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DairyBusiness Update for March 19, 2013


February milk production (sort of) down 3.5% 

Nationally, February 2013 cow numbers were down from a year ago, but the 3.5% decline in milk production comes with an asterisk or two.

Cow numbers for the month were estimated at 9.225 million head, up 2,000 from January 2013, but 32,000 less than February 2012. Milk output per cow was estimated at 1,706 lbs. in February 2013, down 56 lbs. from February 2012. However, February 2012 had an additional ”Leap Day,” so on an average daily basis, production per cow was actually up about 0.2 lb. in 2013. 

Total milk output was also affected by Leap Day: At first blush, U.S. monthly production was down 3.5% from a year ago, to 16.31 billion lbs. On an average daily basis, however, total output was down just 0.5%.

February 2013 milk production in the 23 major states totaled 14.64 billion lbs., down 3.4% from February 2012. However, production was up about 0.1% from February 2012 after adjusting for the Leap Dear. 

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,722 lbs. for February, 58 lbs. less than February 2012. But, on an average daily basis, output per cow was up 0.1 lb.

The number of milk cows in the 23 major states in February 2013 was 8.50 million head, 13,000 head less than February 2012, but 2,000 head more than January 2013.


Cow numbers: Individual states

Among the 23 major dairy states, seven increased cow numbers in February 2013 compared to a month earlier, led by Kansas (+9,000), Wisconsin and Michigan (+5,000 each). New Mexico (-13,000), Pennsylvania (-6,000) posted largest declines.

Cow number trends were similar when compared to a year earlier. Largest year-to-year gains were in Kansas (+8,000), Wisconsin (+4,000) and Michigan (+3,000). Largest year-to-year declines were in New Mexico (-13,000) and Pennsylvania (-7,000).

Due to sequestration, this is scheduled to be the last monthly Milk Production report of fiscal year 2013, which ends Sept. 30, 2013.


National Dairy FARM program reaches 70% participation threshold

The dairy industry’s animal care program has achieved an important milestone, with 70% of the nation’s milk now participating in the program. With the recent addition of several major cooperatives in theNational Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible ManagementTM), more than two-thirds of the nation’s cows will be covered by the industry’s animal well-being effort, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

NMPF started the FARM program three years ago to provide a consistent, national, verifiable means of showing consumers and the food value chain how dairy products are produced. The number of cooperatives and processors subscribing to the program has continued to grow, and now includes farms producing 70% of America’s milk supply.

In addition to the positive development in the level of participation in the program, Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF, said that the FARM program’s guidelines, contained in the National Dairy FARM Animal Care Manual, are in the final stages of an extensive review and revision process. If the NMPF board approves the revisions in June, the newly-revised manual will be made available on the FARM website at www.nationaldairyfarm.com.


CWT assists with 5.4 million lbs. of butter and cheese export sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 24 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Foremost Farms USA, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, United Dairymen of Arizona and Upstate Niagara Cooperative (O-AT-KA) to sell 2.701 million lbs. of butter and 2.740 million lbs. of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered April through September 2013.

So far in 2013, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 34.048 million lbs. of cheese, 40.907 million lbs. of butter and 218,258 lbs. of whole milk powder to 24 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.206 billion lbs. of milk on a milkfat basis, or the annual milk output of 57,400 cows.