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Dairy Report: May Milk Production Takes a Steep Decline

June 22, 2020



While prices for milk have been higher, production is down a bit. That’s according to the May milk production report released by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Production was down 1.1%, or approximately 18.8 billion lbs., compared to this time last year and cow numbers were down 11,000 from April. Most of the major dairy states have reported what would normally be significantly declines in production. California was down 1.5% and Wisconsin down 3.1%. 


May Milk Production Down 1.1 Percent

The United States Department of Agriculture reports May milk production was down 1.1 percent from the previous year. Cow numbers were still 37,000 head higher than a year ago, but down 11,000 from April 2020.


In its report, USDA noted that the milk production figures include an estimate of dumped milk during the month, citing sources from both the Federal Milk Marketing Orders and from milk cooperatives. It did not, however, provide the actual estimate of pounds of milk dumped during May.


Most of the major dairy states reported what ordinarily would be considered significant declines in production: California, down 1.5 percent; Wisconsin, down 3.1 percent, and New York, down 3.7 percent. Idaho, however, was up 4.8 percent and Texas slowed its torrid rate of growth to just 1.9 percent. Texas cow numbers are up 25,000 head from a year ago, but unchanged from April.


The largest percentage declines came in New Mexico, down 7.2 percent, though cow numbers there were up 4,000 from a year ago but down 2,000 from April. Vermont was also down 6.4 percent in milk production in May, with cow numbers off 3,000 from a year ago and down 1,000 from April.


The largest percentage increase in production came in South Dakota, up 9.7 percent. Cow numbers there were up 11,000 from a year ago and up 2,000 from April. Colorado also reported 4.6 percent more milk in April, with cow numbers there up 9,000 from a year ago but unchanged from April.


dairyherd.com