U.S. milk production declined 8 million lb. in December compared to a year ago, for a paltry decline of 0.05%. For the year, milk production was up just 138 million lb. to 201.186 billion lb., or an increase of just 0.4%, the United States Department of Agriculture reported today.
Milk cow numbers ended the year at 9.206 million head, down 12,000 head from a year ago. Milk per cow rose just 108 lb., for a national herd average of 21,806 lb.
California milk production rose 1.6% in December over last year. Number 2 dairy state Wisconsin saw its output drop 1.9%, though cow numbers remained steady. Several other Midwest states reported declines in milk production as well: Illinois, -7.7%; Missouri, -6,1%; Ohio, -3.5%, and Minnesota, 2.5%.
Utah reported the largest percentage increase, up 6.7%. It was followed by Colorado, +4.4% and Florida, +4.1%.
You can read the full report here.
USDA also released the December livestock slaughter report this afternoon as well. Some 257,000 dairy cows were sent to federally inspected plants last month, down 2,000 head from a year ago but up 8,000 head over November.
On a per day of business basis, however, the December 2013 slaughter rate was the lowest of these three months. December 2013—12,238 cows/day; November 2013—12,450 cows/day, and December 2012—12,950 cows per day.
You can read the full slaughter report here.