December Milk/Feed Margin Falls $1.03/cwt
The United States Department of Agriculture released the December milk/feed margin under the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) this week, showing the December margin at $9.36/cwt, or $1.03 less than November.
The November/December average came in at $9.87, meaning there will again be no MPP payment for the period. This marks the 18th consecutive month that no payments have been made under the MPP program. The last payments were made for May/June 2016 period.
The December all-milk price came in at $17.20/cwt, 90¢ lower than the November. This drop accounted for most of the decline in the MPP margin for the month. Corn was reported at $3.23/bu, up 8¢ from November. Alfalfa hay was unchanged at $148/ton, and soybean meal was up 5.70 to $319.22/ton. (Note: Higher feed prices translate to a lower margin.)
There are a number of proposals floating around Washington to fix Dairy MPP, but most would require more dollars in the upcoming Farm Bill. Finding those dollars will be the crux of dairy debate.