October 20, 2014 — U.S. dairy farmers got the message. The record high milk prices and low feed costs, pardon the pun, signaled them to “milk ‘em for all their worth.” They added cows and got more out of every one.
The Agriculture Department’s preliminary data issued this afternoon in its Milk Production report shows September output in the top 23 producing states at 15.49 billion pounds, up 4.1 percent from August 2013 and was the nineth consecutive month output was above a year ago. The 50-state total, at 16.47 billion pounds, was up 4.0 percent from a year ago.
Revisions reduced the original August 23-state estimate by 3 million pounds, now reported at 16.2 billion pounds, up 2.6 percent from a year ago.
August cow numbers in the 23 states, at 8.59 million head, were up 4,000 head from August and 78,000 more than a year ago. The 50-State count, at 9.27 million head, is up 2,000 from July and 59,000 more than a year ago.
August output per cow in the 23 states averaged 1,804 pounds, up 56 pounds from September 2013, and the highest production per cow for the month of September since the 23 State series began in 2003.
Looking at the July to September period, milk output totaled 51.1 billion pounds, up 3.5 percent from the same period a year ago, and cow numbers, at 9.27 million head, were up 15,000 from the April to June quarter and 44,000 more than a year ago.