November milk production up in ‘bearish’ report

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September may have been a one-hit wonder.

After all of the problems that dairy producers had this year with drought and high feed cost, it seemed there would be a few months, at least, where milk production declined by a significant amount. But the latest numbers show November milk production in the top 23 dairy states was up 1.1 percent from the same month a year earlier. August and October were virtually tied with their respective months in 2011. September was down 0.6 percent.

Across all 50 states, production was up 1.0 percent in November, according to the “Milk Production” report released Wednesday afternoon by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dave Kurzawski, market analyst with FC Stone in Chicago, called the report “bearish” relative to expectations.

"Total U.S. milk production was up 1.0 percent year-over-year, well above our expectation for a 0.4 percent increase," Kurzawski said.

Production per cow also was higher than expected, increasing by 19 pounds in the top 23 dairy states compared to November 2011.

Colorado and Kansas had the biggest increases in November, jumping 6.5 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. New Mexico had a decline of 4 percent. California, the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state, showed a decline of 2.3 percent in November compared to the same month a year earlier.

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