lucas Fuess. He talks with LeeMielke about it.

Corn Stalk Update

Utilizing corn stalks for cow feed is our topic with Dr. Mike Hutjens:

Lee Mielke

Class III Hits 5 Year High

The October Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price hit a five-year high at $18.72 per hundredweight, up 41 cents from September, $3.19 above October 2018, and the highest Class III since November 2014. The October Class IV milk price is $16.39, up 4 cents from September and $1.38 above a year ago. Courtesy: Mielke Market Weekly

China To Purchase U.S. Ag Products

Trade remains a volatile issue with the seemingly never ending dispute with China. FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski reports there is talk is of a purchase by China of $40-50 billion worth of US agricultural products:

Red Meat Study Challenges Negative Charges

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue didn’t have much of a positive response to a question about plant-based meats at World Dairy Expo. Hoards Dairyman Managing Editor, Corey Geiger talks with Lee Mielke about it and reports on a new study that challenges the negative charges against red meat consumption.

Perdue: Adapt To Survive

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told dairy farmers at World Dairy Expo in Madison last week that they will have to adapt to survive. HighGround Dairy’s Lucas Fuess was there and talks with Lee Mielke about the reaction.

Remembering Jerry Dryer

The dairy industry has lost one of its greatest contributors. Lee Mielke dedicates today’s broadcast to Jerry Dryer whose voice was heard on DairyLine Radio for many many years. Lee and dairy analyst Matt Gould discuss on today’s Dairy Radio :

U.S. Cheese Prices Climb

Block Cheddar cheese hit the highest price in almost five years and is the highest priced cheese in the world. It closed “Friday the 13th” at $2.2050 per pound, up an astounding 20 3/4-cents on the week, the highest since October 22, 2014.  FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski explains why:

Adjusting to Trade War

Matt Gould, editor and analyst of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter, talked with Lee Mielke about this week’s July Dairy Products report and the latest U..S dairy export data:

Pro Farmer Tour Recap

Results from this year’s Pro Farmer Tour were made public on corn and soybean yields. FC Stone’s Dave Kurzawski talks with Lee Mielke about its message on dairy feed prices:

 

Competing Against Imitators

Competition for the dairy industry is not new. Imitators were a challenge
years ago and plant based beverages are not the only foe dairy faces
today. Hoards Dairyman editor, Corey Geiger, talks with Lee Mielke about it on today’s Dairy Radio:


Eye on China

 June trade data is indicative of China’s continuing increase of dairy imports, unfortunately it is of small benefit to U.S. dairy farmers, according to Lucas Fuess, director of dairy market intelligence with HighGround Dairy in Chicago:

       

Encouraging Milk Prices

Encouraging milk prices starts with the supply, according to Matt Gould, analyst and editor of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter. While he does see higher feed prices ahead due to weather conditions affecting crops in the Midwest, he doesn’t see that as being catastrophic. 

Cow Numbers Continue to Decline

Market analyst Jerry Dryer said he expects U.S. cow numbers to continue to decline and looks for milk output to fall below a year, possibly even in April from revisions we will see next month. Listen here:

June Dairy Month Is Not Fake

Hoards Dairyman managing editor Corey Geiger echoes our belief that June Dairy Month is not fake milk month. A growing number of consumers believe drinking a beverage from a plant is more beneficial than what comes from a cow. Geiger tells us if consumers really knew the whole story, they probably wouldn’t be drinking fake milk.

DMC Is Timely

Safety nets have been a part of dairy’s financial landscape for many years but the net has changed since the old price support program and keeps changing. Hoard’s Dairyman managing editor Corey Geiger talked about the new Dairy Margin Coverage on today’s Dairy Radio Now broadcast:

Will Spring Flush Affect Cheese Prices?

Jerry Dryer, analyst and consultant with JDG Consulting, says cheese prices popped higher earlier than he expected this spring, although he warns the price could slip due to the spring flush, which USDA says is occurring in parts of the West and Southern Central regions. Listen here:

Disappearance Update

2018 total disappearance was higher across all commodities. High Ground Dairy’s Lucas Fuess talks about it with Lee Mielke on Monday’s Dairy Radio:

Benchmark Slips 7 Cents

The Agriculture Department announced the February Federal order Class III benchmark milk price at $13.89 per hundredweight, down 7 cents from January but 49 cents above February 2018 and the first month that The Class III price topped the previous year’s price since November 2017. It equates to $1.19 per gallon, down from $1.20 in January and compares to $1.15 a year ago.

The February Class IV price is $15.86, up 38 cents from January, $2.99 above a year ago, and the highest Class IV price since August 2017.

