With heat and drought taking its toll on dairy farms, this could be the last time in 29 months that the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports a milk production increase.
On Thursday afternoon, the USDA reported that milk production in June was up 0.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
It’s a smaller growth rate than previously seen this year. In April, production on a year-over-year basis was up 3.2 percent and in March 4.2 percent.
The states showing the largest increases in June were: Colorado (5.5 percent), Florida (5.2 percent), and Utah (5.1 percent).
Across the entire U.S., the number of milk cows increased by 45,000 head from June 2011 to June 2012. However, the number of cows was down 19,000 head from the previous month.
Dave Kurzawski, dairy analyst with FC Stone/Downes-O’Neill in Chicago, called it a “bullish” report, since the milk production increase for June came in lower than analysts’ expectations. He also cited a sharp decline in milk cows from May to June. And, milk per cow dropped nearly 100 pounds -- from 1,900 to 1,804 -- from May to June.