Feed prices projected lower next year, along with Class III milk

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Feed price forecasts continue to decline, based on the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. The forecast corn price for the 2013/14 crop year is now $4.10-$4.90 a bushel.

Lower harvested acreage is more than offset by higher yield, leading to a record production forecast. However, the soybean meal price is revised higher for 2013/14 in November to $375-$415 a ton. Soybean production forecasts for 2013/14 are raised in November based on higher yield expectations, but stronger exports of soybean meal are expected to boost prices.

According to the October Agricultural Prices report, the preliminary October price for alfalfa was $193 a ton, down fractionally from September’s estimate and below the October 2012 price. Dairy feed ration prices will likely be lower in 2014 than this year.

The U.S. dairy herd is expected to average 9.225 million head in 2013 and increase to 9.245 million head in 2014 as producers respond to improved returns. The current-year milk yield per cow is forecast at 21,865 pounds.

Milk per cow is forecast at 22,170 pounds next year, based on expectations that cheaper feed and abundant forages will support improved yields.

Milk production this year is projected at 201.7 billion pounds, slightly lower than forecast in September. Production in 2014 is forecast at 204.9 billion pounds, based on slightly higher cow numbers next year and trend yield growth. The improved feed price outlook should lead to some herd expansion in 2014.

The Class III price forecast for 2014 is $16.85-$17.75 per cwt -- down from this year --  based on forecast lower cheese and whey prices.

The all-milk price range is narrowed from September to $19.80-$19.90 per cwt this year and dropped for 2014 to $19.30-$20.20 per cwt on the basis of expected lower 2014 Class III prices.

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

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