Midwest dairy producers are still losing $2 to $3/cwt, even when the February Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payment of $1.51/cwt is added back in.
That's according to dairy budgets developed by Robert Tigner, an Iowa State farm management specialist based in New Hampton, Iowa. "The March MILC payment is estimated to be nearly $2.05 per cwt., not enough to make up for most dairy farm losses,” he adds.
Tigner's budgets show a 20,000 lb./cow Iowa herd still losing $3.17/cwt—even with the February MILC payment. Herds making 24,000 lb./cow are still losing $1.84 when the MILC payment is added back in.
The budgets also show a feed cost of $9.31/cwt for the 20,000 lb. herds, and $8.63/cwt for the 24,000 lb. herds. That's in contrast to USDA's all-feed estimated price of $7.73/cwt for February.