Professor Bob Cropp’s April 2015 Dairy Situation & Outlook full report is now available for download at UW Understanding Dairy Markets. Also, for a video podcast including Dr. Bob Cropp and Dr. Mark Stephenson discussing the April 2015 Dairy Situation & Outlook, please visit Program on Dairy Markets & Policy.
The following is a portion of that report:
If the growth in milk production continues below 2%, and it looks like this could well happen, milk prices may decline only slightly over the next couple of months and show a little stronger increase for the last half of the year. Earlier it was anticipated that cow numbers would continue to increase at least up until the last quarter of the year. But with a decrease in March cow numbers, the number of cows for the year may not average much higher than last year. With lower milk prices and continued strong slaughter cow prices, cow slaughter is up slightly from a year ago at 4 percent. But, the number of dairy replacements would still allow for an increase in cow numbers. Milk per cow has been increasing much less than expected, but should continue above a year ago levels. USDA has reduced their forecast for milk production due to a smaller anticipated increase in both cow numbers and milk per cow. USDA now forecasts milk production to end the year 1.9% higher than 2014. But, unless an increase in cow numbers picks up and/or milk per cow improves this increase could be on the high side. Some improvement in dairy exports is still anticipated by the last half of the year which would add strength to milk prices.