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Class I Up 18 Cents

The February Federal Order Class I base milk price was announced by the USDA at $15.30 per hundredweight, up 18 cents from January, $1.05 above February 2018, and the highest Class I price since November 2018. It equates to $1.32 per gallon, up from $1.23 a year ago,...

FSA Offices Reopen Temporarily

Many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and...

Storing ‘Bug Free’ Grains

Warren McDougal, regional sales manager with Central Life Sciences, joined us on today's Dairy Radio Now to share tips on how to prevent stored grains from costly insect infestations.

Leaders Are Made, Not Born

Professionals and producers with professionalism can set themselves apart from others by attending Cornerstone Dairy Academy™, a product of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) and underwritten by the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF). PDPW's...

Thawing Trade Relations With China

HighGround Dairy’s director of market intelligence, Lucas Fuess, says “the unthawing” of trade relations with China is good news for U.S. farmers but the U.S. has its work cut out for itself. 

A Closer Look At Vitamins

Dr. Mike Hutjens looks at the importance of feeding vitamins to your cows on today's Feed Form Friday:  

Government Shutdown Stymies Farm Bill

We have a new Farm Bill that will benefit dairy farmers but the government shutdown has put a 'hitch in the giddy-up' for the time being. Dairy has been noted as a big winner in the Farm Bill, with new programs that assist dairy producers facing low prices. Chris...

Effective Fly Control All Year Round

We're not dealing with many insect pests this time of year but there still should be an effective fly control plan in place. For the most effective control, operators should employ a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM), according to Mark Upton, Central Life...

Salmonella Heidelberg Still A Concern

Salmonella Heidelberg (S. Heidelberg) is a bacterium that can cause severe illness in calves and humans. According to the USDA, calves infected with S. Heidelberg may develop diarrhea or die abruptly without any clinical signs and humans infected with S. Heidelberg...

GDT Lends Some Optimism

Matt Gould, editor, and analyst with the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter reports the GDT lends some optimism, even though the dairy industry and others still face the “trade war” left over from 2018. He also tells Lee Mielke that U.S. restaurants faced a...

Lee Mielke

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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