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dairy cows being milked milking parlor milkers holstien Toa55/iStock/Thinkstock.

Milk production rises nearly 1% in December

Milk cow numbers and production per cow tick upward in December.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Milk Production” report showed that milk production in the 24 major milk-producing states during December totaled 17.4 billion lb., a 0.9% increase from December 2018. USDA also revised the November production number to 16.7 billion lb., up 0.9% from November 2018. The revision represented an increase of 4 million lb., or less than 0.1%, from the preliminary production estimate.

December 2019 milk production.png

Production per cow continues to rise, coming in at an average of 1,978 lb. for the 24 major states in December, 14 lb. above December 2018.

The number of milk cows also ticked higher, according to USDA figures. The number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major states was 8.81 million head, 16,000 head more than December 2018 but unchanged from November 2019.

Fourth-quarter milk production climbed 0.8% year over year to 53.8 billion lb., the latest numbers showed. The average number of milking cows in the U.S. during the quarter was 9.34 million head, 18,000 head more than in the third quarter but 22,000 head less than the same period last year.

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