US milk yield on the rise

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Us

Milk production in the US is up from last year for the sixth month
in a row, according to a new report.

The report, published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), will come as a relief to dairy processors who are facing a world wide supply squeeze. The US agency reported last week that milk production in the US during the second quarter came to 47.4 billion pounds (21.59 bn kilos), an increase of 1.1 per cent from the same period last year. Milk yield in June totalled 14.2 bn pounds (6.45 bn kilos) in 23 states, up 1.2 percent from June last year, whereas the May yield of 14.9 bn pounds (6.77 bn kilos), was up by the slightly lower 1.1 percent from the same month in 2006. The largest jump between 2007 and 2006 however occurred in January, when total milk production increased a huge 1.8 per cent. The increase is even more surprising considering the number of cows on US farms went down to 9.13 million, 2,000 fewer than last year. Certain states performed particularly well, with Arizona and Colorado experiencing increases from 2006 of 5.9 and 6 per cent respectively during the April-June quarter. Last month, Organic Monitor claimed that the supply of organic milk in the US is also increasing, to the extent that manufacturers now have a surplus to play with. For instance, Whitewave Foods has developed a range of organic milk fortified with marine-sourced omega-3 fatty acids. The successful dairy yield in the US stands in start contrast to other areas in the world, where farmers are struggling to meet increased supply demands. Joop Kleibeuker, head of the European Dairy Association (EDA), told DairyReporter.com in June that should current conditions persist, there is a genuine possibility that the EU will face milk shortages in the near future. Increasing populations in emerging markets and oil-rich nations is putting pressure on farmers to increase their output, he said. Australia and New Zealand have also experienced problems over recent years as ongoing effects of drought continue hurt the industry. Dairy production in Australia is expected to decline by four per cent in 2007, while the current production growth rate in New Zealand is at its lowest level since 2000. Kleibeuker also warned that a shifting agricultural focus towards bio-fuels could have a negative effect on the dairy industry worldwide, as cattle feed prices have already started to shoot up.

Related topics: Markets, Fresh Milk, Ingredients

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