USDA released its monthly dairy outlook today, projecting that the U.S. all-milk price for the fourth quarter of 2009 will range from $12.50 to $13.20/cwt. U.S. cow numbers should also fall to 9.035 million head.
USDA expects culling to continue into next year, projecting cow numbers to decline another 65,000 head to 8.970 million in the first quarter. The all-milk price range is expected to climb to $13.55 to $14.55. For the year, the all-milk price is expected to average $14.85 to $15.85 next year, finally approaching break-even for the most efficient producers.