8/9/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Ice cream makers are trying to eat the high cost of ingredients.

Ice cream producers are paying more for dairy ingredients and sugar. But they're not passing the cost onto customers since that could slow down sales.

Milk prices have spiked almost 40 percent in the past year, but the government says the cost of ice cream went up just 7 percent.

Milk prices have increased because of overseas demand and a weak dollar.

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West Coast hay supplies remain tight, but exporters are more concerned about quality than quantity.

Capitol Press reports, exporters say there's plenty of average quality hay. They're hoping premium quality hay will come in the third cutting.

Labor Day usually marks the start of fourth cutting, but cuttings are a month later this year because of a cool, wet spring. Southern California usually has seven or eight cuttings.

Experts say there were some premium quality first cuttings but now quality is down because of heat and humidity.

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