April 19, 2024


US milk production fell for eighth straight month in February




The US Department of Agriculture's monthly Milk Production report revealed a concerning trend, with the United States' February's output totaling 18.1 billion pounds, representing a 1.3% decrease compared to the previous year after adjusting for this year's leap day.


This marks the eighth consecutive month of decline in year-over-year comparisons and the most significant monthly production drop since January 2022.


Further compounding the issue, January's US milk production figures were revised downward to reflect a 1.2% decline from 2023 levels. Additionally, February saw a reduction in the country dairy cow herd, with numbers totaling 9.33 million head, down by 89,000 from the previous year but up by 10,000 from January's revised estimate.


Notably, February witnessed the largest monthly increase in the milking cow herd in nearly a year, suggesting a potential shift in the economics of cow retention for some operations.


The adverse trends in milk production have had a direct impact on cheese inventories, as highlighted in the Cold Storage report. The negative outlook for cheese stocks has intensified pressure on the cheese market and Class III milk futures, signaling potential challenges for dairy producers and stakeholders in the coming months.


- The Dairy News Global

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