USDA reported this afternoon that May milk production in the United States was up 3% compared to a year ago. The increase in production is a slight uptick from trend, with monthly increases prior to May coming in at 2.5% (leap-year adjusted) or less January through April.
Cow numbers continue to climb as well. There were 143,000 more cows bellying up to the bunk in May compared to a year ago and 11,000 more head than April 2008.
Likely due to production quotas imposed by some California milk handlers and processors, USDA found California cow numbers up just 1,000 head over April. However, there are still an estimated 42,000 more cows on California dairies than a year ago. California milk production was up 2.8% over last May, and up almost 2% over April. Most of the May over April increase came as a result of more milk per cow, up 35 lb. (1.8%).
Other big gainers in May were Colorado, +9.5%; Idaho, +9.2%; Iowa, +10.8%; New Mexico, +9.7%, and Texas, +14.3%. Conversely, Florida was down 7.2% (5,000 fewer cows and 80 lb. less milk/cow). Oregon was down 7.1% (2,000 fewer cows and 90 lb. less milk/cow).
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