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May 21, 2020

April Milk Production Up 1.4 Percent

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The United States Department of Agriculture reported that April milk production was up 1.4 percent. Cow numbers are up 49,000 head from a year ago, but down 4,000 from March. It also appears cow numbers peaked in March, at 9.381 million head.

Note: The April production report does include an estimate of dumped milk in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports USDA: “National Agricultural Statistics Service milk production and milk per cow estimates include dumped milk. Administrative data used for estimating milk production from sources such as Federal Milk Marketing Orders and Milk Cooperatives include pounds of milk dumped.”

But industry analysts say the report does not include surplus milk fed to calves and cows as a result of the pandemic because there is no way NASS can get an accurate estimate of the amount of milk fed on-farm. 

California’s milk production climbed just 0.3 percent in April, with cow numbers down 4,000. Wisconsin’s milk production was virtually unchanged, up a mere 1 million pounds for the month. Cow numbers in the Badger State were down 9,000 head from a year ago.

The biggest gain in milk output came west of the Mississippi River. Colorado was up 7.1 percent, with cow numbers up 12,000 head. South Dakota was up 6.6 percent, with cow numbers up 6,000. Idaho was up 6.3 percent, with cow numbers up a whopping 29,000. Texas was up 4.9 percent, with cow numbers up 28,000.

The largest percentage drop in production came in Vermont, down 1.8 percent. Cow numbers there were down 2,000, and milk per cow was flat.

You can read the full April milk production report here.