Dairy Outlook: April 2018

Pennsylvania dairy cash flows continue to be upside down as income over feed cost and milk margins shrink and are below breakeven levels.
Dairy Outlook: April 2018 - Articles

Updated: April 13, 2018

Dairy Outlook: April 2018

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Dairy Market Outlook

Despite February all milk prices showing a continued decline, March Class III and Class IV show early indications of a slow down in that price drop. March Class III was $0.82 higher and Class IV was $0.17 higher than the previous month. Predicted mailbox prices for Pennsylvania based on Class III and Class IV prices will continue to fluctuate between $15.50 and $16.75 for the next several months (Gould, 2018).

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team recently completed the collection of 2017 actual costs during our 2018 cash flow planning season. To reflect the changes in dairy operations, the 3 year average breakeven Pennsylvania IOFC breakeven and milk margin breakeven have been adjusted to $9.00/milk cow/day and $12.33/cwt, respectfully. this encompasses year end actual data from 2015 thru 2017. Since December, Pennsylvania average IOFC has been below this three year average. Each farms breakeven, received milk price, production, and feed costs will be unique. Tracking indvidual IOFC and/or milk margin monthly will help guide management decisions to weather the current downturn.

Table 1: 12 month Pennsylvania and U.S. All Milk Income, Feed Cost, Income over Feed Cost ($/milk cow/day)

¹Based on corn, alfalfa hay, and soybean meal equivalents to produce 75 lbs. of milk (Bailey & Ishler, 2007)

²The 3 year average actual IOFC breakeven in Pennsylvania from 2015-2017 was $9.00 ± $1.67 ($/milk cow/day) (Beck, Ishler, Goodling, 2018).

Table 2: 12 month Pennsylvania and U.S. All Milk Price, Feed Cost, Milk Margin ($/cwt for lactating cows)

¹Based on corn, alfalfa hay, and soybean meal equivalents to produce 75 lbs. of milk (Bailey & Ishler, 2007)

²The 3 year average actual Milk Margin breakeven in Pennsylvania from 2015-2017 was $12.33 ± $2.29 ($/cwt) (Beck, Ishler, Goodling, 2018).

Figure 1: 12 month PA Milk Income and Income over Feed Cost

²The 3 year average actual IOFC breakeven in Pennsylvania from 2014-2016 was $8.97 ± $1.76 ($/milk cow/day) (Beck, Ishler, Goodling, 2017).

Figure 2: 24 month Actual and Predicted* Class III, Class IV, and Pennsylvania Average Mailbox Price ($/cwt)

*Predicted values based on Class III and Class IV futures regression (Gould, 2018).

Table 3: 24 month Actual and Predicted* Class III, Class IV, and Pennsylvania Average Mailbox Price ($/cwt)

MonthClass III PriceClass IV PriceAverage PA Mailbox Price
Mar-17$15.81$14.32$17.91
Apr-17$15.22$14.01$16.43
May-17$15.57$14.49$16.32
Jun-17$16.44$15.89$17.17
Jul-17$15.45$16.60$17.40
Aug-17$16.57$16.61$18.25
Sep-17$16.36$15.86$17.83
Oct-17$16.69$14.85$17.49
Nov-17$16.88$13.99$17.61
Dec-17$15.44$13.51$17.04
Jan-18$14.00$13.13$16.01
Feb-18$13.40$12.87$15.57
Mar-18$14.22$13.04$16.08
Apr-18$14.43$13.64$15.65
May-18$14.85$14.27$16.17
Jun-18$15.23$14.47$16.47
Jul-18$15.69$14.76$16.87
Aug-18$15.93$14.93$17.07
Sep-18$16.16$15.31$17.38
Oct-18$16.15$15.28$18.17
Nov-18$16.07$15.33$18.16
Dec-18$16.00$15.33$18.12
Jan-19$15.67$15.25$17.90
Feb-19$15.72$15.20$17.90

*Italicized predicted values based on Class III and Class IV futures regression (Gould, 2018).

To look at feed costs and estimated income over feed costs at varying production levels by zip code, check out the Penn State Extension Dairy Teams DairyCents or DairyCents Pro  apps today.

Data sources for price data

All Milk Price: Pennsylvania and U.S. All Milk Price (USDA, 2018)

Predicted Class III, Class IV, and Pennsylvania Mailbox Price (average of the Eastern and Western PA mailbox Price) (Gould, 2018)

Alfalfa Hay: Pennsylvania and U.S. monthly Alfalfa Hay Price (USDA, 2018)

Corn Grain: Pennsylvania and U.S. monthly Corn Grain Price (USDA, 2018)

Soybean Meal: Feed Price List (Ishler, 2018) and average of Decatur, Illinois Rail and Truck Soybean Meal, High Protein prices, National Feedstuffs (Gould, 2018).

References

Bailey, K. and V. Ishler. “ Dairy Risk-Management Education: Tracking Milk Prices and Feed Costs ”. Penn State Extension. Accessed 9/20/2017.

Beck, T.J., Ishler, V.A., & Goodling, R. C. 2018. “Dairy Enterprise Crops to Cow to Cash Project,” the Pennsylvania State University. Unpublished raw data.

Dairy Records Management Systems. “DairyMetrics Online Data Report system”. Accessed 9/14/2017.

Gould, B. 2018. “Predicted Mailbox Prices (Eastern Pennsylvania”). Understanding Dairy Markets website. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Accessed 4/5/2018.

Gould, B. 2018. “National Feedstuffs: Soybean Meal, High Protein”. Summary of USDA AMS Grain Reports. Accessed 4/5/2018.

Ishler, V. “ DairyCents Mobile App ”. Penn State Extension. #App-1010.

Ishler, V. “ DairyCents Pro Mobile App ”. Penn State Extension. #App-1009.

Ishler, V. “Feed Price List”. Personal Communication. Accessed 4/5/2018.

Microsoft 2016. “Forecast.ets function”, Office Help Website .

USDA NASS, 2018. Agricultural Prices, Quick Stats version 2.0. Accessed 4/5/2018.

The Dairy Outlook Newsletter is supported by an Annual USDA RMA grant.

Authors

Dairy Business Management Dairy Nutrition

More by Timothy Beck 

Dairy Herd Management Dairy Cattle Nutrition Dairy Feed Management Dairy Cattle Feed Management Dairy Business Management Dairy Cattle Business Management

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Data and Records Management Dairy Profitability and Management Dairy Genetics and Reproduction

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