January 19, 2017

Milk Price Boost On The Horizon

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

There’s no doubt 2016 was a challenging year for dairy producers. A new MILK Intelligence survey shows the average price for milk paid last year was $15.97 per cwt. Surveyed producers averaged a highest 2016 price of $17.87 per cwt and a low of $14.25 per cwt.


Looking at milk prices state by state, California reported the lowest price at $13.43 per cwt, not surprising given their state’s recent push for milk pricing reform. The highest paid state was Florida at $17.56 per cwt, followed closely by Wisconsin at $17.50 per cwt. More than 38% of producers surveyed said 2016 margins were most like 2009.

Most farmers are hoping for things to improve in 2017. Surveyed producers expect next year’s milk price to average $17.81 per cwt. Adding to the profitability of the new year, farmers expect corn to be $150.21 per ton and soybean meal to be $289.83 per ton. More than 74% of surveyed farmers do expect labor costs to rise, but no more than 25%.

Not all producers are optimistic about 2017 though. “This whole coming year doesn’t look profitable at all to me,” said Oregon dairy farmer Dan Bahler. Additionally, surveyed farmers expressed concern about the price they pay for milk to be hauled to the processing plant.