April Milk Production up 2.5 Percent

US - Released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
calendar icon 21 May 2008
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National Agricultural Statistics Service

Milk production in the 23 major States during April totaled 14.8 billion pounds, up 2.5 percent from April 2007. March revised production at 15.1 billion pounds, was up 2.3 percent from March 2007. The March revision represented a decrease of 10 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,757 pounds for April, 12 pounds above April 2007.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.44 million head, 152,000 head more than April 2007, and 8,000 head more than March 2008.

Monthly Milk Production 23 States

Monthly Milk per Cow 23 States

Monthly Milk Cows 23 States

Reliability Statement

Survey Procedures: Primary data used to determine these estimates were obtained from a sample of producers. Individual States maintain a list of all known milk producers and information on the size of their herd. States use all known sources of producers to ensure that their lists are as complete as possible. Generally, all large producers and a sample of small producers are included in the survey. Questionnaires are mailed to producers near the end of the month to obtain data for the first day of the month. Additional reports are obtained by telephone, as needed, to supplement the mail response. Where feasible, States utilize state and federal administrative data, rather than conduct a monthly or quarterly survey, to estimate milk production. This eliminates duplication of data gathering by different government agencies. Indications of milk cow inventory are also obtained in the January and July Cattle Surveys.

Estimation Procedures: State offices prepare these estimates by using a combination of survey indications, historic trends, and any available administrative data. Individual State estimates are reviewed by the Agricultural Statistics Board for reasonableness.

Revision Policy: Milk production, rate per cow, and number of cows are subject to revision the following month for monthly States or the following quarter for the quarterly States. Normally, Federal Market Order sales are the main basis for revisions. However, data for all orders are not available in time for this revision. Estimates are again subject to revisions in February each year based on additional administrative data. In the event that additional changes are necessary, a third revision is possible in February the following year. Estimates are again reviewed after data from the five-year Census of Agriculture are available. No revisions are made after that date.

Reliability: Since all operations with dairy animals are not included in the sample, survey estimates are subject to sampling variability. Survey results are also subject to non-sampling errors such as omissions, duplications, and mistakes in reporting, recording, and processing the data. The effects of these errors cannot be measured directly. They are minimized through rigid quality controls in the data collection process and through a careful review of all reported data for consistency and reasonableness.

To assist users in evaluating the reliability of the estimates in this report, the "Root Mean Square Error" is shown for selected items on the next page. The "Root Mean Square Error" is a statistical measure based on past performance and is computed using the differences between first and final estimates. The "Root Mean Square Error" for milk cow inventory estimates over the past 10 January - March quarters is 0.1 percent. This means that chances are 2 out of 3 that the final January – March estimate will not be above or below the current estimate of 9.25 million head by more than 0.1 percent. Chances are 9 out of 10 that the difference will not exceed 0.2 percent.

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