Milk production increases consistent in top 10 states
The milk production figures for May reported early this week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service showed an unusual consistency among seven of the top 10 states on the percentage of increase for the month compared to May of 2011.
Those seven states posted increases of 1.4 to 3.5 percent in comparisons for May this year and in 2011. The national average increase for the top 23 states for the month was 2.1 percent.
Wisconsin came in with a 2.4-percent increase for the month. The state's production of 2.339 billion pounds for the month set an all-time record for May, topping the previous mark of 2.32 billion pounds in May of 2010.
The May production of 16.404 billion pounds of milk kept the country on pace for surpassing 200 billion pounds for the first time this year.
California accounted for 3.744 billion pounds of the May production - a 1.9-percent increase from May of 2011.
Percentage increases in other states included 2.5 in both Idaho and New York, 3.5 in Michigan, 1.4 in New York, and 3 in Washington.
Pennsylvania's production slipped by 2.1 percent and Iowa's was down by 1.3 percent while Minnesota, Missouri, Vermont, and Virginia had no year to year change for May.
Several states continued to post production percentage increases that were higher than the national average. They were Utah at 8.3 percent, Colorado at 8.2 percent, Florida at 7.3 percent, Arizona at 5 percent, Indiana at 4.5 percent, and Ohio at 4.4 percent.
A combination of modest increases in cow numbers and in average milk per cow for May accounted for the upturn in production. The average milk per cow for the month was 1,924 pounds - up by 22 pounds from a year ago.
Cow numbers in the top 23 states increased by 77,000 to 8.524 million head.
Additions during the past year included 16,000 head in California, 11,000 in Michigan, 10,000 in both Texas and New Mexico, 8,000 in Arizona, 6,000 in Colorado, and 5,000 in both Washington and Indiana.
In Wisconsin, cow numbers were up by 5,000 - to 1.271 million - compared to May of 2011. The average milk production per cow in the state for May was up by 35 pounds to 1,840 pounds.
According to the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin had 11,518 herds licensed to ship milk into the commercial market as of June 1. This is down by 44 herds from May 1 and by 574 from a year earlier.
While milk production continued to be modestly higher, so were the dairy commodity prices through Wednesday of this week in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Cheddar cheese barrels drew the most attention on Wednesday with a 3.75-cent per pound gain on one carload sale to put the day's closing price at $1.61 per pound.
A .75-cent per pound rise for Cheddar block cheese on Wednesday on an unfilled bid to buy one carload put its closing price at $1.62 per pound. This is the closest gap between barrels and blocks in several weeks.
The closure was due in part to an 8.5-cent drop in the Cheddar block price on Thursday and Friday of last week.
Prices for other commodities remained stable on Wednesday. The AA butter price stood at $1.5450 per pound after an unfilled bid to buy and an uncovered offer to sell. The AA butter price picked up 8.5 cents per pound on Friday, June 15.
In the non-fat dry milk market, the prices remained at $1.2225 for Grade A and $1.16 for Grade Extra. There was an uncovered offer to sell one carload of Grade A on Wednesday.
The futures prices for dry whey have now risen to between 50 and 54 cents per pound for all the remaining months of 2012. Then they drop into the 40s and high 30s per pound for all of 2013.
Class III milk futures prices rose by single digits per hundred for nearly every month through 2013 in trading on Wednesday of this week. The June price of $15.69 per hundred continued to be the lowest on the chart through that period.
The futures price then jumps to $16.65 for July and into the low $17s per hundred for August through November of this year. For all of 2013, the Class III futures were trading in the $16s per hundred.
Cooperatives Working Together has accepted 11 requests from Dairy Farmers of America, United Dairymen of Arizona, and Darigold Cooperative of Seattle.
The requests were for export assistance on the sale of 1.709 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to countries in Asia, South America, North Africa, the Middle East, and the South Pacific. The delivery schedule runs from June to November.