Texas vs. Pennsylvania: Not so fast
USDA's preliminary October Milk Production report estimated Texas had surpassed Pennsylvania as the No. 5 milk-producing state for the month.
In the words of ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso: "Not so fast my friend."
USDA's November Milk Production report provided preliminary November estimates, and revised October's numbers. In both months, Pennsylvania was back in the #5 position, behind California, Wisconsin, Idaho and New York.
The ranking could change in 2015, however.
Texas has been gaining on Pennsylvania all year, with the Lone Star State's 1Q 2014 output up 4.3% compared to the same period a year earlier; 2Q output was up 9.0%; and, since August, monthly increases have averaged more than 7% compared to 2013. Texas also leads all states in the increase in cow numbers: The 470,000 head estimated for November is up 30,000 head from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, compared to 2013, Pennsylvania's milk production was virtually unchanged for the first half of 2014. Since then, milk production grew about 2.3% in the 3Q of 2014, and is up about 3.5% in October and November. The Keystone State is growing milk production by increasing milk per cow: November cow numbers are unchanged from a year ago, at 530,000 head.
Source: UDSA National Ag Statistic Service monthly reports
Long-term dairy projections, minus the volatility
The end of one year and beginning of another usually brings out predictions for the future.
Each year, USDA agencies make long-term commodity projections for the agricultural sector, including supply, use and price projections to 2024 for major U.S. crop and livestock commodities, as well as supporting U.S. and international macroeconomic assumptions.
Decade-long dairy projections are baseline estimates, and don't reflect market shocks or volatility common in the industry. The latest long-term dairy projections include:
• annual U.S. milk marketings increase from 205.2 billion lbs. in 2014 to 248.4 billion lbs. in 2024, a 21% increase.
• dairy imports hold steady throughout the decade, at about 5.3 billion lbs.
• commercial dairy exports grow steadily, from 38.3 billion lbs in 2014 to 50.9 billion lbs. in 2024.
• dairy farmers may see the same all milk price in 2024 as they will in 2015, currently projected at about $19.25/cwt. All milk prices decline slightly from 2014 ($24.20/cwt.) through 2020 (lows of $18.05/cwt. in 2018-2020), before a moderate annual increase to $19.20/cwt. in 2024.
The full long-term commodity projections will be available Feb. 11, 2015, prior to USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, set for Feb. 19-20, in Arlington, Va. The full report will include further information covering projections for agricultural commodity trade, U.S. agricultural trade value and farm income.
Source: USDA Office of Chief Economist
Cattle on feed up, but placements, marketings down
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in U.S. feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.9 million head on Dec. 1, 1% more than a year earlier. November placements totaled 1.79 million head (1.72 million net), down 4% from a year earlier. November fed cattle marketings totaled 1.48 million, down 11% from a year ago.
Source: USDA Cattle on Feed report