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Wisconsin’s May Milk Production Lower Than 2016

California, Other Top Producers Also See Slow Down In Production Growth

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Gallons of milk
Guy Montag (CC-BY)

Milk production in Wisconsin is not growing as rapidly as last year.

May was the first month in three years Wisconsin dairy producers didn’t surpass the previous year’s monthly milk production level. Instead, total pounds of milk dropped about 1 percent from May 2016.

But that doesn’t mean the dairy industry is slowing down.

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“A year ago, production per cow was running more than 3 percent higher (than the previous year). Normal growth is 1-1.5 percent,” said Bob Cropp, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cropp said Wisconsin is following a national trend of returning to more normal levels of production growth.

“Total U.S. milk production is now slowing,” Cropp said. “Cow numbers were growing, they’ve been growing every month since last October but production per cow has slowed nationwide.”

California and Idaho also saw slight declines in monthly milk production when compared to May 2016. Texas had the largest increase in production with almost 15 percent more milk than last year.

Slower production growth across the United States could be welcome news for dairy farmers who are waiting on better milk prices.

With lower production levels and steady export demand, Cropp said milk prices are expected to bounce back this year, averaging as much as $2 higher than last year.

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