US dairy herd grows slightly, milk production sees minor dip

Jun 25, 2024

Dairy cow numbers increase, but milk yield declines


The USDA's latest Milk Production Report reveals interesting trends within the US dairy industry. While overall milk production dipped slightly in May 2024, the national dairy herd showed a small increase.

The 24 major dairy-producing states produced a combined 18.9 billion pounds of milk in May 2024, reflecting a 0.7% decrease compared to May 2023. This decline occurred despite a slight rise in the number of dairy cows nationwide.

In May 2024, there were 8.89 million milk cows on US farms. This represents a decrease of 52,000 cows from May 2023. However, it's important to note that this decrease is partially offset by a gain of 5,000 cows compared to April 2024.

The average milk yield per cow in May 2024 was 2,122 pounds, down 3 pounds from May 2023. This decrease in milk yield per cow, even with a slight increase in cow numbers, is a key factor contributing to the overall decline in milk production.

While the reasons behind the decrease in milk yield per cow are unclear, this report highlights the dynamic nature of the US dairy industry. Dairy farmers and industry experts will likely be analyzing this data to understand these trends and determine their potential impact on future milk production.

You can find the full report here:

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