Farmers for Free Trade event highlights Wisconsin dairy

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 7:39 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Farmers for Free Trade held the last in their series of virtual events around the country dealing with major farm issues. Yesterday’s event featured dairy and Wisconsin was the focus. Five dairy leaders from the state discussed what needs to be done going forward to make dairy a more profitable industry. All agreed exports have to increase as other parts of the world, particularly Europe, are getting more aggressive toward dairy exports. They pointed out that 15 to 17% of U.S. production, which equals one day’s production, is now exported. And while our dairy exports have gotten better during the Trump Administration, all the dairy leaders said we’re falling behind Europe and New Zealand because we’re not cutting new trade deals fast enough or with enough countries. Those leaders also said the President’s tariffs are making our cheese more expensive and harder to sell around the world.

The July Class 3 milk price came in at $24.54 a hundred, but the July all milk price for Wisconsin was just released at $22.30 a hundred before hauling deductions. That’s $2.80 higher than the June price, up $3.50 from last July and $1.80 higher than the national all milk price for the month. All 24 of the top milk producing states had a higher price in July than they did in June. Oregon had the highest July all-milk price at $25.40 while Michigan had the lowest at just $17. For the last half of the year, USDA economists expect the average mail box milk price should be around $18.86 in Wisconsin and $18.85 for Minnesota dairy farmers. The official August Class 3 milk price should be released later today.

New numbers from the USDA in Washington also show Wisconsin farmers averaged $3.05 a bushel for their corn in July, down 11 cents from June and 93 cents less than last July. Soybean prices were higher, though as they averaged $8.36 a bushel-17 cents more than June and up a nickel from last July. Oat prices averaged $2.81 in July-down 56 cents from June and 26 cents less than a year ago. Hay prices were mixed in July as alfalfa hay brought $163 a ton in July-up $4 from June but down $4 from last July. All other hay averaged $119 a ton in July which was down $4 from June and $6 lower than last July.

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