Milk report shows production up despite heat losses
USDA released its milk production figures for July. For the 23 reporting dairy states, July milk production was just 1.5% higher than a year ago, compared to a 1.9% increase in June, which is the smallest increase this year. Milk production did not drop as much as many expected, but the answer seemed to be found in the increased cow numbers. While milk per cow was up just 3 pounds for the month (0.2%) over a year ago, there were 107,000 more milk cows, for an increase of 1.3% that resulted in a total of 8.26 million head nationally.
Milk per cow was negatively affected by high temperatures in several states. Out of the 23 top dairy states, 14 either had no increase in milk per cow from a year ago or a decrease. The California milk per cow level was 20 pounds lower than a year ago, a decrease of 1.1%, but 0.9% more cows kept the state’s decline in milk production to 0.3% for July 2006 over July 2005. Records show that from June 2006 to July 2006, there was a 6% decline in production in California, and the state herd lost 12,000 head.