Like 2016, 2015 was not a kind year for many Ohio farms. The Class III milk price averaged $15.80 per hundredweight (cwt). The Federal Order 33 Producer Price Differential added another 44 cents per cwt to the price received by farmers shipping Grade A milk (the majority of Ohio milk is Grade A,) resulting in an average statistical uniform price of $16.24 for the year.
Exactly two years ago, we knew we were heading into a down cycle in the dairy industry following the major high of 2014.
How well each farm would fare through the coming years of substantially lower milk prices would be heavily influenced by the financial health of the farm going in. Cash or near-cash reserves would be tapped.
How much are you paying for the privilege of milking cows?
Since 1999, I have kept a spreadsheet for Federal Order 33 milk prices. For each month, the Class III milk price and Producer Price Differential are listed and then added together to calculate the Statistical Uniform Price. Monthly MILC payments were listed from 2002 through 2014, with MPP margins taking their place in October 2014. Annual averages for each item summarize each year’s data.