CWT Assists with 2.1 Million Pounds of Dairy Product Export Sales – Hoard's Dairyman

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperatives accepted ten offers of export assistance from CWT that helped them capture sales contracts for 1.455 million pounds (660 metric tons) of whole milk powder and 632,727 pounds (287 metric tons) of cream cheese. The product is going to customers in Asia and South America and will be delivered from July through September 2020.

CWT-assisted member cooperative export sales contracts for 2020 total 21.858 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 6.246 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat), 1.960 million pounds of anhydrous milkfat, 3.606 million pounds of cream cheese and 18.450 million pounds of whole milk powder. The product is going to 28 countries in seven regions. These sales are the equivalent of 558 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members in moving dairy products overseas through the Export Assistance program is critical during the challenging times U.S. dairy farmers and cooperatives are facing. The Export Assistance program helps in strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact producers’ milk price. The program is helping member cooperatives grow and maintain world market share for U.S dairy products and is a significant factor in maintaining the total demand for U.S. dairy products and the demand for U.S. farm milk.

Dairy product and related milk volume amounts reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT pays export assistance to bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by required documentation.

All dairy farmers and dairy cooperatives should invest in CWT. Membership information is available on the CWT website.

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. The money raised by their investment is being used to strengthen and stabilize the dairy farmers’ milk prices and margins. For more information about CWT, visit www.cwt.coop

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Is worst of COVID-19 plunge in dairy economy over? – Wisconsin State Farmer

The worst of the coronavirus-induced plunge in the dairy economy may be over. The sharp drop in dairy product prices in April, prompted by the pandemic, has been followed by a strong recovery in cash market prices in May that’s continuing into June.

Cash cheese prices rebounded dramatically from $1.00 a pound in the first half of April to record levels in less than eight weeks. Cash butter prices, to a lesser extent, have also rebounded from April lows.

This market turnaround has been caused by actions and developments that have reduced milk supply and strengthened dairy product demand. Dairy cooperatives widely implemented temporary base-excess price plans, while dairy farmers changed their feeding and milking practices and culled some additional cows. Government purchases of dairy products expanded substantially as Congress provided billions of dollars in emergency relief to the Department of Agriculture.

More recently, food service establishments resumed significant dairy purchases to replenish empty stocks in anticipation of staged re-openings. And retail sales of key dairy products have been above year-earlier levels throughout the pandemic episode, as consumers largely went back to the basics of grocery shopping and home cooking.

Dairy-farmer income will also be boosted by federal direct payments of $6.20 per cwt. for first quarter milk production. These developments together have improved the financial outlook for the nation’s dairy farmers markedly from how it first appeared during March’s collapse driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commercial use of dairy products

Significant effects of the coronavirus pandemic on domestic consumption of dairy products became visible in USDA data for April. Domestic commercial use of American-type and of other varieties of cheese were both down by about 10.5 percent that month from April 2019, while butter use was about 3.5 percent higher. This reflected the different proportions of these two basic dairy products in food-service versus retail purchases. Domestic use of milk in all products was 5.0 and 6.2 percent lower, respectively, on a milkfat and a skim solids milk equivalent basis in April, compared with a year earlier.

U.S. dairy trade

The U.S. exported more than one-half of one percent more of its production of total milk solids during February–April than it did during the same period a year earlier. The increase was due to gains in overseas sales of milk powders, dry whey products and other dairy ingredients, which outweighed declines in cheese, milkfat and other food product exports.

During the February–April period, imports of milk protein concentrate and casein were up substantially above year-ago levels in March but below the previous year’s level in April. Imports of whole milk powder were well above last year’s levels in both March and April, while imports of the major cheese categories were well below a year ago in those two months.

Milk production

The crisis conditions in the U.S. dairy industry over the past few months have significantly affected milk production. Revised data show U.S. cow numbers in March were 52 thousand head more than in March 2019. With this number, this past March witnessed by far the most aggressive dairy herd expansion during the third month of a herd expansion cycle in more than 20 years. But preliminary numbers for April were 49 thousand more than April 2019, making this past April the first time since early 2005 that the fourth month of a dairy herd expansion cycle showed a smaller annual increase than the third month.

Milk production itself increased in April at a slower year-over-year rate, or dropped at a faster one, compared to March in every one of the 24 monthly-reporting states except for two with very slightly faster April increases. April U.S. milk production was up over a year ago by 1.4 percent, compared with 2.8 percent in March and 1.8 percent in February (adjusted for leap year).

