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There can be optimism about the milk supply

There is a lot of pessimism about U.S. milk production in 2024. Even USDA, in their monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, has been continuously cutting the 2024 milk production forecast.


While there are some headwinds, I don’t think we should get too pessimistic about milk production. The negative argument seems to rest on three issues: heifers, margins, and interest rates.


Adapting to the heifer supply

Back in September 2023, I wrote about the tight heifer market, and it has stayed tighter than I expected. The January Cattle Inventory report from USDA estimates that dairy heifers expected to calve this year are down 1.1% from 2023 and at a multi-year low.




Nate Donnay

Feb. 26, 2024

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