The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that milk production in October was up just 0.1%. That’s the smallest increase this year.
Production per cow was down 5 lb. Cow numbers were still running 32,000 head higher than a year ago, but are 1,000 head less than September. At 9.309 million, cow numbers are just 5,000 head higher than they were at the start of the year.
But the big production news is that California was down 5.5% in milk production compared to last year, the 11th straight month of production decline. Milk production in the Golden State was off 190 million lb. versus a year ago, though cow numbers were down just 2,000 head. Milk per cow was down 105 lb., or nearly 3.5 lb/cow/day.
Besides California, 10 of the top 23 milk producing states reported lower milk production in October compared to a year ago. Most of that was due to lower milk per cow. Texas, down 0.7% in total milk, saw milk per cow increase 20 lb. but cow numbers drop 8,00 0 head. Virginia, down 1.4% on milk, also saw milk per cow jump 10 lb. but cow numbers decline 2,000 head.
On the plus, Wisconsin was up 4.5%, with cow numbers in the Badger State up 8,000 head. Milk per cow was also up 70 lb., or more than 2 lb./cow/day.
South Dakota led the top 23 states in percentage increase, up 13.3% over a year ago. Cow numbers in South Dakota were up 11,000 head.
You can read the full October milk production report here.