FEEDSTUFFS IN FOCUS: Dairy market outlook murky after rebounding from COVID-19

It’s a “juggling act” for the dairy sector right now, says Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

August 14, 2020

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Class III milk prices whipsawed between $12 and $24 per hundredweight from May to July as the effects of COVID-19 continued to work its way through the supply chain and on consumer demand for dairy products. Now five months after widespread adoption of stay-at-home orders and other pandemic mitigation strategies, what is the outlook for the dairy industry in the remaining months of a tumultuous 2020?

Mark Stephenson is Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Director of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability. An agricultural economist by trade, he studies milk processing costs and technologies, farm costs and price risk management, as well as dairy policy related to milk pricing and trade. He spoke with Feedstuffs editor Krissa Welshans about how the industry is currently navigating a marketplace still struggling with COVID-19, and how a rough forecast is coming together for milk prices and demand in 2021.

Stephenson says long-term strategies in the dairy supply chain have been adjusted to short-term timeframes as challenges persist. He explains that product demand and industry fluidity will remain key as the world grapples with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

This episode is sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health â€“ join Balchem for their Real Science Lecture series, a weekly webinar series featuring ruminant nutrition experts discussing vital topics for today’s dairy industry. You can learn more at BalchemANH.com/RealScience.

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