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0408 PD: Supplies of non-rBST milk lag behind demand in the Midwest

Published on 27 February 2008

Recent trends continue in the fluid market. Fluid sales are generally steady except where featured. The split between affidavit milk (produced without rBST) and nonaffidavit milk is causing problems for handlers trying to cover customer orders.

A few fluid customers are opting for non-affidavit milk to reduce the cost. Others are having problems sourcing adequate supplies of affidavit milk to fill customer orders.

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A number of operations would like to sell some fluid milk but are manufacturing it due to limited interest. Manufacturing plants continue to operate on heavier schedules than a year ago.

A recent severe storm made movement difficult as truckers tried to keep trucks from freezing up (generally fuel-related) and on the road in the well below-zero temperatures combined with high winds, which caused reduced visibility. Movement was slow with reportedly some small volumes of milk dumped in scattered instances due to the impassable conditions.

Ditches have filled in with near and record snowfall for the season. Country roads are also noticeably narrower after recent storms.

Ice cream production remains uneven, heaviest where manufacturers are trying to build early inventory and lighter where supplies are heavier. The operations building stocks are often using overtime while others remain on reduced schedules.

There have been no reports thus far of reduced milk intakes related to the weather, though handlers and milk receivers continue to struggle with comparing receipts associated with rerouting caused by affidavit milk.

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At a recent Wisconsin dairy cattle sale prices were steady on cows and steady to higher on heifers compared to last month and $100 to $200 higher than February 2007. Approved quality fresh milking cows sold for $1,850 to $2,250 per head and medium quality from $1,500 to $1,850. PD

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