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Daily Cash Trading on Monday, April 21, 2014




















Confirmed: 2013 dairy cow culling topped 3 million

U.S. dairy cull cow slaughter topped 3 million head for a second consecutive year in 2013, just the fourth time cull dairy cow slaughter reached that mark since USDA began differentiating dairy cows from total cows in 1986.

The 2013 total was estimated at 3.125 million head, 23,400 more than 2012’s total of 3.102 million, according to USDA’s annual Livestock Slaughter report, issued April 21.

Before 2012, dairy cow slaughter topped 3 million only twice: in 1986, at 3.595 million (whole herd buy-out program); and 1996, at 3.037 million.

2014 won't reach that number. Through the first week of April 2014, dairy cow culling was already more than 78,000 behind the same period of 2013.


March milk production up 0.9%

Nationally, March 2014 milk production was estimated at 17.83 billion lbs., up just 0.9% from March 2013, according to USDA’s monthly report released March 21. Milk cow numbers were estimated at 9.22 million head, 3,000 head more than February 2014. Production per cow averaged 1,959 lbs. for March.

Both Dave Kurzawski, with FCStone, and Eric Meyer, from HighGround Dairy, called the report “neutral” versus market expectations.

March 2013 U.S. and major dairy states cow numbers and milk production per cow were not available, due to budget sequestration during much of last year, which limited USDA surveys. Continue reading


Van Sickle: April corn, soybean and dairy outlook

John Van Sickle, from the University of Florida Food and Resource Economics Department, has put together an April Corn, Soybean and Dairy Outlook report. The half-hour presentation can be found at Van Sickle's discusses where feed prices are going, and the impact on dairy.


How many acres of soybeans are needed?

USDA's survey of U.S. crop producers revealed intentions to plant 81.493 million acres of soybeans this year. That’s 3.765 million more than reported as planted or intended to be planted in June of last year; 4.96 million more than actually planted in 2013; and 4.042 million more than the previous record acreage in 2009.The large increase in soybean planting intentions reflects strong world demand for soybeans and the resulting high prices of soybeans relative to other crops, particularly corn.

Over the past 10 years, planted acreage of soybeans in the U.S. has differed by as much as 3.3 million acres from March intentions, and the market still has some time to influence the magnitude of acreage in 2014, according to Darrel Good, University of Illinois ag economist. Unless conditions change dramatically, however, it appears that planting intentions reported last month are fully adequate to meet consumption needs at more modest price levels than experienced during the past three marketing years. Continue reading