Milk and Money

Milk and Money

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  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

The financial success of dairy farms depends critically on the price of their main output, milk. Large volatility in the price of milk poses a considerable business risk to dairy farms. This is particularly true for family-run dairy farms. The question then arises: how can a farm owner hedge the milk price risk? The standard approach to establish a price floor for a commodity such as milk is to purchase put options on commodity futures. At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, farmers can buy put options on the price of a variety of milk products. However, the price a farm receives for its milk depends on many factors and is unique to the farm. Thus, a farmer cannot directly buy put options on the price he ...

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