At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Wednesday milk futures were mostly lower and cash dairy prices were mixed. February Class Three milk was up $.03 at $14.01. March was down $.10 at $14.60. April was down $.05 to $14.50. May was down $.04 to $14.83. The milk futures from June through next January ranged from five cents lower to five cents higher. Class IV had a better day adding 4-19 cents in 2019. Grade A nonfat dry milk was unchanged at 98 and three-quarters per lb.
Dry whey was up $.0050 at $.36 cents per pound. Seven sales were recorded from $.3575 to $.36. Forty-pound blocks were unchanged at $1.5950 per pound. Two sales were recorded at $1.5975 and $1.60. Barrels were down $.0150 at $1.4175 per pound. Five sales were recorded from $1.4175 to $1.4325. Grade AA Butter was up $.0075 to $2.2575 per pound. Seven sales were recorded from $2.2450 to $2.2575. Nonfat dry milk was unchanged at $.9875 per pound. No sales were recorded.
The USDA released their December milk production reports on Wednesday. This report was delayed due to the 35 day government shutdown during December and January. Cow numbers dropped again in December and previous reports were adjusted lower. October was down 2,000 head from the prior release and November lost 6,000 additional cows. December lost 3,000 after adjustments were taken into account to 9.351 million. We have now reduced the milking herd b 16,000 head since September and 53,000 from our peak in May of 2018.
Milk per cow grew by 21 pounds year over year in December to 1,942. Total production in December added up to 18.155 billion, a half percent above a year ago. Total milk production in the U.S. milking herd throughout 2018 came in near 217 and a half billion pounds, up nine-tenths of a percent on 2017 production.