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December Cow Numbers, Milk Output Increase


Cow numbers and milk output per cow grew in December 2012, resulting in the highest monthly percentage year-over-year U.S. milk production increase since May, according to USDA’s monthly Milk Production report, released Jan. 23.
Nationally, December 2012 cow numbers were estimated at 9.213 million head, up 16,000 from November 2012, but 10,000 less than December 2011. December 2012 cow numbers in the 23 major dairy states were estimated at 8.490 million head, up 16,000 from November 2012 and 5,000 more than December 2011. 
Among the 23 major dairy states, eight increased cow numbers in December 2012 compared to a month earlier, led by Arizona (+5,000); and Kansas & Texas (+3,000 each). Only New Mexico (-2,000), California and Wisconsin (-1,000 each) posted declines.
Compared to a year earlier, December 2012 cow numbers declined in only five states, led by New Mexico (-13,000), Arizona (-6,000), and Pennsylvania (-5,000). Largest year-to-year gains were in Kansas (+8,000), Michigan (+7,000), Wisconsin (+5,000) and Colorado (+4,000).