It is going to be a tough year.

Last week, the USDA released its most recent projections for 2009 milk prices. The agency projects the annual Class III price will be in the range of $9.70-$10.40 per hundredweight this year. That is a sharp decline from last month’s price projection of $10.60-$11.40 per hundredweight.

The annual Class IV price is forecast to be slightly lower. The USDA’s February price projections put it in the $9.35-$10.15 range.

The USDA does not expect much in the way of relief from low milk prices until the fourth quarter, and even then, the quarterly average for Class III milk is not expected to exceed $12.

For more details from the report, click here.