USDA reported this afternoon that May milk production was up an estimated 1.1% across the country, but cow numbers were down 171,000 compared to a year ago. However, in May, cows numbered 4,000 head above April 2010.
It probably goes wtihout saying, but with cheese inventories at or near record levels, the continued increase in milk production does not bode well for milk prices.
Milk production was up in four of the five top dairy states. California posted a 0.2% gain, though cow numbers there still 65,000 head less than a year ago. Wisconsin posted the strongest surge in production in the 23 major dairy states. Wisconsin reported a 5.8% gain in milk, with cow numbers up 5,000 head. Pennsylvania posted a 1.3% gain in milk and Idaho was up 1.8%. Only New York showed a decline, down 0.4% in May.
Cow numbers in New York are down 13,000 (about 2%) compared to a year ago. Of the top 23 dairy states, Missouri posted the largest production decline—down 7.5%. Cow numbers in Missouri are also down 9,000 head, an 8.2% decline from a year ago.