Milk splash.
January 23, 2020

December Milk Production Up Just 0.7%

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The United States Department of Agriculture reported today that December milk production  in all 50 states was up just 0.7%, the second consecutive month milk production grew less than 1 percent. Production in the top 23 dairy states grew 0.9%. 

For the year, milk production climbed to 218.322 billion pounds, up just 747 million pounds, or 0.3%. Average production per cow for the year climbed to 23,395 pounds, up 246 pounds, or 0.1%. Note: These are all preliminary numbers, and will be adjusted next month when final totals are recorded and verified.

December cow numbers were down 14,000 head from a year ago, but unchanged from November at 9.339 million head.

Of the top 23 states, 12 states recorded increased production in December. Texas was up 8.6%, with cow numbers up 34,000. Colorado was up 5.4% in production, with cow numbers up 11,000. Kansas was up 4.7% in production, with cows up 6,000. California, the nation’s top dairy producing state, was up just 0.5% in milk production with cow numbers down 5,000 from a year ago.

Wisconsin production was down 1.1%, with cow numbers down 8,000. The sharpest percentage decline came in Arizona, down 6.4% and milk cows off 12,000.

You can read the full December milk production report here.

USDA also released the December Livestock Slaughter report this afternoon as well. Today dairy cow culling in 2019 was up 71,200 head, or 2.3%, over 2018. The total number of dairy cows slaughtered through federally inspected plants was 3.224 million in 2019.

Slightly more dairy cows went to slaughter in December than both December 2018 or November 2019. But this December had one more business day, so the figures are slightly deceiving. On a per business day basis, December 2019 processed less cows than both December 2019, down 3.2%, or November 2019, down 1.3%.

Read the December Livestock Slaughter Report can be found here.