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July milk production moves higher

Hillview1/iStock/Getty Images dairy cows entering milking parlor
Number of milk cows on farms rises nearly 40,000 head above same period in 2019.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Milk Production” report showed milk production in the 24 major states during July totaled 17.8 billion pounds, up 1.5% from July 2019. June revised production, at 17.5 billion pounds, was up 0.8% from June 2019. The June revision represented an increase of 59 million pounds or 0.3% from last month's preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 24 major states averaged 2,016 pounds for July, 19 pounds above July 2019. The number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major states was 8.83 million head, 44,000 head more than July 2019, and 2,000 head more than June 2020.

USDA NASSmilk production July 20.png

Total milk production in the U.S. during July was 1.5% higher at 18.6 billion pounds, production per cow in the U.S. averaged 1,994 pounds for July, 21 pounds above July 2019. The number of milk cows on farms in the U.S was 9.35 million head, 37,000 head more than July 2019, and 2,000 head more than June 2020.

USDA recently lowered its forecast for the average number of milk cows in 2021 to 9.370 million head. This forecast for 2021 is driven by a smaller forecast for the milking herd in 2020 and lower expected milk prices in 2020 and first quarter of 2021, the agency noted.

Milk cows in 2021 are forecast to produce 24,050 pounds per head on average, unchanged from last month’s forecast. With lower expected cow numbers, the milk production was lowered by 0.3 billion pounds to 225.3 billion pounds.

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