The four week average cheese price used in calculating the month’s Class prices was $1.3940 per pound, up 0.7 cents from January. Butter averaged $2.2644, up 3 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged 98 cents per pound, up 2.9 cents, and dry whey averaged 45.45 cents per pound, down 2.6 cents from January. Courtesy: Mielke Market Weekly

No Benefit From GDT Jump

The big jump in the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction was good news for the global dairy market but the U.S. is not benefiting as much from it. Lee Mielke talks with HighGround Dairy’s director of market intelligence, Lucas Fuess:

Shutdown Continues

The partial government shutdown has cost the dairy markets some regularly supplied information from USDA. How important was that info? FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski discusses with Lee Mielke on today’s Dairy Radio Now.

Uncle Sam on “Holiday”

As of midnight December 21, a partial shutdown of the government went into effect due to the failure of a House-passed continuing resolution in the Senate. At issue is President Trump’s insistence of funding for a border wall with Mexico.  The Agriculture Department announced a contingency plan for its services. It will continue to publish its weekly National Dairy Products Sales Report but will not produce the monthly NASS Milk Production, Cold Storage, or Dairy Products reports. Monthly milk price announcements will also continue. The last time a shutdown impacted dairy programs was October 2013. 

Matt Gould, analyst, and editor of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter joins Lee Mielke on this Christmas Eve broadcast:

 

USDA Data Speaks Volumes

The USDA’s latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook show overall milk use in October was higher than year-earlier levels but FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski tells Lee Mielke on today’s Dairy Radio Now that the data speaks volumes to what has happened on the cheese futures and spot market. American cheese demand was down 9.9 percent from a year ago, unusual for this time of year, he said, but up 2.5 percent from September. The problem is that we price milk on American cheese, though he believes that will turn around. Listen Here: 

$20 Milk In 2019?

Jerry Dryer, analyst, and editor of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter joined us on today’s Mielke Monday to give a small preview of his December forecast. He believes we will see some $17 milk by the end of the year and, if his hunch on milk supply becomes reality, “We could see $20 milk by the end of next year.”

 

California Welcomes Federal Dairy Prices

The nation’s Number 1 milk-producing state became a part of the Federal Milk Market Order system on November 1st. FC Stone dairy broker, Dave Kurzawski, talks with Lee Mielke about the ramifications of that additional 3 million plus pounds of milk per month being added to the Federal order for dairy producers in other states, and does he see higher dairy prices after Thanksgiving from the Christmas buy?

 

Got Mielke?

It was Labor Day, 1988 when Lee Mielke launched DairyLine, a radio network devoted entirely to the dairy industry. Since then, DairyLine has transformed to Dairy Radio Now with MIelke providing weekly reports on the latest market conditions. On this anniversary we had a chance to look back at 30 years of providing info to the dairy industry.

 

Dairy Markets Have Bullish Week

The bulls were fed the week of August 13. Barrel cheese marched higher, commercial dairy product disappearance looked solid, the U.S. and Mexico appeared to be coming together in their trade spat, and even China’s commerce ministry stated that its commerce vice-minister had been invited by the U.S. to discuss economic and trade issues. And, for the first time ever, the USDA announced that it will purchase $50 million in pasteurized fluid milk. 

HighGround Dairy’s Lucas Fuess tells Lee Mielke on Dairy Radio Now – that reports of heat stress in the Western U.S., Europe, Australia, and Japan is a cause for concern, and CME barrel cheese trading above the blocks for the first time since December 19, 2017, bodes well for prices and “we could have a trade deal with Mexico yet this month.”  Listen here:

 

Hoping For Full Scale Tariff Reduction

Uncle Sam is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by the ongoing trade and tariff wars. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced July 24 that the USDA will “take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation,” according to a USDA press release. The plan “authorizes up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.”

HighGround Dairy’s director of market intelligence, Lucas Fuess, talks with Lee Mielke about the plan. A big question is, would direct payments to farmers be WTO acceptable? Fuess says that’s another issue and “there has been pushback in Congress on how this plan will be carried out. WTO has frowned upon some of these subsidies that the government is planning on making,” he concluded. “HighGound hopes for a full-scale reduction of the overall tariff situation and for farmers to compete better in the world market without subsidies.”

 

Minimizing Global Trade Troubling For U.S. Agriculture

Global trade turmoil remains in the spotlight and FC Stone’s Arlan Suderman wrote in his July 16 Morning Commentary that “Europe and Japan have signed a trade agreement to fight against the protectionist efforts of the United States, failing to mention protectionist efforts of their own in recent decades.” He talked of the “battle of public opinion and political persuasion, with most countries decrying protectionism while fully engaged in the same, and aggressively so.” 

FC Stone’s Dave Kurzawski, in the July 23 Dairy Radio Now broadcast, said the ultimate question is, “Are we in this to build walls and barriers to slow global trade or expand it?” He said our actions right now appear to want to minimize global trade, which would be troubling for U.S. agriculture. 

