Dairy farmers reeled in production gains and herd expansion during June after several months of low milk prices.
Milk production in the U.S. during the month totaled nearly 19 billion pounds with production per cow up only a pound from last year.
Ag economist Rob Fox with CoBank says any expansions seen in the first half have been a delayed response to last year’s record prices.
“I expect to see the opposite over the next 6 to 12 months,” he says. “We’ve already seen dairy cow slaughter numbers are way up, roughly 20 percent higher year on year over the past month or so.”
USDA says the dairy herd size was cut by 5,000 head from last year and 16,000 from May, which was the third straight month of declines.
South Dakota increased milk production by nearly seven percent in June while New Mexico and Texas had the greatest declines. Michigan dairy cows had the highest output at 2,280 pounds per cow, more than 250 pounds above the national average.