December, full-year 2013 fluid sales decline
December 2013 packaged fluid milk sales totaled 4.35 billion lbs., down 0.8% from December 2012, according to USDA’s Dairy Market News.
December sales of conventional products, at 4.15 billion lbs., were down 1.5% compared to December 2012; organic products, at 199 million lbs., were up 14.4%. Organic represented about 4.6% of total sales for the month.
For the entire year, packaged fluid milk sales totaled 51.51 billion lbs., down 2.3% from 2012. Sales of conventional products, at 49.24 billion lbs., were down 2.6%; organic products, at 2.27 billion lbs., were up 5.1%. Organic represented about 4.4% of total sales.
Source: Dairy Market News
Milk COP down thanks to lower feed costs
On the strength of lower feed costs, the national average cost to produce milk fell for a fourth consecutive month in January 2014, declining to its lowest level since April 2012. USDA cost estimates are based on total farm costs per hundredweight of milk sold.
USDA’s monthly Milk Cost of Production report showed lower feed costs – both to purchase and/or produce – were the main driver in total cost reductions.
Total feed costs averaged $12.58/cwt. in January 2014, down 20¢ from December 2013 and down $1.73 from January 2013. Purchased feed costs, at $6.69/cwt., were down 5¢ from December 2013, and down 82¢ from January 2013.
Since July 2013, average total feed costs are down $4.62/cwt. of milk sold, a drop of 27%. Feed represented about 52% of total costs in January 2014, compared to 55% a year ago.
Other than feed, there were minimal changes in other operating and allocated overhead costs compared to previous months. Labor, opportunity costs on unpaid labor and capital recovery of machinery/equipment were slightly lower than December 2013, but slightly higher than January 2013.
Total costs, at $24.23/cwt. in January 2014, were down 46¢ from December 2013 and $1.57 less than January 2013. They're down about 17% from July 2013. (USDA did not calculate milk cost of production between March and June 2013 due to sequestration budget cuts.)
WIC changes include yogurt
USDA finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The changes increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
Along with a more than 30% increase in the dollar amount for children’s fruits and vegetables purchases, the changes also:
• expand whole grain options available to participants,