Fluid milk and cream review — West

Last week’s heatwave may have suppressed milk production in the Pacific Northwest, but as the temperatures have moderated, milk output has come back somewhat.

Published on August 11, 2017 5:51PM


(USDA Market News)

AUG. 11

In California, weather conditions continue to be less favorable for farm milk production. This week, contacts report that milk output is declining.

As the result, for a number of processors, spot loads are harder to find on short notice. However, contracted milk volumes continue to flow as planned. Manufacturing plants are working close to full capacities. Class 1 demand is unchanged from a week ago.

In Arizona, milk output is trending down due to hotter daytime temperatures across the state. Last week, many reports showed temperatures above normal levels. Bottled milk intakes are steady, but are expected to pick up within a few weeks when educational institutions reopen.

In Arizona, 58 percent of alfalfa hay is rated good to excellent, with harvesting taking place on three-quarters of the alfalfa acreage. Ninety-three percent of topsoil moisture is adequate to surplus.

In New Mexico, milk production is steady to slightly down, following its normal summer pattern. Some western milk loads are moving into the Southeast region. With most schools getting ready to reopen in a few week, pipelines are filing up.

Industry contacts suggest that milk volumes into balancing plants are significantly down. Class I intakes are steady while Class II and III requests are decreasing.

In New Mexico, topsoil moisture levels were reported as 74 percent adequate to surplus this week, compared to 39 percent last week. The fifth cutting of alfalfa is 12 percent complete while the third and fourth cutting are respectively 86 and 55 percent complete.

Last week’s heatwave may have suppressed milk production in the Pacific Northwest, but as the temperatures have moderated, milk output has come back somewhat. Although still warm, cow comfort and milk production are improving slightly. Milk is available for most processing needs and the school bottling demand has not yet kicked into high gear.

The region has also experienced a long stretch of dry weather. Pasture and rangeland conditions are good or excellent in 29 percent of Oregon and 38 percent of Washington.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado is strong and manufacturers are having no trouble getting the milk needed for most processing needs. Industry contacts report fewer production issues at processing facilities and were hoping to clear holdovers early in the week.

Contacts further stated some loads of milk were leaving the region, moving into neighboring states. A few loads of condensed skim were available at flat market prices and some distressed milk was still available at $4 under Class.

Pasture and rangeland conditions are good to excellent in 57 percent of Colorado, 49 percent of Utah, and 70 percent of Idaho.

In the West, condensed skim is moving at flat market price and sales are strong. Some western manufacturers are planning to move condensed skim to the Midwest this coming week. Cream continues to move strongly into ice cream in most parts of the West.

In California, contacts report a big lag in cream demand. Some western cream loads are finding homes in the East. Cream multiples for all usages are 1.07-1.27.

According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of Aug. 4-10, the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $2.60, up $0.17 from last week, and $0.06 higher from a year ago. The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $2.70, with a price range of $1.99-$2.99.

The weighted average regional price in the Northwest is $1.84, with a price range of $1.79-$1.99. According to the NASS Dairy Products report, hard ice cream production in the West region for June 2017 is 17.2 million gallons, 3.5 percent higher than a month ago, but 9.7 percent below the previous year.


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