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Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

Milk production in the Pacific Northwest is strong, but the peak of spring flush appears to be in the rearview mirror.

Published on June 1, 2018 1:42PM



(USDA Market News)

May 31

California milk output is steady to down this week. Hotter climatic conditions are starting to somewhat impact total milk output levels.

Some contacts report that milk prices in the spot market are stagnant. Although milk supplies were abundant over the Memorial Day weekend, it was handled well, with limited issues noted.

Class 1 interest has declined since the closing of schools for the summer vacation.

Arizona farm milk production trends are down. Milk supplies edged up over the Memorial Day holiday.

However, strategy and juggling have helped in balancing the supplies. Class I milk intakes have decreased. Demand from grocery stores is steady, but not enough to compensate for the decline in educational institutions¶ orders.

Seventy-eight percent of alfalfa hay conditions are rated good to excellent compared to 82 percent a week ago. Topsoil and subsoil moistures are respectively 77 and 78 percent adequate to surplus compared to 91 percent for both last year.

In New Mexico, milk production is mostly even. Warmer weather conditions are present in the state and are impacting milk fat and solid contents.

Class I and III milk demands have slowed down while Class II intakes have increased. Over the holiday weekend, milk holdovers peaked.

However, handlers managed to find additional outlets to clear the milk. Currently milk supplies are manageable and in line with processing capacities.

In New Mexico, the first cutting of alfalfa hay is 62 percent complete while the second cutting is 6 percent complete.

Milk production in the Pacific Northwest is strong, but the peak of spring flush appears to be in the rearview mirror.

Industry contacts report there is still plenty of milk for most processing needs. Bottling demand has slowed somewhat as schools let out for the summer. As a result, milk handlers are shifting more milk loads toward manufactured dairy products.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado is strong. Dairy contacts in the region say there has not been many hot days and the favorable weather is providing good cow comfort.

Manufacturers report plentiful milk for processing. The recent holiday weekend forced milk handlers to juggle loads, with some of the excess getting pushed into neighboring states.

Farmers are working on hay production. Most parts of the region have adequate water supplies and expect a good start to the cropping season.

Western condensed skim is available to meet all buyers’ needs. Certain contacts report that availability has somewhat increased in several areas. Specialty ice cream makers are taking a few loads.

In the West, cream inventories are plentiful, but have started to decrease as milk fat components are decreasing and cream sales to ice cream manufacturers are picking up.

According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of May 25-31, the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $2.81, up $0.25 from last week, and down $0.65 from last year. The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $2.39 with no price range reported. No ads were reported in the Northwest region.

According to California Department of Food and Agriculture, April 2018 Class 1 sales in California totaled 49.3 million gallons, down 7.3 percent from last month, and down 1.4 percent from the previous year. From January through April 2018, Class 1 sales totaled 202.6 million gallons, down 2.6 percent from the comparable period in 2017.


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