Milk production tops estimates

US - December milk production in the 23 major states totaled a whopping 14 billion pounds, up 2.7 percent from December 2005 and above what many analysts were expecting. Revisions added another 13 million pounds to the November estimate, now pegged at 13.3 billion, 2.6 percent above November 2005.
calendar icon 23 January 2007
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December cow numbers totaled 8.27 million head, up 14,000 from November and 86,000 more than a year ago. Production per cow averaged 1,689 pounds, up 26 pounds from a year ago.

California production was up 3.9 percent from a year ago, thanks to 14,000 more cows and 55 pounds more per cow. Wisconsin was up 2 percent on 8,000 more cows. Output per cow was up 20 pounds. New York was down 2 percent, due to a 21,000-cow drop, although output per cow was up 20 pounds. Pennsylvania was up 1 percent, thanks to a 40-pound gain per cow, but cow numbers were off 8,000 head. Idaho was up 5.3 percent on 28,000 more cows, and Minnesota was up 4.2 percent on a 30 gain per cow. Cow numbers were up 10,000 head.

The biggest gain was posted in Colorado, up 10.1 percent thanks to 9,000 more cows and a 20-pound gain per cow. Texas was next, up 9.7 percent on a 50-pound gain per cow and 21,000 more cows. The biggest loss occurred in Missouri, down 4.5 percent. Cow numbers were up 1,000 head but output per cow was down 80 pounds. Kentucky was down 4.4 percent due to an 8,000-head drop, but output per cow was up 35 pounds.

Meanwhile, those increased federal order make allowances are on hold due to a challenge last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The USDA agreed to delay the release of its Interim Final Rule until Feb. 23. A preliminary injunction hearing will be held Feb. 15.

The February federal order Class I base milk price was announced Friday at $13.39 per hundredweight, down 20 cents from January, a penny above February 2006, and it triggers a 10.2 cent MILC payment for producers. The price reflects current manufacturing allowances rather than the revised allowances due to the court challenge. I have more on that coming up.

The NASS butter price averaged $1.1905 per pound, down 5.3 cents from January. Cheese averaged $1.3279, down 4.8 cents; nonfat dry milk averaged $1.0461, up 2.3 cents; and dry whey averaged 45.39 cents, up 4.9 cents.

Source: Capital Press

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