Significantly, U.S. average daily milk production per cow dropped from March to April for the first time since at least 1998. The pandemic’s impacts caused U.S. dairy farmers to take actions that universally halted, at least temporarily, one of the most energetic dairy herd and milk production expansions in at least two decades. That’s one of several key factors currently strengthening the milk price outlook for the second half this year.

Dairy products

Cheddar cheese production in April was almost 8 percent higher than in April 2019, while mozzarella production was down by about 5.5 percent at the same time. These major changes affected the three-month, February–April results as well, as shown. Butter sales at retail are up by almost 33 percent over a year ago during the first five months of 2020. Reflecting this, reported butter production was up over a year ago by 5.4 percent in February, 8.4 percent in March and by 25.1 percent (preliminary) in April. Nonfat dry milk production was 9.3 percent higher than a year earlier, likely stimulated by increased demand for milk fortification in cheese production.

Dairy product inventories

Stocks of many of the key dairy products reached long-time or record-high levels at the end of April. This was not unexpected given the pandemic-related disruptions the dairy industry has experienced beginning in March. April-ending cold storage stocks of butter were the highest since the fall of 1993. American-type cheese stocks were last above April-ending levels in the fall of 1985. April stocks were the highest on record for other than American-type cheese and for nonfat dry milk.

Dairy product and Federal Order class prices

The price of butter reported by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in the National Dairy Product Sales Report (NDPSR) turned up in May from its April low, but NDPSR cheese and nonfat dry milk prices continued to drop. These price changes reduced all federal order class prices in May from their April levels, presaging a May all-milk price even lower than April’s already sharply lower level.

Retail prices increased from April to May for natural cheddar cheese, processed cheese and yogurt but were down slightly for fluid milk products and ice cream. These increases reflected stronger retail sales for those products, although butter, which has experienced particularly strong retail sales gains in recent months, showed a continued retail price drop from both a month and a year ago in May, both driven by the steady decline in wholesale butter prices that started in the fall of 2019.

Milk and feed prices

The U.S. average all-milk price strongly reflected the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the U.S. dairy industry in April, dropping $3.60 per cwt., or 20 percent, off the March price. This was the largest one-month drop in the national all-milk price since at least 1980, in both absolute as well as percentage terms. The largest previous one-month price plunges in dollar value was $2.90 per cwt., in January 2015; the biggest percentage drop was 17 percent, in April 1999.

The monthly margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program fell by $3.13 per cwt. from March to April, with the drop in the milk price being partially offset by a $0.48 per cwt. drop in the DMC feed cost formula, due to lower costs of corn and soybean meal. The April margin will generate a payment for that month to all producers currently enrolled in the program for margin coverage levels from $6.50 per cwt. up through $9.50 per cwt.

Looking ahead

April and May will be the two worst months of 2020 for dairy farmers for both prices and margins. But beyond these two months, the dairy futures-based outlook has improved significantly since the end of April. At that time, the outlook was for a very slow and painful recovery for margins throughout the remainder of 2020, with June being as bad as May and DMC margins remaining below $9.50 per cwt. through the end of the year.

But by the end of May, the outlook indicated the margin would be up not far below that level in June, and then remain above $10 per cwt. for July through December. By mid-June, dairy futures markets indicated that milk prices would remain well above $18.00 per cwt. every month during the entire second half of 2020, and average during that period about $18.60 per cwt., which was the average price for all of 2019.

And if the total estimated Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) direct payment amounts are thought of as supplements to milk prices during the two months of expected very low prices and margins, April and May, together with average DMC payments, those augmented prices would also average about the same $18.60 per cwt. for those two months.

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June is Dairy Month | Columnists – Rincón Latino

National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but has now developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world. After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name soon changed to “Dairy Month.”

National Dairy Month is a great way to start the summer with nutrient-rich dairy foods. From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients, which may help to better manage your weight, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Whether it’s protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse. Those are just a few of the reasons that you should celebrate dairy not just in June, but all year long.

There are several other dates throughout June that correspond with this great month!

June 4 is National Cheese Day! Why don’t you try a new cheese that you’ve been intrigued by … an amazingly tangy goat cheese, or a pepperjack, or a unique cheese that you can find in many cheese sections of our stores. Or just go with an old classic, and sit down to an ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich!

June 7 is both National Chocolate Ice Cream Day and Frozen Yogurt Day! Chocolate ice cream is an amazing treat during the summers, but frozen yogurt just hits the spot some days … or try them both on June 7!

