Midwest states see biggest output growth over year-earlier levels, boosted by higher per-cow production.
Dairies in the 23 major producing states churned out 1.7% more milk in December 2012 than a year earlier, boosted by higher per-cow production, USDA reported today in its December milk production report.
Milk output totaled 15.7 billion pounds last month, while production per cow rose 30 pounds over year-earlier levels to average 1,848 pounds. For 2012, cow numbers increased to 9.231 million head over 2011’s 9.194 million.
Analysts called the report bearish, saying it exceeded their production projections.
Output increases were largely seen in Midwestern states. Among them:
• Wisconsin, up 5.5% over year-earlier levels to reach 2.343 billion pounds;
• Minnesota, up 4.4% to 786 million pounds;
• Michigan, up 5.5% to 762 million pounds;
• Indiana, 4.6% to 317 million pounds.
The biggest year-over-year percentage increases were seen farther west: Kansas output jumped 10% to 241 million pounds while Colorado’s milk production increased by 6.3% to 272 million pounds.
Western states saw lower or flat production from December 2011 levels. California, still the nation’s milk-producing leader, fell 2.3% to 3.416 billion pounds. Milk output in New Mexico and Arizona dropped .3% each, to 674 million pounds and 375 million pounds, respectively. Washington increased only .4% to 515 million pounds.
Total U.S. milk production in all states during December was up 1.6% over December 2011.