USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) released January 2015 national average prices and calculations used to determine potential indemnity payments under the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).

According to the report, the national average MPP-Dairy milk margin was $8.3356/cwt. in January 2015, still above the $8/cwt. maximum insurable margin under the program.

USDA/FAS listed the following average prices factoring into the total:

• Corn: $3.81/bushel

• Soybean meal: $380.02/ton

• Alfalfa hay: $174/ton

• Final feed costs: $9.26/cwt.

• All-milk price: $17.60/cwt.

• Milk margin minus feed costs: $8.3356/cwt.

Catastrophic coverage provides payments to participating producers when the national dairy production margin is less than $4.00/cwt. The national dairy production margin is the difference between the all-milk price and average feed costs. Producers may purchase buy-up coverage that provides payments when margins are between $4.00-$8.00/cwt.

Margins must fall below triggers levels for consecutive two-month periods for affected producers to receive payments under MPP-Dairy.

To see factors used in the calculation, visit


California April Class 1 prices stabilize

California's April Class 1 milk prices stopped a five-month decline. The California Department of Food & Agriculture announced the April Class 1 price for the North at $16.94/cwt., with the South price at $7.21/cwt. Both are up 28¢ from March 2015, but $7.94 less than April 2013.

Through the first four months of 2015, the North average is $17.54/cwt., with the South at $17.82/cwt. Both are about $6.50 less than the same period a year ago.

The April federal order Class I base price will be announced March 18.


February FMMO prices mixed

Federal order Class III & IV milk prices were announced March 4 by USDA’s Ag Marketing Service. February prices, were mixed in February, and sharply lower than a year ago. Compared to previous month and year:

• Class III: $15.46/cwt., down 72¢ from January 2015 and $7.89 less than February 2014. It is the lowest since May 2012. The February FMMO Class III prices is $1.68 above the comparable California Class 4b cheese milk price for February.

• Class IV: $13.82/cwt.,up 59¢ from January 2015, but $9.64 less than February 2014. It is the lowest since July 2012.


Weekly average California NFDM prices

Week ending

Avg. price ($/ lb.)

7-day sales (lb.)

March 6



Feb. 27



Feb. 20



Feb. 13



Feb. 6



Jan. 30



Source: CDFA




Weekly ethanol, co-products report

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released ethanol production data for the week ending March 6:

Ethanol production: 39.7 million gallons/day. The four-week average for ethanol production calculates to an annualized rate of 14.52 billion gallons. Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production was 11.09%.

Corn used: 14.31 million bushels/day

DIstillers grains production: 93,923 metric tons/day


Distillers dried grain prices

Regional distillers dried grain prices for March 11, from the USDA Market News/National Feedstuffs Market Review. Prices are $/ton, and reflect changes from previous week.

Eastern Corn Belt: 5 to 9 higher from 170-210

Chicago area: 20 higher from 190-200

Lawrenceburg, IN: not available

Nebraska: 5 lower from 160-180

Minnesota: steady to 7 higher from 155-175

Kansas: 5 higher from 185-205

Iowa: steady to 5 lower from 150-185

Northern Missouri: steady to 2 higher from 190-210

South Dakota: steady from 156-171

St. Louis: steady to 5 higher from 185-210

Wisconsin: steady from 175-190

California (rail delivered): steady to 5 higher from 240-249