The USDA forecasts a better year for dairy farmers in 2014 as feed costs are predicted to drop and milk prices to climb.

According to the USDA’s latest “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report, milk production in 2014 is predicted to reach 205.3 billion pounds, up slightly from 204.9 billion pounds forecast in November.

The USDA raised this forecast as higher milk forecast prices and lower expected feed costs support a more rapid increase in cow numbers and output per cow. 

“For 2014, despite higher dairy production, demand strength in importing countries and improving domestic demand in the United States is expected to support prices for all products,” the report said.  

Class III milk prices are expected to range between $17.05 and $17.85 per cwt in 2014, up from $16.85 to $17.75 per cwt reported last month. The all-milk price rose in the December report to $19.70 to $20.50 per cwt.

Corn prices were predicted to drop between $4.05 and $4.75 per bushel for 2013-2014, down between 5 and 15 cents from last month.

Here is a link the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released by the USDA on Nov. 8.