The USDA says milk production in the U.S. totalled 18.4 billion pounds in July, up 0.45% from the previous month and almost half of a per cent from last year. Not only was the limited milk production growth a bullish factor, but cow numbers were up as well to 9.396 million head. While that number was “well shy” of the expectations of analysts with INTL FCStone, they say it’s not a surprise given slaughter rates have been strong. Production per-cow in the top 23 dairy states increased by eight pounds to 1,980, the highest for the month since reporting began in 2003. The national herd size declined by 8,000 from last year to 9.4 million head.
The top producing states continue to be California and Wisconsin, both also the top states for the number of milk cows. Several states saw a decline in milk production, in fact, 11 of the 23 highest producing states were lower year over year (California -2.5%, Florida -5.9%, Virginia -5.0% and Vermont -3.0%). States showing an increase where Colorado, +8.9%, Kansas, +7.6%, and Texas, +7.3%. Michigan had the highest per-cow production average at 2,255 pounds and Colorado was a close second. Colorado had the highest year-over-year increase in milk production during July, up nearly nine per cent, while production per cow was slightly less, the herd size increased by 15,000 cows.