Dairy marches out like a lion

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Feed prices were trending higher, but milk prices roared in March, and cull cow prices approached $1 per pound, based on end-of-month preliminary reports from USDA.

 

March milk prices surge to record high

USDA’s preliminary estimate of the March U.S. all-milk price, at $25.40/cwt., is a new record high. It compares to a revised estimate of $24.90/cwt., in February 2014 and $19.10/cwt. in March 2013.

Individual states saw even higher prices, led by Florida, at $29.00/cwt.; Virginia, at $27.90/cwt.; and Oregon, at $27.50/cwt.

Nine other states saw average milk prices at $26.00/cwt. or higher, according to the USDA/NASS Ag Prices report.

Among the largest milk-producing states, California's March all-milk price averaged $24.00/cwt.; and New York and Wisconsin $26.10/cwt.

Idaho, at $23.90/cwt., was unchanged, and the only state not to post an increase in March.

Prices received for all milk, major dairy states and U.S. ($/cwt.)

 

Mar-13

Feb-14

Mar-14

Arizona ................................

18.30

23.70

24.00

California .............................

17.51

23.13

24.00

Colorado ..............................

19.50

24.50

24.80

Florida .................................

23.00

27.60

29.00

Idaho ...................................

18.30

23.90

23.90

Illinois ..................................

19.80

25.80

26.00

Indiana ................................

19.90

25.20

25.80

Iowa .....................................

19.80

25.80

26.20

Kansas ................................

19.40

25.30

25.70

Michigan ..............................

19.70

24.90

25.40

Minnesota ............................

19.50

26.10

26.40

New Mexico .........................

17.80

23.80

24.60

New York .............................

20.40

25.70

26.10

Ohio .....................................

20.30

25.20

25.80

Oregon ................................

20.10

26.90

27.50

Pennsylvania .......................

20.70

25.90

26.50

South Dakota 1 .....................

20.30

26.20

26.40

Texas ..................................

19.40

26.00

26.70

Utah .....................................

18.60

24.10

24.50

Vermont ...............................

20.50

25.80

26.30

Virginia ................................

21.60

26.90

27.90

Washington .........................

19.50

25.40

25.60

Wisconsin ............................

19.40

25.70

26.10

United States .......................

19.10

24.90

25.40

Source: USDA

 

 

* Preliminary

 

 

1/Beginning in March 2014, South Dakota was added and Missouri was removed from the monthly price program.

 

 

 

 

March milk-feed price ratio remains strong

Record-high monthly average milk prices weren't enough to offset small gains in feed prices, pushing the preliminary March 2014 milk-feed price ratio slightly lower. At 2.58, the index is down from 2.60 in February 2014, but still the second-highest monthly index since January 2008, according to the USDA/NASS Ag Prices report.

The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a ration of 51% corn, 8% soybeans and 41% alfalfa hay.

The March 2014 U.S. average all-milk price was $25.40/cwt., compared to $24.90/cwt. in February 2014 and $19.10/cwt. in March 2013. 

March corn, at $4.54/bushel, was up 19¢ from February, but $2.59 less than March 2013.

March 2014 soybeans averaged $13.60/bushel, up 40¢ from February, but down $1.00 from March 2013.

Alfalfa hay averaged $191/ton in March, up $3 from February 2014, but $28 less than March 2013.

 

Milk-feed price ratio*

 

 

 

Mar-13

Feb-14

Mar-14

Milk ($/cwt.)

19.10

24.90

25.40

Corn ($/bu.)

7.13

4.35

4.54

Soybeans ($/bu.)

14.6

13.2

13.6

Alfalfa hay ($/ton)

219

188

191

Milk-feed ratio    

1.48

2.6

2.58

Source: USDA Ag Prices report

 

 

Cull cow prices approach $1/lb.

Estimated U.S. March 2014 cull cow prices (beef and dairy combined) averaged $99.90/cwt., according to the USDA/NASS Ag Prices report. The average is up $4.50/cwt. from February’s revised estimate and $16.10/cwt. more than March 2013. At that price, a 1,300-lb. cull cow is worth $1,299.



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