Registration for Financial Impairment on the Farm webinar and Planning for Profitability program closes Friday, July 26

Dairy producers and others involved in production agriculture are reminded that registration for the Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar and the Planning for Profitability program closes Friday, July 26. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Specialist Fred M. Hall says that both programs are being hosted at no charge to participants. Producers and personnel from agribusinesses are welcome to register for one or both of these educational programs.

Continue reading “Registration for Financial Impairment on the Farm webinar and Planning for Profitability program closes Friday, July 26”

Iowa Milk Production Totals 433 Million Pounds In June

Milk production in Iowa during June 2019 totaled 433 million pounds, down less than one percent from the previous June according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report.
The average number of milk cows during June, at 217,000 head, was the same as last month but down 3,000 from last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 1,995 pounds, up 20 pounds from last June.

Continue reading “Iowa Milk Production Totals 433 Million Pounds In June”

Global Dairy Trade Event 240 concluded with the GDT Price Index up 2.7%

Event Results

Key Results

AMF index up 1.7%, average price US$5,523/MT
Butter index up 1.7%, average price US$4,406/MT
BMP not offered
Ched index up 3.3%, average price US$3,869/MT
LAC index not available, average price not available
RenCas index down 3.4%, average price US$7,044/MT
SMP index up 3.8%, average price US$2,505/MT
SWP index not available, average price not available
WMP index up 3.6%, average price US$3,074/MT

Full results have been published on

Plymouth County Fair to Turn Round Barn into Dairy Destination

This county fair in northwest Iowa will offer hands-on, goggles-on dairy experience for all ages

LE MARS, IA – The Plymouth County Fair will feature a variety of educational dairy and agricultural exhibits for this year’s fair, which runs from July 24-28 in Le Mars.

One of the highlights will be the Mobile Dairy Classroom, a 40-foot mobile milking exhibit provided by the Southwest Dairy Farmers organization.

Continue reading “Plymouth County Fair to Turn Round Barn into Dairy Destination”

Income-over-feed margin for May triggers fifth payment for 2019

On Thursday the USDA announced the Farm Service Agency began issuing payments under the Dairy Margin Coverage.

The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up for the new program, and FSA has begun paying approximately $100 million to producers for January through May.

“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country.  USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.”  

The May 2019 income over feed cost margin was $9.00 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the fifth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the $9.50 level of coverage under DMC. Payments for January, February, March and April also were triggered.  

With the 50 percent hay blend, FSA’s revised April 2019 income over feed cost margin is $8.82 per cwt. The revised margins for January, February and March are, respectively, $7.71, $7.91 and $8.66. 

DMC provides coverage retroactive to January 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019. 

WASDE Report Forecast 2020 All Milk Price at $18.85 /cwt

The milk production forecast for 2019 is unchanged, but the forecast for 2020 is reduced on slower expected growth in milk per cow. USDA’s Cattle report, to be released on July 19th, will provide a mid-year estimate of the dairy cow inventory and producer intentions regarding retention of heifers for dairy cow replacement.

For 2019 and 2020, the fat basis import forecasts are raised from the previous month on higher expected imports of butterfat products. Fat basis exports for 2019 are reduced on slower expected shipments of butterfat products. The 2020 fat basis export forecast is also reduced on expectations that U.S. butter exports will continue to be less competitive globally. The skim solids basis import forecasts for 2019 and 2020 are unchanged from the previous month. However, skim-solids basis exports for 2019 and 2020 are reduced from the previous month on lower exports of lactose, whey products, and other dairy products.

The 2019 cheese and nonfat dry milk (NDM) price forecasts are increased from the previous month while butter and whey price forecasts are reduced. The 2020 cheese price forecast is raised fractionally as demand is expected to improve, but the butter price forecast is lowered. The whey price forecast is also reduced as export prospects remain relatively weak. The NDM price forecast is unchanged.

The 2019 Class III price is raised as the higher cheese price more than offsets a lower whey price, and the Class IV price is raised as a higher NDM price more than offsets the lower butter price. The 2020 Class III price forecast is unchanged as the fractionally higher cheese price is offset by a lower whey price. The Class IV price forecast reflects a lower butter price.

The 2019 all milk price is forecast higher at $18.20 per cwt, but the all milk price forecast for 2020 is slightly lower than the previous month at $18.85.

What’s Going On In The Dairy Cow Market?

In the July 1 Daily Livestock Report the editor’s note that since the beginning of the year the dairy cowherd was contracting while the beef cowherd was up a full 1 percent.

The July 1 cattle inventory will be released by USDA-NASS on July 19, 2019, and the editors estimate the dairy cowherd has continued to contract through the first half of the year but has shown signs of slowing. First quarter slaughter was the largest of any quarter since 1986. The latest USDA-NASS Milk Production report came in with inventory at 9.333 million head. “Milk cow inventory is reported every month, and we would expect the July 1 inventory number to be reflective of those monthly numbers reported in June and July Milk Production Report” say the editors. Still, last year milk cows totaled 9.4 million on July 1. With monthly dairy cow slaughter up 5.6 percent year to date (Jan-May), dairy cow inventory is likely to be below a year ago. Margins in the dairy sector have improved somewhat but for many regions of the U.S. margins remain tight. Further, it seems unlikely the number of dairy cow replacements will rise above a year ago.

Continue reading “What’s Going On In The Dairy Cow Market?”

Planning For Profitability Program Set for Aug. 1 in Rock Rapids

Planning for Profitability program for farmers and agribusinesses 

One-day program will focus on planning ahead while facing shrinking margins in production agriculture

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach invites local farmers and agribusiness professionals to attend a free one-day Planning for Profitability workshop in either Rock Rapids or Decorah.

Planning for Profitability in a Changing Dairy Industry will focus on options to increase profitability when facing shrinking margins; risk management strategies and how they can benefit dairy operations; changes and requirements that ag lenders may be asking for when reviewing loan requests; and a review of the milk market. Continue reading “Planning For Profitability Program Set for Aug. 1 in Rock Rapids”

Forth Consecutive GDT Event Declines

Global Dairy Trade Event 239 concluded with the GDT Price Index down 0.4%

Key Results

AMF index down 1.9%, average price US$5,433/MT
Butter index down 4.8%, average price US$4,339/MT
BMP index down 11.9%, average price US$2,500/MT
Ched index down 1.5%, average price US$3,756/MT
LAC index down 1.1%, average price US$866/MT
RenCas index down 3.9%, average price US$7,221/MT
SMP index up 3.2%, average price US$2,430/MT
SWP index not available, average price not available
WMP index unchanged, average price US$2,969/MT

Full results have been published on