Drought Lowers Milk Production

US - Dry weather and feed price increases will push herd liquidation and lower output per cow, overall causing a decline in milk production, according to the latest USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.
calendar icon 19 July 2012
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Cow numbers began to show a decline with the May Milk Production report. The prospect of rising feed prices will likely accelerate this trend for the balance of 2012 and into 2013.

Cow numbers were lowered to 9,230 thousand head in 2012 and to 9,145 thousand head for 2013 in July’s forecast.

Recent high temperatures will likely restrain milk production over the course of the summer and, coupled with higher feed costs, milk output per cow is lowered to 21,830 pounds from June projections.

Milk per cow is forecast at 22,060 in 2013, a decline from June as higher feed prices take a toll.

The result is a projected 201.6 billion pounds of milk production in 2012, a decline from last month’s projection, and to 201.7 billion pounds of milk forecast in 2013, also a drop from June.

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