January U.S. milk production up 0.9%

January 2014 milk production in the 23 major states was estimated at 16.08 billion lbs., up 1.0% from January 2013, according to USDA’s monthly Milk Production report. December revised production at 15.68 billion lbs., was down 0.3% from December 2012. The December revision represented a decrease of 19 million lbs. or (0.1%) from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

The number of milk cows in the 23 major states was estimated at 8.51 million head, 7,000 head more than January 2013 and 6,000 head more than December 2013. Largest year-to-year decline in cow numbers was in Idaho, down 14,000 head, followed by Minnesota, down 5,000. Meanwhile cow numbers were up 5,000 each in Colorado, Kansas, New York Pennsylvania and Utah.

January 2014 milk production per cow averaged 1,891 lbs. in the major states, 17 lbs. above January 2013.

On a percentage basis compared to a year earlier, milk production was up 4.7% in California, 5.8% in Colorado and 5.3% in Kansas. Biggest decliners were Illinois, down 4.8%, Missouri, down 4.4%, and Wisconsin, down 2.9%.

Nationally, January 2014 milk production was estimated at 17.26 billion lbs., up 0.9% from January 2013. The number of milk cows was estimated at 9.21 million head, 13,000 head less than January 2013, but 7,000 head more than December 2013. Milk production per cow averaged 1,874 lbs. for January 2014, 19 lbs. above January 2013.

 2013 annual milk production up 0.3% from 2012

U.S. annual milk production during 2013 was revised to 201 billion lbs., just 0.3% above 2012. Production per cow averaged 21,822 lbs. for 2013, 102 lbs. above 2012. The average annual rate of milk production per cow has increased 15.1% from 2004.

The average number of milk cows on farms in the United States during 2013 was 9.22 million head, down 0.1% from 2012. The average number of milk cows was revised down 5,000 head for 2013.


U.S dairy herds decline

The number of U.S. dairy herds commercially licensed to sell milk fell to 46,900 in 2013, down 2,321 from the total of 49,281 in 2012.

Biggest declines were in the Midwest, with Wisconsin herds declining by 630, to 10,860 herds. Minnesota lost 260 herds, dipping to 3,865; and Indiana dropped 255, to 1,315 herds. Califoria herds declined by 90, to 1,515.

The USDA data does not designate whether herds left dairying altogether, or were combined to create new, larger herds.

According to the USDA report, Pennsylvania gained 60 dairy herds in 2013.


March Class I base is record high

The federal order March Class I base milk price is a record high $23.64/cwt., up $1.62 from February 2014 and $5.84 more than March 2013.

Through the first three months of 2014, the Class I base average stands at $22.38/cwt., $4.05 more than the $18.33/cwt. average for the same period in 2013.


January dairy cull cow slaughter

USDA estimated 270,200 culled dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in January 2014, up  13,500 from December 2013, but 26,700 less than January 2013.


Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending Feb. 8: 59,900 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 353,800 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -33,500 head

Highlights: Midwest culling as a percentage of the U.S. total picked up. For the week, 33% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH & WI); 24% came from USD Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


National Dairy Products Sales Report highlights – Feb. 20, 2014

Average prices for the week ending Feb. 15, and compared to the previous week:

• USDA Grade AA Butter: $1.86/lb., up 2.2¢.

• Cheddar 40-lb. block: $2.32/lb., up 4.4¢.

• Cheddar 500-lb. barrels: $2,32/lb., up 2.3¢.

• Dry whey (Extra Grade): 62.8¢/lb., up 0.8¢.

• Nonfat Dry Milk: $2.08/lb., up 0.8¢.


Dairy CPI: Mixed bag in January

Consumers found a mixed bag of retail dairy product prices climb in January, according to unadjusted monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall January 2014 retail dairy product prices were +0.5% compared to December 2013, but -0.4% compared to January 2013. That compares to retail prices for all food eaten at home, which was +0.7% compared to December and +0.5% compared to the year before.

Checking out individual products (January 2014 vs. December 2013 and January 2013, respectively): fluid milk: +0.9%; +1.5% [whole milk: +1.5%; +2.1%; other milk: +0.7%; +1.2%]; cheese: -0.1%; -1.2%; butter: +3.4%; +1.5%; ice cream: +1.3%; -1.5%; and “other” dairy products: +0.1%; -1.4%.