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Of Cows and Markets

By  E. W. Lang

I have little in the way of good mews to share following this last week of ag and equity trade, as markets are generally sobering for town and country folk alike.   I'll just deliver some generalities.  Block cheese lost a little, barrels lost a little more and butter lost a lot.  Class III Futures for the rest of this year and all of next lost one to 37 cents per cwt. 

Based on USDA ag prices for June, the Dairy Margin Coverage milk-feed margin should be about $8.63 per cwt.  Farmers electing and paying for the $9.50 coverage should clear 70 or so cents per cwt  in government milk subsidies for their covered base production. 

During June we,the USA, exported less than 14% of our milk solids to foreign countries.  For reference, in early 2018 we exported over 18% of our milik solids.  In 2014 we shipped out about 25% and in 2000 we shipped out some amount in the single digits.

Out on the cash grain farm, corn lost about 20 cents per bushel this week while soybean meal lost $11 per ton.  Milk feed indicies remain at historically high levels, however.  They are almost $10 per cwt. in September, something over $9.50 for the rest of this year, and an average of $8.75 for all of year next.  The ten year average for that index is $7.73 per cwt.  Corn and bean farmers aren't looking at margins like that right now, and auctioneers got some phone calls this week. 

In the dairy cattle auction ring, today's video sale at Turlock saw Holstein fresh cows, sold by the pot, topping at $1725 and Jersey fresh cows topping at $1750 per head.  That's about $75 more than a month ago.  Premier in Withee, Wisconsin, reports similar increases in cow price. 

A lot of this week's loss in ag commodity values stem from the recent, new tariff announcement on Red China imports from the U.S.  Equities on Wall Street lost ground this week as well, largely for the same reason.   There's a chart below that reviews movement in the United State's and China's economies over the last three years.  It includes the movement oin price of an ag commodity fund that has drifted lower over the same time period. 


The author identifies as a farmer near Brooklyn, Iowa


Reader Comments
Comments posted do not express the viewpoint of Dairy Agenda Today or its staff members.

Regular reader
August, 6 2019
Thank you. I came back again to look at the chart again.
Dave Jons DAT Manager
August, 6 2019
Regular reader, the author is E. W. Lang. It was mistakenly omitted when the article was posted.
Regular reader
August, 6 2019
On the Cows and Markets article, I like to have a broad range of information that I don't see other places, and find this to be a good source. It says at the end about the author, but doesn't give the name of the author.