The milk supply is still growing, but the pace has indeed tapered off.

During June, the top 23 dairy states pumped out 14 billion pounds of milk — up 1.9 percent versus a year ago, according to the USDA’s “Milk Production” report released July 18. That’s in comparison to production gains of 2.7 percent in May, 3.7 percent in April and more than 5.5 percent in each of the first three months of the year.

The 2.7-percent production gain during May is slightly lower than the USDA’s preliminary estimate of 2.8 percent, which was issued in June.

Milk per cow in the top 23 states averaged 1,695 pounds during June, or about 57 pounds per cow per day. Per cow output during June was only 0.3 percent higher than a year ago.

The number of milk cows grew about 1.6 percent in the top 23 states during June versus a year ago. Cow numbers totaled 8.27 million head — up 128,000 head versus a year ago and 9,000 head more than May.

New Mexico and Texas continued to lead the charge in milk-output gains. The chart at right shows total milk production for each of the top 23 states during June versus a year ago   .

The USDA report also showed U.S. milk production for the second quarter was up 2.3 percent versus the same period a year ago. U.S. milk production totaled 46.9 billion pounds during the second quarter. The average number of milk cows in the U.S. during that time was 9.13 million head — up 93,000 head versus a year ago.

June milk production
(Top 23 dairy states)

 

2005

2006

% change

 

(million

pounds)

 

Calif.

3,182

3,200

   0.6

Wis.

1,964

1,983

1.0

N.Y.

1,029

1,022

-0.7

Idaho

857

923

7.7

Pa.

898

899

0.1

Minn.

701

698

-0.4

N.M.

598

675

12.9

Texas

550

606

10.2

Mich.

574

589

2.6

Wash.

474

465

-1.9

Ohio

405

419

3.5

Ariz.

316

338

7.0

Iowa

333

337

1.2

Ind.

268

277

3.4

Colo.

200

218

9.0

Vt.

224

218

-2.7

Kan.

194

198

2.1

Ore.

195

188

-3.6

Fla.

197

182

-7.6

Ill.

166

164

-1.2

Mo.

163

153

-6.1

Va.

149

149

0.0

Ky.

118

110

-6.8

USDA