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Alfalfa Crop Concerns, Rising Cheese Stocks Drive Summer’s Dairy Outlook

June 25, 2013
By: Catherine Merlo, Dairy Today Western and Online Editor google + 
Cropp   Stephenson 6 25 13
Bob Cropp (left) and Mark Stephenson no longer think $20 milk prices are likely this year.  

University of Wisconsin dairy economists discuss dairy market implications.

Wet weather in hay country and its effect on the alfalfa market is one area that’s discussed in the June 2013 Dairy Situation and Outlook podcast from University of Wisconsin dairy economists Bob Cropp and Mark Stephenson.

Concerns about supply quantity and quality –coupled with strong export demand – have pushed alfalfa prices higher. The cost of hay is now equal to the value of milk, the podcast shows.

Cropp and Stephenson also look at the latest U.S. Milk Production report and, perhaps more importantly, the nosedive that cheese and better prices have taken as their stocks rise sharply. Cheese stocks have reached record levels, says Cropp.

American CHeese stocks 6 25 13Looking at the world’s major dairy producers and shippers, the two economists believe U.S. dairy exports should remain strong this year. Dairy prices should remain in the $18-$19 range, although Stephenson has backed away from his earlier prediction that Class III prices could hit $20 per cwt.

In the 10-minute podcast, Cropp also discussed the failed farm bill and its implication for the dairy industry.

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