 “One thing is clear,” he said, “The U.S. has no trade agreement with Japan and it looks like all the other major exporters now have at least some advantage, or will have an advantage, in the coming years.” Suderman adds that “Few countries are willing to fully eliminate tariffs and other protectionist mechanisms, although most want you to believe that is precisely the environment in which they operate.” 

Kurzawski sees the Administration’s actions as an exertion of power and leverage to “essentially better our place at the negotiation table and although things over the past eight weeks have been fairly grim as far as the trade wars are concerned, and it may still get worse before it gets better, but I do think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Listen to Lee Mielke’s interview with Dave Kurzawski here:

Oversupply, Trade Talks Affecting Dairy Markets

FC Stone’s Dave Kurzawski addressed the global markets on today’s Dairy Radio Now,  stating “A majority of the talk surrounding the recent and drastic sell-off on Cheese and Class III (futures) revolves around President Trump’s newly imposed tariffs on the likes of China and Mexico. However, putting the blame solely on the administration is a bit of a stretch.” “A larger issue at play here seems to be the current oversupply of barrels in the marketplace, which is not an abundantly exportable cheese.” 

Kurzawski admitted that, while the Mexican tariffs sent jitters throughout the market and are not good when trying to grow U.S. dairy exports, the reality is that those tariffs are only projected to effect a 4-5 cent reduction in the cheese price and not the 25-30 cents that we saw in the barrel market over the last couple weeks. “The seeds of this precipitous decline in the spot cheese market, particularly on the barrel side in the month of June, were sown probably a month or two ago,” he argued. Global dairy demand was great the first four to five months of 2018, he said, but in mid-May “the spigot was turned off, things calmed down, and the markets were of the mindset that we have enough milk for the time being. We had really good demand that was eating away at that milk, allowing us to make cheese, but now we have a lot of fresh cheese sitting out there and the phone stopped ringing.” 

“The sellers got really aggressive and said, we can bleed out slowly at $1.40 (per pound) or we can go down and try to find a bid and I think they found a bid at the low $1.20s,” he said, though he doesn’t believe prices will stay that low for long. Summer heat can change this in a hurry, he said, as can other factors like cows coming off rbST in key areas, labor issues, poor income-over-feed margins, and continued good global demand. “This is not 2009,” he concluded, “even though we can see a price on the spot barrel market that we haven’t seen since 2009.”

 

Apprehension Among Dairy Producers

Friday was the first day of June Dairy Month, but it arrives with a lot of apprehension among dairy producers. The cash dairy markets ended the Memorial Day holiday-shortened week with block Cheddar at $1.5975 per pound, down 1 1/4-cents on the week, 10 1/4-cents below a year ago, and 6 1/4-cents lower than it was on May 1, as the week’s global politics may have influenced traders some. More on that ahead. The barrels finished at $1.52, down 2 1/2-cents on the week, 3 cents above a year ago, but 8 1/4-cents below its May 1 perch. There were 7 cars of block that traded hands on the week at the CME and 26 of barrel.

Matt Gould, editor, an analyst with the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter says the second half of 2018 will be better than the first half – but he says that still doesn’t mean dairy producers will be profitable. Listen to his conversation with Lee Mielke of the Mielke Market Weekly on today’s Dairy Radio Now.

New Zealand Dealing With Mycoplasma Bovis

New Zealand officials are working on a plan to eradicate an outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis. M bovis causes illness in cattle including udder infections or mastitis, abortion, pneumonia and arthritis. “The disease was discovered last July and since then 41 farms have been confirmed as infected,” according to Radio Radio New Zealand. “That has since dropped to 37 farms, with more than 11,000 cattle slaughtered,”  Alyssa Badger, manager of dairy market intelligence with High Ground Dairy in Chicago tells us this is the first time that M bovis has been reported in New Zealand.

 

 

According to Radio New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a 10-year phased eradication, although most of the work will happen over the next one to two years, and will cost about $886 million.

 

Dairy Products See Strong Global Growth

U.S. dairy exports set a new record high in March on a total volume basis surpassing the previous record high set in March 2014. Exports of whey protein concentrate and lactose each hit all-time highs. Suppliers shipped 204,453 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose during the month, up 26 percent from March 2017. U.S. exports were valued at $510 million, 8 percent greater than in March 2017 and the highest total value since April 2015.

Ingredient sales drove much of the gains. Shipments of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) to Southeast Asia were nearly double the prior-year level and sales to Mexico were the second-most ever. Shipments of lactose to China increased by 57 percent during the month and were at a record high.

FC Stone dairy broker Dave Kurzawski tells Lee Mielke that on a total milk solids basis, exports were equivalent to 17.3 percent of U.S. milk production.

Monday May 7, 2018: Lucas Fuess, High Ground Dairy

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