While plunging milk prices last winter brought back bad memories of 2009, things are looking up for Iowa’s dairy producers.

"We’ve seen Class III milk futures jump $1 to $1.50 this spring, reaching $15.16 per hundredweight by May," said Robert Tigner, a University of Nebraska Extension agriculture educator who tracks Iowa dairy prices. "It looks like this upward trend will continue in 2017."

This is due in part to strong exports.

"While approximately 3 percent of U.S. milk...