USDA price indices up from April to May

The USDA says producers made and paid more in May than in April.

The department’s index of prices received was up 3.9% on the month, with a 2.3% gain in the crop index and a 5.4% jump in the livestock index as higher prices for cattle, hogs, broilers, and oranges canceled out lower prices for corn, milk, market eggs, and potatoes. The index of prices paid was 0.1% higher, with increased costs for feeder cattle, hay and forages, nitrogen, and LP gas against decreases for feeder pigs, complete feeds, supplements, and other services.

The dairy index for May 2020 was down 5.4% from April and 24.4% from May 2019 as the industry was hit by reduced demand caused by the spread of COVID-19. The monthly milk price of $13.60 per hundredweight was down $.80 on the month and $4.40 on the year.

Compared to May 2019, both indices do show the impact of COVID-19, with prices received down 4.8% as a 17% drop in the livestock index canceled out an 11% gain in the crop index, and the index of prices paid was 1.9% lower.

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