The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that August milk production was down 0.3% from a year ago, though cow numbers are still running 20,000 head higher.
High heat, rising feed prices and milk per cow might be the primary reasons, with milk per cow down 9 lb. for the month of August across the U.S. In all other months this year, milk per cow ran slightly ahead of last year.
High August temperatures are likely to blame. High temps are particularly hard on fresh cows, causing them to eat less and have more digestive upsets.
Milk per cow was lower in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. None of the Midwest states, which also experienced higher-than-normal temperatures, saw milk per cow decline. In fact, Wisconsin had the second largest year-over-year increase in milk production, up 4.9%. Cow numbers were also up 7,000 head in the Badger State. Colorado led all states, with a 6.2% increase in milk production.
California was down 5.8% in milk production, even though reported cow numbers were up 10,000 head. Milk per cow was down 125 lb. in California, a 6% decline. Arizona was down 3.8% in milk production; Washington was down 3.3%.
The full report can be read here.