USDA's Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook for October, released this morning, predicts the U.S. all-milk price will average $14.70 to $15.60/cwt next year.
That's a $2 to $3/cwt improvement over this year's dismal performance. Most notably, USDA expects dairy cow numbers to average below 9 million head next year. Although milk per cow is expected to grow 1.8%, above the five year average, "the expected smaller cow herd trumps the production per cow increase, resulting in the second year-over-year production decline,” say USDA economists.
Production in 2010 is expected to decline to 187.2 billion lb., down from this year's 188.9 billion lb. and 2008's 190 billion lb.
Exports are expected to rebound as well. On a solids basis, exports are expected to be about 21.5 billion lb. this year, or about 11.3% of total production. In 2010, exports are expected to total 23.6 billion lb., or 12.6% of total U.S. production.