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Ag Watch….The Latest Numbers For Milk / Corn & Cotton

California milk production fell 8% in February compared to a decline of 3.5% across the US.  The drop in California’s milk production came on 2,000 less cows and 155 less pounds of milk per cow. In Kings County there was a 9.3% drop – Tulare County down 6.5% and a 22.4% drop in San Bernardino County as southern California continues to lose dairies.

Californians continue to drink less fluid milk with sales down 3.2 % in February compared to the year earlier but up 9.1% for organic milk.

Another “complete dispersal “ of a local dairy farm – this time it is the George Santos Dairy in Laton set for April 12 with rolling stock to be auctioned April 2. The dairy, that supplied DFA, is for lease.The family is going through a bankruptcy process.

Some rare hope for dairy as cheese prices are rising in the face of a severe drought in New Zealand strengthening export prices.Meanwhile  on the feed front there is hope for lower prices this fall.This week Sept corn dropped the limit – 40 cents – to $5.63 promising lower feed costs for livestock producers later this year.

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While New Zealand and California are experiencing a drought, the corn belt in the US Midwest has seen improved winter rain and snowfall helping to replenish dry ground in major parts of the corn belt. A normal corn harvest this year could be a boon all around.

USDA says US corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.

In California  corn farmers are planning to plant 8% less corn than last year says USDA.The big drop in “ prospective plantings ”came in cotton with Upland varieties down 37% and Pima down 16% from last year.

Cotton acres across the US are expected to drop 27 percent in 2013 as more producers plant corn and soybeans, according to the National Cotton Council’s annual planting intentions survey.

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