DHM Numbers & Trends: Milk COP

Weekly ethanol production, corn use

Ethanol production data for the week ending Jan. 24:

Ethanol production: 37.80 million gallons/day

Corn used: 13.65 million bushels/day

DIstillers grains production: 89,546 metric tons/day

Source: Renewable Fuels Association


Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending Jan. 18: 68,900 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 179,500 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -12,900 head

Highlights: For the week, 31% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH &; WI); 25% came from USDA Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI &; NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


Milk: December cost of production

Costs Dec. "13 
Nov. "13 Dec. "12
All feed 
$13.53 $15.08
Operating1 $16.03 
$16.82 $18.26
Allocated overhead2
$8.63 $8.74 $8.43
Total costs   
$25.56 $26.69

1/ includes feed; 2/ includes labor

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

On the strength of lower feed costs, the national average cost to produce milk fell for a third consecutive month in December, declining to its lowest level since May 2012. (USDA did not calculate milk cost of production between March and June 2013 due to sequestration budget cuts.)

USDA's monthly Milk Cost of Production report showed purchased feed costs were the primary driver, down 55¢/cwt. of milk sold compared to November 2013, and down $1.48/cwt. from December 2012. December 2013 total feed costs were down 76¢/cwt. of milk sold from November 2013, and $2.31 less than December 2012. Since September 2013, average purchased feed costs are down $2.87/cwt. of milk sold, with total feed costs down $3.29/cwt.

Total feed represented about 52% of total costs in December 2013, compared to 57% a year ago.

Other than feed, most operating and allocated overhead costs were virtually unchanged from November 2013 and December 2012. Labor, opportunity costs on unpaid labor and capital recovery of machinery/equipment were slightly higher in December compared to a month earlier.

The preliminary December 2013 average total cost was $24.66/cwt., down  90¢ from November 2013 and down $2.03/cwt. from December 2012. All cost estimates are based on total farm costs per hundredweight of milk sold.


Later today

USDA releases its monthly Ag Prices report, as well as a semi-annual Cattle report estimated the number of U.S. dairy and beef cows and replacement heifers.



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