US milk production expanded 2% in February – leap year adjusted – according to the USDA. The milking herd continued to expand reaching 9.458m cows, a gain of 3,000 head from the previous month and 81,000 higher YOY. That month-on-month growth in cow numbers was lowest since September. The YOY growth in average yield per cow for February was 1.2%, an 8-month low. February was the ninth consecutive month of expansion in US milk output.
January 2021 milk growth was also revised to +2.4%YOY, the result of a 1% YOY growth in cow numbers and a 1.4% YOY growth in average yield per cow. The earlier estimate was just +1.6% YOY, but now the government has found more milk in California – which was widely anticipated by the local industry.
February production in Texas rose 5.3% YOY, meaning the USDA included dumped milk in its milk supply estimate. According to some estimates, dumped milk in February was equivalent to 0.5% of national output. Wisconsin, Texas and California accounted for 58% of the YOY growth in February milk production (up from 51% in January), increasing by 3.2%, 5.3% and 2.1% respectively. There were also strong gains in Minnesota (+5.8%), Michigan (+3.8%) and Indiana (+10.5%).