Download and read the full report Dairy Market News for the week of April 28 to May 2. The following has been excerpted.

Yogurt is the most-advertised product in the dairy case

Yogurt ads increased by 20% while cheese ads declined by 25% from 2 weeks ago. This leaves yogurt as the most advertised dairy category. Butter and cream cheese ad numbers significantly declined after Easter and Passover.

4-6 ounce Greek yogurt ad volume leads the other types of yogurt. The average advertised price of $1.00 is up 1 cent from two weeks ago and 2 cents from this period last year. 4-6 ounce yogurt has an average price of $.49, down 2 cents from two weeks ago but 1 cent above last year. 32 ounce Greek yogurt with an average price of $4.55, is $1.56 over two weeks ago and 77 cents over last year. 32 ounce yogurt has a price of $2.28, 29 cents above two weeks ago but 7 cents below last year.

Ads for 8 ounce shredded cheese declined 40% from two weeks ago. The average price, $2.37, is down 7 cents from the last report but up 10 cents from last year. 8 ounce block cheese ad numbers are up 18%. The average price is $2.43, 22 cents higher than two weeks ago but 1 cent below last year. 48-64 ounce ice cream has an average price of $3.26, up 24 cents from both two weeks ago and last year. Prices ranged from $1.99 to $5.50, varying due to brand and package size.

Conventional milk half gallons have an average advertised price of $1.83 and organic milk half-gallons have a price of $3.32. This results in a conventional-organic price spread of $1.49, third lowest this year, during which the price spread has ranged from $0.67 to $2.07. Last year at this time the price spread was $1.38

Milk production has moved past the seasonal peak in the South, California

Milk production increases are being noted across much of the country this week. While more milk is moving into processing channels, the spring flush in the Midwest is slow to develop this year. The Southern tier of states are at or past peak production. California is also beyond its seasonal peak.

Storms across the Southern midsection of the country disrupted some handling of milk with high winds, rain and tornados reported. Some short delays in processing of milk were reported, but supplies were handled with little difficulty. Cream demand remains good with ice cream and Class II production ramping up for summer needs. Butter churns continue to retain as much cream as possible to help build butter inventories. New crop alfalfa is beginning to find its way to Western dairies with final prices yet to be determined.

Cheesemakers are working longer hours

Cheese production is steady to building slowly depending on local milk intakes. More plants are working longer hours where milk is available. The increased cheese production is helping to build some inventory. Block and barrel stocks are said to be in a better balance for current demand. Cheese prices are mixed with a weaker undertone developing. Domestic demand is good with some buyers looking to purchase additional inventory on price breaks. Export demand is steady with cheese plants servicing existing orders. 

Retail prices for organic milk are on the rise

Grazing organic cows in the Upper Midwest continues to face weather challenges. Widespread and intermittently heavy rains in many areas last weekend into this week are leaving fields quite soggy and too wet to turn the cows out. Many organic dairy producers are anxious to transition cows to pasture with feed supplies becoming increasingly tighter. Some users of bulk organic butter, who recently lost access to long established supply sources due to significant increases in sales of organic butter at retail, continue to struggle to find reliable sources at prices that work.

According to the National Dairy Retail Report, the U.S. weighted average advertised price of organic milk half gallons is $3.32, up 7 cents from two weeks ago. One year ago the national price was $3.59. The lowest price is up 19 cents to $2.98. The highest advertised price, $3.49, is in the Southwest, while the lowest price, $2.98, is in the Southeast.

The national average price of 4-6 ounce organic Greek yogurt is $1.05, unchanged from two weeks ago. This is only 5 cents higher than conventional Greek yogurt. Prices ranged from $1.00 for most ads, up to $1.50 for some ads in the Midwest. 4-6 ounce organic yogurt has an average price of $.86, up 21 cents from two weeks ago and 20 cents from one year ago. Prices ranged from a low of $.50 in the Northeast to a high of $1.00 in the Northwest. 32 ounce yogurt has an average price of $2.89 compared with $3.23 last year. There were no ads two weeks ago. Prices ranged from $2.69 in the Southeast to $2.99 in the Northeast, Midwest, South Central and Southwest.