The 20-state milk production report, released by USDA on May 16, showed April milk production at 12.2 billion pounds, down 1.9 percent from April of 2000.

The report also showed the nation’s cow herd at 7.54 million head in April — 45,000 fewer cows than previous-year levels and 12,000 less than March. Heavy cow losses were seen in Wisconsin, Minnesota and New York — down 54,000, 25,000 and 25,000 cows, respectively.

Milk per cow in April was at 1,572 pounds per cow, or 52.4 pounds per day. That’s 0.7 pounds per day less than April 2000 but up by 0.82 pounds from March.

The report’s mildly bullish view of the milk supply will likely extend the high commodity prices for cheese and butter for the next few weeks. That, in turn, should keep Class III and Class IV prices above $13 to $14 through June.

However, several key western states, such as California, Idaho and New Mexico, posted gains in milk production and cow numbers, planting the possibility of more milk flowing from the west in upcoming months.

April Total Milk Production
(in thousands)









































2000 2001
Calif. 2,733 2,778
Wis. 1,956 1,891
N.Y. 1,015 972
Pa. 978 922
Minn. 826 783
Idaho 580 630
Mich. 481 483
Texas 543 476
N.M. 442 459
Wash. 478 458
Ohio 375 376
Iowa 335 328
Ariz. 287 260
Fla. 232 231
Vt. 236 221
Ind. 199 220
Mo. 209 187
Ill. 182 182
Va. 169 165
Kty. 155 150