A global dairy analyst says fluid milk demand during the coronavirus pandemic breaks traditional ideologies on school milk consumption.
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Jersey cows look up from their feed on the Ballard Dairy in Gooding, Idaho. The Dairy Checkoff pivoted during the pandemic and maintained demand for dairy products. Carol Ryan Dumas/Capital Press File

Mary Ledman with Rabobank tells Brownfield as more consumers stayed home, a pull for fluid milk happened like never before.

“Normally our fluid milk demand goes down in June as schools are out for the summer,” she says.  “This year fluid milk sales, as tracked by the Federal Orders, were up I think by about 300 million pounds.”

She says the USDA’s Farmers to Family Food Box program also increased demand and pushed prices higher during that time as well.

Throughout the pandemic, Ledman says American dairy farmers have had better farm gate prices than global counterparts, mostly because of government intervention, and she expects that to carry over into this year in terms of U.S. milk production which is projected to increase at a greater pace than other top producing nations.

Ledman will be a featured speaker during the free virtual Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference on February 4th.

Dairy products and, in particular, grass-fed products are performing strongly post-covid in overseas markets.

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