USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will provide an estimate of U.S. milk production each month through September, 2013, which is the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2013. The agency will use only various sources of administrative data to establish the monthly milk production estimates rather than incorporating information from the two remaining quarterly producer surveys, as is presently done.
Milk production is one element of the monthly Milk Production report that NASS suspended last month to meet sequestration requirements.
Because NASS is not conducting milk producer surveys, the dairy cow and milk per cow statistics that were provided in previous reports will not be available. In order to provide the additional estimates and true up estimates based on administrative data, a scientifically based statistical survey will be necessary in the longer term.
The use of various administrative data by NASS to establish the monthly estimates of milk production will provide a consistent estimation process across all states and the nation, while maintaining cost savings by not conducting the producer survey.
NASS will release the milk production estimate on the dates previously scheduled through September.
In addition, NASS will release the Annual Milk Production, Disposition and Income 2012 Summary report as scheduled on April 25. This report provides the annual number of milk cows, production per cow, and production for the year at the state and national levels for 2011 and 2012. The amount of milk used on farms and the amount sold, cash receipts, and value of production by state and at the U.S. level are also included.
The decision to move forward with the limited milk production estimates is a reflection of NASS's ongoing evaluation of its programs and its FY 2013 fiscal situation, as well as its commitment to timely, accurate and useful data in service to U.S. agriculture. NASS will continue to evaluate its programs and budget for FY 2014, which begins October 1.