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Latest USDA Milk Production Report Reveals Upward Trend in Cow Numbers and Milk Production

The September Milk Production report underscored positive year-over-year growth that unfolded in terms of milk production and cow numbers. The latest USDA report outlines U.S. milk production was up a modest 1.5% over September 2021. The report included 9.411 million cows, an increase of 6,000 from a year ago. August’s production was revised, up by 13 million lbs., which translated to an increase of 1.7% over 2021 instead of the previously reported 1.6%.

Year-over-year growth in cow numbers was led by South Dakota, who continued its impressive growth trend. It added 46 million lbs. of milk, a positive reflection of 14.9%, as well as 25,000 additional cows.

The Livestock Slaughter Report showed 260,500 dairy cows were culled in the month of September, 4,100 less than last year and 5,600 fewer than last month. Year-to-date culling is down 59,800 head.

Phil Plourd, head of market intelligence at Ever.Ag, said the magnitude of growth was surprising.

“We expected cow numbers to drop month-to-month, so productivity gains definitely topped expectations,” he says. “Up 1.5% overall puts this one squarely in the bearish column."


October 20, 2022


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