Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dairy News

Milk Prices below 'Break even point"

Boise--Idaho Milk production numbers are in for November with production holding steady but prices coming in below the break even mark. Idaho milk production during November 2009 totaled 977 million pounds, a 0.4 percent decrease from the same month last year, and 4.3 percent down from October 2009, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

This year "is probably one of the worst years on record as far as the amount of equity dairymen have gone through to get through the year," Bob Naerebout, executive director of the association, told the Idaho State Journal.

He said dairy producers need to make about $16 per hundredweight to break even, but prices are currently just below $14 per hundredweight. He said a month ago it was below $10. "It's still a little below the break-even point, but it's certainly better than being $6 below break-even," Naerebout said.

October 2009 milk production was 1.02 billion pounds, unchanged from the preliminary level. Average milk production per cow in November 2009 was 1,790 pounds, up 20 pounds from November 2008. The average number of milk cows during November was 546,000 head, unchanged from October 2009, but down 8,000 head from November 2008.

Milk production in 23 major States during November totaled 14.0 billion pounds, down 1.0 percent from November 2008. October revised production at 14.3 billion pounds, was down 1.2 percent from October 2008. The October revision represented a decrease of 12 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,679 pounds for November, 25 pounds above November 2008. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.31 million head, 209,000 head less than November 2008, and 6,000 head less than October 2009.

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