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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
U.S. Milk Production is Hesitating but Inching Higher While Field Work Remains Exuberant
South Dakota Ag Connection - 06/07/2023

U.S. milk production is hesitating but inching higher. The Agriculture Department’s latest preliminary data shows April output at 19.2 billion pounds, up just 63 million pounds or 0.3% above April 2022. The 24-State total, at 18.4 billion pounds, was up 0.5% from a year ago. The March 50-State and 24-State totals were revised up 16 million pounds.

Cow numbers totaled 9.43 million, down 16,000 head from the March count which was revised up 11,000. The herd was up 23,000 from January and up 26,000 from a year ago. The 24-State count was down 15,000 from the March number, which was revised 7,000 lower, and 36,000 head above a year ago.

Output per cow averaged 2,037 pounds, up 1 pound or 0.05% from April 2022 in the 50 states and up 2 pounds to 2,055 pounds in the top 24 states.

HighGround Dairy (HGD) points out "A big driver of the lower milk per cow nationally is smaller yields in California which makes up around 18% of total U.S. milk output. March and April 2023 had dismal milk per cow numbers, down 2.1% and 1.9% year over year, respectively." StoneX adds however; “As new crop hay becomes available and farm level feed costs shift lower we should see improved output per cow as we move through the year.”

California output remained below a year ago, still recovering from weather in March. Output dropped to 3.5 billion pounds, down 69 million or 1.9% from a year ago, as output per cow was down 40 pounds. Cow numbers were unchanged.

Wisconsin output totaled 2.6 billion pounds, up 3 million pounds or 0.1% from a year ago, thanks to a 10 pound gain per cow offsetting the loss of 5,000 cows.

Texas was up 1.3%, thanks to a 10 pound gain per cow. Cow numbers were up 5,000 from a year ago but were 15,000 lower than in March due to that fire.

Idaho was up 2.7% on 16,000 more cows and a 5 pound gain per cow. Michigan was up 2.6%, on a 15 pound gain per cow and 8,000 more cows. Minnesota was up 1.5% on a 25 pound gain per cow and 1,000 more cows. New Mexico was down 3.1%, on 10,000 fewer cows. Output per cow was up 10 pounds. New York was up 2.4% on 10,000 more cows and 15 pounds more per cow. Oregon was down 1.3%, on a loss of 2,000 cows. Output per cow was up 5 pounds. Pennsylvania was unchanged. Cow numbers were down 1,000 but output per cow was up 5 pounds. South Dakota was up 7.7%, thanks to 13,000 more cows and a 5 pound gain per cow. Vermont was unchanged across the board. Washington State was up 0.8%, thanks to a 30 pound gain per cow offsetting the loss of 2,000 cows.


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