August 19, 2019

What States Are Producing The Most Milk?

 |  By: Mike Opperman

The USDA milk production report shows July milk production was “up slightly” over July 2018. The national herd continues to shrink, with the total number of milk cows on farms down 82,000 from July 2018 and 9,000 from last month. 

Production per cow continues to be lethargic as well, up just 17 pounds over July 2018. 

Despite stagnant production, several states improved over last year. Those states include: 
•    Colorado: up 5.9%
•    Texas: up 5.8% (also up 27,000 cows)
•    Georgia: up 2.8%
•    South Dakota: up 2.6%
•    California: up 2.5%

At the same time, several states saw steep declines in milk production compared to a year ago. Eleven of the top 24 states reported declines, with many of those coming out of the east. The top largest drops were:
•    Virginia: down 11.2%
•    Illinois: down 7.7%
•    Pennsylvania: down 7.6%
•    Arizona: down 6.7%
•    Ohio: down 6%

Wisconsin was down 1% compared to last year on 6,000 fewer cows. 

Tighter margins due to higher feed costs, and reduced over-order premiums paid to producers, is the real reason why cow numbers and production have dropped, says analysts with INTL FCStone. 

"We're not sure when that will correct itself, but $17 milk for a couple of months is not enough to change the production dynamics again seen in this report," analysts say. 

Want to see how your state fared? Click here