The milk-feed price ratio ended its four-month slide during June. Although it is still below the favorable 3.0, it is at least a step in the right direction.

According to the USDA’s “Agricultural Prices” report, released June 27, the ratio climbed 0.05 during June — to 2.24. That is still 0.32 less than the June 2002 ratio. In the report, the USDA also adjusted the May ratio, increasing it 0.03 to 2.19.

The USDA used an all-milk price of $11.10 to calculate the June ratio — the same price used to calculate the May ratio, and only 40 cents less than the all-milk price used to calculate the ratio last year.

Meanwhile, the prices for corn and soybeans decreased slightly during June. The corn price used in the June calculation decreased a nickel — to $2.33 per bushel — compared to the May price. The soybean price dropped 7 cents — to $6.00 per bushel. In the report, the USDA revised the corn and soybean prices used to calculate the May ratio. The revised corn price reflects a 6-cent decline from the price released in late May. The May soybean price was revised down 12 cents from the price released during May.

Meanwhile, the price per ton of baled alfalfa hay declined $3.10 during June — to $98.90 per ton. That also is $3.10 less than the price used to calculate the June 2002 ratio.

While the upward movement in the ratio during June is a positive sign, it still has a ways to go before it reaches 3.0. A ratio of 3.0 or greater indicates conditions are favorable for milk production.