Dairy Exports Remain Vital Part of Farm Income

September 13, 2013 –U.S. dairy exports remain a vital part of U.S. dairy farm income, according to DairyBusiness Update associate editor Lee Mielke. He reported on Friday’s DairyLine Radio LeeMielkeprogram that U.S. dairy product exports hit $619 million in July, the second time they topped $600 million in three months, and the second-highest monthly total ever. Statistics were provided by USDA’s Foreign Ag Service. July exports were up 4 percent from June and up 54 percent from July 2012.

July dairy imports were down 4 percent from June and down about 11 percent from a year ago, leaving a nice dairy trade surplus.

U.S. dairy exports aren’t just dairy products, Bill. Female dairy cattle exports in July topped 8,000 head for a second consecutive month, adding up to what is likely the highest two-month total in history. Turkey was the top destination for U.S. replacements during July, followed by Russia and Mexico.

And, while the California Department of Food and Agriculture held its hearing yesterday on the Class 4b whey factor, three major California dairy cooperatives will hold four meetings to discuss the possible formation of a Federal milk marketing order. The meetings are only open to members of California Dairies, Dairy Farmers of America, and Land O’Lakes. Details are posted at CDFA’s website.

The three co-ops, which produce about 80 percent of California’s milk, commissioned a study last winter to see if the state’s dairy producers should join the Federal market order system as a means to improve milk prices.

The five-month study indicated that a properly written federal market order would benefit the state’s dairy families by providing a regulatory structure potentially resulting in higher producer milk prices.


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