Dairy Herd
August 20, 2018

USDA Lowers U.S. Cow Herd, Largest Reduction Since 2015

 |  By: Know Your Market

The USDA released their July milk production report on Monday. Total milk production for the United States rose 0.4% over July 2017. This entirely on the heels of greater production per cow. For the month of July, that number was 1,953 pounds per cow. The 10 pounds gained over last July was largely offset by declining cow numbers.


For the third time this year, the USDA lowered its estimation of the U.S. cow herd. It now stands at 9.396 million head. The 8,000-cow reduction is 1,000 greater than the reduction made in the March report and stands out as the largest reduction in the cow herd since July 2015.


In the CME spot trade on Monday, 22 loads of barrels moved from seller to buyer leading prices 2 and three-quarter cents lower to $1.64 and a quarter. They still maintained a 3 and a quarter cent premium over blocks which finished at $1.61 after falling 4 and a half cents on just two loads. 


Butter was down 5 and a half cents after a single trade to finish at $2.25 on Monday, while powder rose a half cent on a handful of loads to 86 and three quarters. Dry whey finished a quarter cent higher at 44 and three quarters but did not trade. 


Milk markets changed very little despite all of this news the average from now through the end of the year finishes at $15.78 in Class III milk up 2 cents from Friday while the average for 2019 was unchanged at $16.08.