Milk futures were over
That compares to
There are several factors at work in the higher costs, Stewart said.
"First off, probably the most immediate, is it is a dairy farm is what I call a secondary processor of commodities because we use corn in particular -- everything is based off price of corn and soybeans," he said. "It's actually a reaction to the ethanol mandate that has raised the price of commodities in general."
Tighter grain supplies means higher prices consumers pay not only for milk, but also meat, Stewart said.
"The feed costs doubled with the ethanol mandate," Stewart said. "In a capitalistic society, eventually that trickles down. It is the number one reason why all these commodity groups also oppose mandating more ethanol because it all does trickle down into higher food costs."
Government notes price increases
According to the
Things have changed, Stewart said.
"Through the 1980s and '90s, we'd average about
Farmers recently were getting
Export markets are competing for U.S. milk, too, which is a brace for prices, said
"One thing that has had an effect is the growth of our export market has increased considerably," Lenth said. "Our world market has changed so much. The percentage of our dairy products that are exported is certainly having an effect, and so is the demand for additional products, particularly yogurt.
Production has gone down "slightly" across the region after a harsh winter, while demand has increased on a global scale, said
"Some of the increase is basic supply and demand," she said. "The demand has increased over the last couple of years, especially in the export market, so we're filling that demand to export countries."
Feed quality an issue
Feed quality was down, which led to lower production, Claudon said.
"We didn't get high quality silages and forages over the last winter," she said.
The number of cows in
"We predict production is going to be back up; cows have to go through one lactation cycle and the numbers going back up," she said.
Production because of quality of forages and cold weather affected them and all of us also.
The inventory of animals has been stable, but
Most of the dairy operations are in the northeastern and northwestern corners of the state, she said.
"At that time, say 2009-10, it was a very high cost to operate, with high feed costs and so forth, so our dairy farmers, the price they're being paid right now has improved, but they're still recovering from the last few years of high costs," she said.
He said the
"In other words, they're willing to pay more than people in
But a hot export market is only one component in the price dynamic, Hansen said.
"We have some other issues," he said.
A drought in
"That has to affect production," he said.
The feed-quality issue, closer to home, also is playing a role, Hansen noted.
"As near as what producers I hear from are saying, the feed quality isn't what it was, so cows aren't making that much milk," he said.
A hot summer could exacerbate the problem, he said.
"Heat waves adversely affect production; cold, not so much if the cows are fed correctly," he said. "So far, we haven't had any heat, but heat and humidity are animals' worst enemies."
Cheese production tends to slacken during the summer, so that should ease pressure on the milk supply somewhat, Hansen said.
The dairy industry typically sees "ups and downs" in the milk price, Hansen noted.
"The peaks are usually very short in duration and the valleys are long," he said. "This has to be one of the longest peak milk prices the dairy industry has experienced in recent years."
Hansen was asked if consumer had seen the last of
"A lot of milks are
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