As more cows are placed into production in 2008, increased milk production could lead to a slight slippage of dairy prices from last year's record numbers. However according to USDA World Agricultural Board Chairman Gerry Bange, the March Dairy Outlook increased the forecast price to $17.60 a hundredweight, which is 40 cents higher than their previous forecast. Bange says that reflects strong cheese prices that are being offset by lower whey prices.
The forecast price for milk in 2008 is about a $1.50 less per hundredweight than last year's prices, but Bange says it's still a good price.
"Seventeen-sixty would in fact be the second highest price ever," Bange says. "The $19.13 was record high and the third highest price occurred in 2004 at $16.05."
Despite the higher number of cows in the dairy herd, Bange says the higher feed prices that are pressuring producers will likely slow the rate of gain in milk per cow."