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March Milk Production Up 2.2 Percent

April 21, 2020

Jim Dickrell

March milk production was up 2.2 percent in the United States, though the bigger surprise were cow numbers, reports the United States Department of Agriculture in its March Milk Production report released today. Cow numbers were up 47,000 head in March over last year, and up 5,000 from February. 

Since the beginning of the year, cow numbers have grown 19,000 head. All of that could change, of course, with the COVID-19 outbreak. Disrupted supply chains have forced producers to dump millions of pounds of milk—leaving them scrambling for ways to reduce production. The quickest way will be to cull cows.

California, the Number 1 dairy state, was up 1.3 percent in production in March, though cow numbers there are still running 3,000 head below a year ago. Wisconsin’s production was down 0.1 percent in March, with cow numbers 10,000 head fewer than last year.

The big gains in cow numbers came in Texas, up 33,000; Idaho, up 29,000 head, and Colorado, up 11,000.

Texas also led the country in milk production gain in March, up 8.6 percent. Both Colorado and Kansas were up 7.5 percent, and South Dakota was up 6.8%.

First-quarter milk production, January through March, was up 2.9 percent. First quarter cow numbers were up 26,000 head over the same period last year, and up 27,000 head from the October – December 2019 quarter.


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