Wisconsin dairy producers saw an increase in milk prices in December, reaching the highest price in the last two years.

Last month producers received $17.40 per hundredweight, or 100 pounds of milk. It's the highest base price since they started to fall in 2014.

Even with December’s record, the average price for 2016 was less than $15. That's down about 6 percent from 2015 and 33 percent from 2014.

But the new year could bring a more positive outlook for the industry.

"With lower feed prices, better milk prices, you're going to see farmers respond to that a little bit," said Bob Cropp, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus. "We're looking for milk production to grow 2 percent, but we're looking for continued strong demand for cheese and butter."

Barring changes in exports or production, Cropp predicts prices will average $2 higher in 2017.

Read more from Wisconsin Public Radio.