Dairy farmers have been hanging on for several months of low milk prices, but that may be changing when the calendar turns to 2017. Dan James of Farm Credit says dairy farmers are cautiously optimistic the worst may be behind them. “We’re definitely back in some better milk prices,” James said, “and margins look better with lower feed cost.” He also says farmers are using risk management tools to take some of the bumps out of the road, including futures contracts, contracting with their local co-ops to even out the price swings, and locking in as much feed as possible. Tom Bailey is a Dairy Market Analyst for Rabobank and he says there’s a lot to be bullish about next year. He feels U.S. markets are in a good position to improve, although there may be a cap on how high it can go because of global factors that impact stocks to use ratio. U.S. milk production trends are starting to move east. Bailey said the most recent milk production report showed a decline in California milk production and a rise in Wisconsin’s production. The transient nature of large dairy farms isn’t new, but some non-traditional dairy states like Colorado and South Dakota are drawing possible relocation interest from dairy farmers.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.