December U.S. Milk Production Up 0.5%
The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that December milk production was 0.5% across the country, and up 0.9% in the top 23 dairy producing states. Cow numbers in December were down 49,000 head compared to a year ago, and down 3,000 head from November.
For the year, U.S. milk production totaled 217.5 billion pounds, a 0.9% increase over 2017. That’s despite the fact that cow numbers are on the decline. For the year, U.S. cow numbers averaged 9.385 million head, or 7,000 head fewer than 2017.
The top five dairy states all reported production increases in December, with California up 1.7%, Wisconsin up 1.4%, New York, up 2.1%, Idaho up 4.9% and Texas up 4.8%. But the top three states did report lower or unchanged cow numbers. California was down 11,000 head from a year ago in December, Wisconsin was down 5,000 head, and New York was unchanged. However, Idaho was up 14,000 head and Texas up a whopping 27,000 cows.
Of the other major milk producing states, Pennsylvania showed one of the largest declines, down 6% on milk and 20,000 on cows. Michigan, which had been growing gangbusters, was down 0.2% in milk and 6,000 in cow numbers.
Of the emerging states, Colorado was up 6% in milk production and 12,000 in cow numbers. South Dakota was up 5.5% in milk and 4,000 in cow numbers.
You can read the full production report here.