Federal order February Class III, IV prices set records

Federal order Class III & IV milk prices continued to climb to record levels in February, according to the monthly price announcement from USDA's Ag Marketing Service.

February 2014 prices, compared to previous month and year, include:

• Class III: $23.35/cwt., up $2.20 from January 2014 and $6.10 (35%) more than February 2013. The Class IIII price has increased for seven consecutive months, and topped the previous high of $21.67/cwt. set in August 2011. The February 2014 Class III price is $2.21 more than the comparable California Class 4b price.

• Class IV: $23.46/cwt., up $1.17 from January 2014 and $5.71 (32%) more than February 2013. The Class IV price has increased for eight consecutive months.


National Dairy Products Sales Report weekly highlights USDA’s weekly National Dairy Products Sales Report indicated Grade AA butter prices averaged $1.81/lb. for the week ending March 1, down 1.4¢ from the previous week.
U.S. 40-lb. block cheddar cheese averaged $2.23/lb., down 2.5¢ from the previous week. The price for 500-lb. cheddar barrels, adjusted to 38% moisture, averaged $2.21/lb., down 4.4¢.

USDA Extra Grade dry whey averaged 64.3¢/lb., up 0.8¢.
USDA Extra Grade nonfat dry milk averaged $2.09/lb., up 0.4¢ from the previous week.


California NFDM prices

The weekly nonfat dry milk powder report has been posted to the California Department of Food & Agriculture Dairy Marketing Branch website.

For the week ending Feb. 21, the average price was $2.0429/lb. on total sales of 6.51 million lbs.

For the week ending Feb. 28, the average price was $2.0268/lb. on total sales of 7.78 million lbs.


Weekly ethanol production, corn use

Ethanol production data for the week ending Feb. 28:

Ethanol production: 37.55 million gallons/day, the lowest level in seven weeks

Corn used: 13.56 million bushels/day

DIstillers grains production: 88,949 metric tons/day

Source: Renewable Fuels Association


Mammoth Cave Dairy Auction

Dairy replacement sales results from Smiths Grove, Ky., on Mar. 4 (Holsteins, supreme and approved, $/head unless otherwise noted):

Springers (2-3 years old, 5-8 months bred): $1400-$1525

Short Bred (2-3 years old, 1-4 months bred): not tested

Fresh cows (2-4 years old): $1450-$1850        

Open Heifers:

   200-300 lbs.: $270-$330

   300-400 lbs.: $385

   400-500 lbs.:  $600

   500-600 lbs.:  $600-$785

   600-700 lbs.: $6835

   700-800 lbs.: $975

Holstein heifers calves (small): $80-$115 per head; (medium and large): $160-$170 per head