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A group of southeast U.S. dairy farmers previously marketing their milk independently have formed the Appalachian Dairy Farmers Cooperative (ADFC) and expect to begin operations on June 1.

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Weak first-quarter 2018 milk prices applied downward pressure on prices paid for dairy replacement cows, but foreign demand for U.S. dairy heifers remains strong.

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Digest Highlights: From a price formula change proposal and EU-Mexico trade agreement restrictions to school milk and FDA labeling oversight, find a summary of news affecting dairy farmers here.

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Editor’s note:  Estimated monthly MPP-Dairy indemnity payments have been adjusted from the original article to account for federal budget sequestration deductions. 

Dairy farmers who enroll in the 2018 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) and elect $7, $7.50 or $8 per hundredweight (cwt) margin coverage are guaranteed indemnity payments for February and March. And, based on the two-month indemnity payment estimates, producers who can stick to Tier I premium payments at the $8 margin level will cover full-year program costs in February-March alone.

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Although the spring flush is moving north and regional milk processing capacity is again becoming a challenge, the number of U.S. plants manufacturing one or more dairy products (excluding fluid milk) is actually at a two-decade high.

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