February milk production (sort of) down 3.5%Print
By Dave Natzke
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, according to USDA’s monthly (and maybe last) Milk Production report.
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 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.