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Cow numbers and milk trended differently

Supply and demand are often on a teeter-totter ride; when one goes up, the other goes down. This is certainly true for our dairy markets.

“The demand side is going to paint the picture for 2024,” predicted the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Leonard Polzin during the January Hoard’s Dairyman webinar. But the impact demand will have will depend on the supply of milk to make dairy products, and Polzin dug into that a bit during his presentation.

“Supply starts with the dairy cow itself,” Polzin stated. While U.S. dairy cow numbers were relatively flat through much of 2022, farmers responded to the higher milk prices and the national herd grew late that year and in early 2023. A few months into 2023, cow numbers started to decline, and that trend continued.

Abby Bauer

Jan. 19, 2024



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