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Cold, wet weather dampens availability of organic milk; prices fall despite the scarcity

The national price of organic Greek yogurt is only 6 cents higher than conventional Greek yogurt.

April 21, 2014

The following excerpt is from the USDA's Dairy Market News for the week of April 14 to 18. Read the complete report here.

Organic producers in Northern New England, Maine and much of Wisconsin are not able to graze cows for pasture feeding yet, due to weather not warming nor pastures drying as fast as is desirable. Fields in Maine are still mostly white (snow), with patches of brown, some yellow and little green. Snow has lingered in other parts of New England and central to northern Wisconsin.

Signs have appeared on dairy coolers of some outlets of a regional supermarket chain in the East, advising consumers of possible shortages of organic milk. A store branch has recently been shorted orders for organic milk by suppliers. Store personnel are unaware of what is causing the short deliveries. This reporting period the store advertised organic Greek yogurt, but not organic milk.

The U.S. weighted average advertised price of organic milk half gallons is $3.25, down 35 cents from the last reported period. One year ago the national price was $3.54. The price range decreased by $1.50 at the top to $3.49, the lowest high end range price of this year or last. Ad volume for organic milk gallons is the second highest of the year. The national price for organic gallons is $5.91, down 4 cents from the last reporting period. One year ago the price was also $5.91. The average price of 8 ounce organic milk is $1.00, 1 cent lower than a year ago. All prices are $1.00.

The national price of 4-6 ounce organic Greek yogurt is $1.05, only 6 cents higher than conventional Greek yogurt. Two weeks ago the price was $1.00 and one year ago, $.91. 4-6 ounce organic yogurt has a price of $.65, up 15 cents from two weeks ago but down 11 cents from one year ago.

AMS reports total organic milk products sales for February 2014, 195 million pounds, were up 18.5% from February last year and up 16.3% year to date compared with last year. Organic whole milk sales for February 2014, 56 million pounds, were up 27.2% compared with February last year. Organic reduced fat milk sales for February, 58 million pounds, were 26.9% above sales one year earlier.
 

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