USDA’s preliminary estimate of the January all-milk price, at $23.20/cwt., is a new record high, surpassing the previous record of $22.10/cwt. set in November 2012, according to Brian Gould, University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy economist. It compares to a revised estimate of $22.00/cwt., in December 2013, and $19.90/cwt. in January 2013.

Individual states saw even higher prices, led by Florida, ay $26.80/cwt., and Virginia, at $26.20/cwt. Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington could see prices of $24.00/cwt. or higher, according to the USDA preliminary estimates.

Among the largest milk-producing states, California's January all-milk price averaged $22.30/cwt.; Wisconsin, $23.90/cwt.; New York, $23.80/cwt., and Idaho, $22.20/cwt.

January 2014 Class III futures settled at $21.12/cwt. on Friday, which should be close to USDA’s federal order January Class III price, to be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 5. If realized, it would be the fourth-highest Class III price on record, Gould said. The highest Class III price was $21.67/cwt., in August 2011. 

For more information, visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison Understanding Dairy Markets website: