Milk production in the top 23 states has been extremely consistent the past three months when comparing this time frame to last year's data. Looking at last October, total production was down slightly at -.1 percent this October.
On the upside, October saw a one-pound increase per cow over September 2012 production levels. The net result was an overall increase in milk production over last month. However, October production was the third lowest month for the entire year, following September's basement location.
The third piece of dairy data released by the USDA yesterday was milk cow numbers. Dairy cow numbers in the top 23 states sit at 8.47 million head, a loss of 8,000 milking females from last month. October is the lowest month for cow numbers in 2012.
States that are up in production as compared to last year:
Colorado up 5.9 percent; Idaho up 0.9 percent; Illinois up 0.6 percent; Indiana up 1.7 percent; Iowa up 1.4 percent; Kansas up 5.1 percent; Michigan up 2.7 percent; Minnesota up 2.9 percent; New York up 2.7 percent; Ohio up 2.6 percent; Utah up 1.3 percent; Vermont up 1.4 percent; and Wisconsin up 4.7 percent.
Oregon was unchanged.
States that are down in production as compared to last year:
Arizona down 4.5 percent; California down 3.5 percent; Florida down 0.6 percent; Missouri down 1.8 percent; New Mexico down 5.9 percent; Pennsylvania down 0.3 percent; Texas down 5.0 percent; Virginia down 0.7 percent and Washington down 2.1 percent.
So, what is this telling us? The advice of industry expects to cull nonprofitable or marginally profitable cows is taking root. Those cows are leaving the milking herds, and feed is then allocated to remaining herd members who are better able to convert feed to milk or kept for future use.