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Daily milk production drops in July but the month's numbers top those of 2011

Aug. 23, 2012 | 0 comments

There are two ways of interpreting the national milk production numbers for July, which were released last week Friday (Aug. 17).

One view is to focus on the statistic, which indicates a very modest increase compared to July of 2011. A second interpretation is to notice how daily milk production averages dropped when July is compared to June of this year.

According to the numbers published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, milk production in July increased by .8 percent compared to July of 2011.

This included a 4.4-percent increase in Wisconsin, which set a production record of 2.269 billion pounds for the month - 2 million pounds more than in July of 2010 and 3 million pounds more than in July of 1985.

What also stood out in the July numbers, however, was a noticeable difference in the daily milk production averages when compared to June of this year. This was due in most part to the hot and humid periods last month.

Wisconsin's daily production dropped from 75.20 million pounds in June to 73.19 million pounds in July while the national average declined from 518.10 million pounds daily in June to 500.64 million pounds in July.

Another noticeable statistic for July was the decline in average milk per cow in California from 1,995 pounds in 2011 to 1,960 pounds this year.

As a result, the state's milk production slipped by one percent - to 3.499 billion pounds - in July compared to a year ago despite a gain of 13,000 in cow numbers for a total of 1.785 million head.

States that topped Wisconsin in the percentages for milk production increases on the July comparisons were Colorado at 5.8 percent, Utah at 5.6, and Missouri at 4.7 percent. Michigan posted a 4.1-percent increase.

Other states with production decreases were Washington at 3.3 percent, New Mexico at 2.7, Texas at 2.4, Oregon at 1.8, and Pennsylvania at 1.5 percent.

Compared to July of 2011, average milk per cow in the top 23 milk production states was up by six pounds to 1,826 for this year.

Wisconsin posted a 65-pound increase to 1,785 pounds and Michigan was up by 25 pounds to 1,970. Missouri was up by 85 pounds per cow to 1,195 pounds but New Mexico was down by 55 pounds to 2,060.

Dairy cow numbers for July in those 23 states increased by 41,000 from a year ago to 8.5 million but they were down by 7,000 from June of this year.

Among the increases in the July comparisons were 13,000 head in California to 1.785 million, 10,000 to 376,000 head in Michigan, 7,000 to 1.271 million head in Wisconsin, and 5,000 each in Indiana, Texas, and Colorado.

Just before the release of the July milk production figures, spot market prices for Cheddar cheese jumped to the year's high of $1.90 per pound for blocks and $1.8550 for barrels on Thursday, Aug. 16.

By Wednesday of this week, they had retreated to $1.8375 for blocks following one unfilled bid to buy and one uncovered offer to sell during the day's trading session while barrels held at $1.8050 with no trading activity.

The spot market for AA butter posted gains every day last week and again earlier this week. With no market activity on Wednesday, the price stood at $1.80 per pound.

A gain of .50-cent per pound for Grade A nonfat dry milk as the result of one carload sale on Wednesday put its spot market price at $1.6650. The Grade Extra price remained at $1.6250.

Futures prices for dry whey continued to show strength as they held at just above 60 cents per pound for the final quarter of 2012. They were in the 50s per pound for all months except December in 2013.

The Class III milk futures, however, posted modest losses for all months from August 2012 through April of 2013 on Wednesday.

The day's closing prices were $17.63 per hundred for August, $19.03 for September, just over $20 for October, November, and December, in the $19s for January through May of 2013, and in the $18s from June through October of 2013.

Cooperatives Working Together has accepted bids from Dairy Farmers of America for financial assistance on the export of 127,868 pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheeses to countries in the South Pacific and Asia for delivery in August and September.

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