NASS to provide milk production estimates, but not cow numbers, milk per cow

Source: Agricultural Statistics Board of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service 

Partial monthly U.S. milk production estimates will resume for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 (FY ’13), USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced April 3. The monthly Milk Production report had been suspended to meet budget sequestration requirements. 

NASS will not conduct two remaining quarterly milk producer surveys normally scheduled to obtain the information. Instead, NASS will use only various sources of administrative data to establish the monthly milk production estimates.

Therefore, dairy cow and milk per cow statistics that were provided in previous reports will not be available.  A scientifically based statistical survey will be necessary in the longer term, NASS said.

The use of various administrative data by NASS to establish the monthly estimates of milk production will provide a consistent estimation process across all states and the nation, while maintaining cost savings by not conducting the producer survey. NASS will release the milk production estimate on the dates previously scheduled through September.

In addition, NASS will release the Annual Milk Production, Disposition and Income 2012 Summary report as scheduled on April 25. This report provides the annual number of milk cows, production per cow and production for the year at the state and national levels for 2011 and 2012. The amount of milk used on farms and the amount sold, cash receipts and value of production by state are also included.

According to NASS, the decision to move forward with the limited milk production estimates is a reflection of NASS’s ongoing evaluation of its programs and its FY ’13 fiscal situation, as well as its commitment to timely, accurate and useful data in service to U.S. agriculture.  NASS will continue to evaluate its programs and budget for FY ’14, which begins Oct. 1, 2013.