The USDA released two reports in the dairy space on Monday afternoon; the milk production report and cold storage reports. In the milk production report, the USDA went back and revised milk cow numbers in every month of 2019 with the exception of May. Cow numbers totalled 9.323 million, down 10,000 head from the May reported number. After revisions, the U.S. milking herd has now shrunk by 29,000 cows in 2019 thus far. Milk per cow in June was 1,955 pounds. Total milk production came in at 18.23 billion, three-tenths of a per cent below a year ago.
As a result of farmers reducing their herd size milk production during June was down on the month and the year. USDA says production in the U.S. was down three-tenths of a per cent from last year to 18 billion pounds with production per cow up 12 pounds. USDA also says the amount of cheese and butter in cold storage during June was down slightly from last year.
Livestock economist Scott Brown with the University of Missouri says the smaller herd is moving prices higher and farms are starting to adjust. “I might suggest that we’re not going to continue to see the kinds of decline in milk cows that maybe we’ve seen.”
Michigan continues to have the most productive cows in the nation. Virginia and Illinois had the largest decrease in milk production; Texas, Colorado, and Michigan had the largest increases.