Nation’s dairy herd drops 7,000 head from June to July

Hoard's Dairyman: 

Nation’s dairy herd drops 7,000 head from June to July

Date: 
Thu, 08/23/2012

USDA released its July Milk Production report last Friday, August 17.

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Production in the 23 major dairy producing states remained static for two consecutive months. With a slight revision of less than 0.1 percent from preliminary estimates, June milk production was bolstered 2 million pounds to 15.5 billion pounds. Production for July in the 23 major states also totaled 15.5 billion pounds.

monthly milk production graph

The preliminary production estimates for July are a 0.8 percent hike from July 2011 production levels at 15.39 billion pounds. Production per cow averaged 1,826 pounds in July. This represented a 6-pound boost from the same time frame last year. Compared to June 2012, cow numbers on dairies in the 23 major states dropped 7,000 head. The 8.5 million milk cows on these dairies though still represents a 41,000-head gain compared to July of last year.

Through the first half of the year, milk production in the U.S. is 102.5 billion pounds. For the same six-month period in 2011, production totaled 98.9 billion pounds. This represents a 3.6 billion pound rise in milk production compared to last year. Milk per cow has also posted significant gains in the U.S. For the first quarter, production per cow rose 227 pounds. In the second quarter, gains were a moderate 73 pounds per cow.

In the 23 major states, significant milk production gains have been seen month over month when compared to 2011. The largest gains were posted in February and March with an 8.2 and 4.3 percent boost over 2011 production, respectively. The smallest production gains were seen with July’s slight 0.8 percent.

For the month of July, six states had year over year declines in production. California, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington had declines of 1, 2.7, 1.8, 1.5, 2.4 and 3.3 percent, respectively. With the exception of Pennsylvania the production drops were all in West or Southwestern states.

To counteract these drops, production gains above 3 percent occurred in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin. Colorado posted the most significant gain at 5.8 percent with Missouri gaining 4.7 percent.

To view the complete report, click here.

drought-stressed corn

Special Webinar: Drought Strategies

With limited forages this year, a special webinar has been added to address the options for producers to examine additional forage possibilities. “Sorting through your forage supply options” will be presented by Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois. Hutjens expressed great interest in making this a very interactive webinar, wanting input from the attendees as to their current situation, so everyone can learn from others and gain some insight so they are better prepared to tackle their forage needs. Join us Monday, August 27 at 12 noon (Central time) for this webinar. Biotal Forage Inoculants (www.qualitysilage.com) stepped forward to sponsor this webinar.

If you already have registered for any of the free webinars, you will automatically receive a link to watch this webinar. If you want to participate, visit www.hoards.com/webinars or go directly to the enrollment page.

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