June 20 is Ice Cream Soda Day! Never made an ice cream soda? Try this recipe from Food Network: foodnetwork.com/grilling/grilling-central-frozen-treats/articles/how-to-make-the-best-ice-cream-soda.

Lastly, June 29 is Waffle Iron Day … now what does this have to do with Dairy Month? Just slather those toasty warm waffles with tons of butter to get your dairy fix for the day!

Dairy Month is a great thing to celebrate and a wonderful way to thank all of those farmers raising these dairy products for us! So maybe send a thank you card in the mail or ask if you can bring them dinner one night. We are greatly appreciative of all of their hard work they do to help feed us every day!

Thank you, dairy farmers!

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Hundreds of people ordered dairy products to support local Wisconsin farmers – WXOW.com

TREMPEALEAU, Wis. (WXOW) – The Trempealeau Lions Club came up with an idea to support local Wisconsin dairy farmers through ‘dairy-baskets.’

Members of the club purchased an assortment of dairy products from local Wisconsin farmers and then re-sold them to the public. The baskets contained butter, cheese, and eggs.

The dairy-baskets were $20 each, and 500 were sold.

George Bartles, a member of the Trempealeau Lions, said it is great to see so many people care about local farmers.

“We are happy to help out the community,” Bartels said. “The dairy baskets are a great way for people to support farmers and to get out of the house.”

Because of COVID-19, the Trempealeau Lions had to cancel a good majority of their local volunteer and charity work in the community.

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Borden Dairy to provide 700 million servings of dairy products for families in need – Advocate Media

Borden Dairy, a business which recently moved to the neighborhood, was awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest contract through its Farmers to Families Food Box Program as part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program.

This will enable Borden to supply 700 million servings of fluid milk for free to qualifying organizations starting this Friday, May 15.

Marissa Alvarado

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Kroger, Publix Work to Rescue Dairy Products – Winsight Grocery Business

As the coronavirus pandemic has upended the foodservice supply chain, many dairies and farmers have been left in the lurch with no one to buy their products. While some farmers and dairies have had to resort to plowing over fields full of crops or dumping milk, retailers have joined in to help get that food to where it can do some good: food banks, which are under increased demand as more Americans are losing jobs and becoming food insecure just as donations have begun to dry up. According to Feeding America, an estimated 17.1 million additional people will experience food insecurity due to school closures and rising unemployment during the pandemic.

The Kroger Family of Companies partnered with its dairy cooperative suppliers and farmers to launch an expanded Dairy Rescue Program that will process and donate about 200,000 gallons of additional milk to Feeding America food banks and community organizations through the end of August, uplifting its Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative. 

The Dairy Rescue Program expands on an existing partnership model between Kroger and its dairy cooperative suppliers to direct even more fluid milk—one of the most requested but harder-to-stock items at food banks—to food-insecure communities. Through the expanded program, during the pandemic dairy cooperatives will donate surplus milk normally sold to restaurants, schools and hotels, while Kroger will donate the processing and packaging of the donated milk. Additionally, in some areas, Kroger’s logistics team will also donate the transportation of the milk to local food banks. The program previously donate a combined 129,900 gallons throughout the year, but now Kroger’s dairy processing plants and suppliers will be donating an additional 50,000 gallons of milk per month to local food banks and community organizations.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses like restaurants and hotels across the country to close, some of America’s farmers are left without buyers for their dairy supply,” said Heather McCann, director of public affairs for Dairy Farmers of America’s mideast area, one of the partners in the program. “Kroger’s Dairy Rescue Program is an invaluable resource for the dairy industry during this crisis and beyond, helping distribute and process surplus milk to communities who need it the most.”

The program is further enhanced by Kroger’s Centennial Dairy partnership in Atlanta, with Dairy Farmers of America, to direct 24,000 half-gallons of milk to support healthcare workers and first responders in Augusta, Macon and Savannah, Ga., throughout May. Kroger kicked off the Great Georgia Give milk donation campaign in metro Atlanta late in April with Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.

Publix Helps Farmers, Food Banks

Publix’s new initiative to purchase fresh produce and milk to assist farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic also will work with Feeding America to supply fresh fruits, vegetables and milk.

“As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”

More than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk was donated to Feeding America food banks during the first week of the initiative, which launched April 22.

“In addition to providing much needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time,” Jones said. “We’re honored to be able to work with these groups and do good together for our communities.”

Publix Super Markets Charities also recently made donations totaling $2 million to support Feeding America member food banks during the pandemic.

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Midwest Dairy donates $500,000 to food banks | 2020-04-28 | Dairy Foods – dairyfoods.com

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