USDA reported this afternoon that July milk production is virtually unchanged from a year ago, both in the 23 major dairy states and the nation as a whole. The major 23 states were up 0.1%; the nation as a whole up 5 million lb. over last July's 15.995 billion lb.
Cow numbers are starting to decline, perhaps due to the large 105,000-cow Cooperatives Working Together round completed in July. For the U.S., cow numbers are 145,000 head less than a year ago, 37,000 fewer than June, and 122,000 below January.
But U.S. producers are still shoving the groceries to their herds, and cooler-than-normal July weather bolstered production, particularly over the Midwest. Milk per cow was up 1.6% nationwide in July. But in Wisconsin, milk per cow was up 90 lb., almost 3 lb./cow/day and more than 5%. Minnesota's milk per cow was up 80 lb., or 5%.
Western states showed the largest production declines. Arizona was down 8.3%; California, -5%; Idaho, -3.5% and New Mexico, -2.8%.
The big gainers were in the Midwest: Minnesota, 5.9%; Wisconsin, +5.8%; Iowa, 4.8%; Michigan, +4.6%, Indiana, +4.0%, and Illinois, +3.9%. The only state outside of the Midwest making significant gains was Virginia, +5.8%.