A new USDA report indicates that U-S dairy operators are still expanding their herds. Agriculture Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam said the inventory report shows about 9.4 million dairy cows which is about 1% increase from a year ago.
“Producers do indicate intentions to hold back about 1-percent more heifers for milk cow replacement,”
And while he admited those are small increases in milk cow inventory and breeding intentions,
“But you still have continued growth in milk per cow, so even if we talk about a small increase in cow numbers during 2018, we are still talking about increases in output per cow which will help boost milk production per year,” Shagam said.
December’s average milk per cow was 11 pounds over a year earlier, the highest in at least 14 years. This year’s milk production is expected to be up about 1.5% which is good news for consumers, because prices are expected to drop slightly.