National Dairy Products Sales Report weekly highlights

USDA’s weekly National Dairy Products Sales Report indicated Grade AA butter prices averaged $1.84/lb. for the week ending Feb. 8, up 4.4¢ from the previous week.

U.S. 40-lb. block cheddar cheese averaged $2.28/lb., up 5.1¢ from the previous week. The price for 500-lb. cheddar barrels, adjusted to 38% moisture, averaged $2.30/lb., up 6.7¢.

USDA Extra Grade dry whey averaged 62.0¢/lb., up 0.6¢.

USDA Extra Grade nonfat dry milk averaged $2.07/lb., up 0.5¢ from the previous week.


California NFDM prices

The weekly nonfat dry milk powder report has been posted to the California Department of Food & Agriculture Dairy Marketing Branch website.

For the week ending Feb. 7, the average price was $2.0452/lb. on total sales of 11.73 million lbs.

For the week ending Jan. 31, the average price was $2.0243/lb. on total sales of 10.97 million lbs.


Weekly ethanol production, corn use

Ethanol production data for the week ending Feb. 7:

Ethanol production: 37.88 million gallons/day

Corn used: 13.68 million bushels/day

DIstillers grains production: 89,744 metric tons/day

Source: Renewable Fuels Association


Demand remains strong for rental land

Demand for land leases remain steady, according to Farmers National Company, a U.S. farm and ranch real estate company. Despite lower commodity prices and decreased gross incomes, farm profitability remains good due in part to a 30% drop in fertilizer prices since 2012 and carryover grain sales from the previous crop year.

"Demand for high quality property is keeping both land values and rental rates strong," said David Englund, AFM, executive vice president of farm and ranch management of Farmers National Company. "Overall, lease rates are higher on quality land if the land was rented below market in 2013, but rates across the board are mostly level. Fertilizer costs are expected to drop further in 2014, which will help farmers remain profitable."

The desire of farm owners to expand existing operations is leading to highly aggressive sales activity and keeping the demand for farmland strong. In addition, there has been a trend of young people coming back to family farm operations prompting additional demand for land.

Farm profitability is prompting a widespread movement from traditional cash rent arrangements to Cash Rent-Plus (flex rent) leases. This rental arrangement provides landowners with a negotiated base cash rent supplemented by a potential additional payment, based on operation profitability.



USDA to release new long-term agricultural projections

USDA will release new 10-year agricultural projections on Feb. 13, 11 a.m. EST. USDA's Agricultural Projections to 2023 will be posted to the Office of the Chief Economist's (OCE) website at