October milk production down 1.1% from year ago

by Food Business News Staff
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WASHINGTON — Milk production in the 23 major producing states totaled 14.3 billion lbs in October, down 1.1% from the same month of 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Milk Production report.

Milk production for September was revised to 14 billion lbs, up 16 million lbs, or 0.1%, from the preliminary estimate but still down 0.5% from a year earlier.

Production per cow in the 23 states averaged 1,721 lbs in October, which was 21 lbs above October 2008. There were 8.32 million dairy cows on farms in the 23 states, which was 196,000 head less than in October 2008 and 22,000 head less than in September 2009.

The percentage decrease from a year ago in milk production has accelerated over the past four months due to dairy cow liquidation prompted by ongoing negative returns for producers. Reduced cow numbers has more than offset increased milk per cow, which resulted from farmers culling lower-producing cows first in their herd liquidation efforts.
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