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Export-assisted products in 2020 represent the milkfat equivalent of 642.6 million pounds of milk. That’s equal to the average annual milk production of 27,472 U.S. dairy cows. 

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After limiting year-over-year milk production growth to about 0.5% in the second quarter of the year, July 2020 output bounced up about 1.5% compared to a year earlier, according to the USDA’s monthly Milk Production report, released Aug. 19. The increase was fueled by higher milk prices that were incentive enough for producers to reverse a three-month trend to cut cow numbers but limited by very modest growth in milk production per cow.

Also on Aug. 19, the USDA’s Ag Marketing Service announced the September 2020 Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) Class I base price of $18.44 per hundredweight (cwt). After peaking last month, the September price is down $1.34 from August 2020 but 59 cents more than September 2019. Through the first nine months of 2020, the Class I base price average is $16.65 per cwt, just 14 cents more than the same period a year ago.

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Last week’s derecho (high winds) in the Midwest was a stark reminder of how Mother Nature is in charge. This was one of the big events that changes how a year of farming turns out, especially if you are in the center of it. There are so many pictures of flat corn and snapped corn, plus lots of ruined grain bins. Some of this event will be covered by crop insurance, wind insurance and property/casualty insurance. It still is a big deal.

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