USDA’s July milk production report showed a continued decline in the nation’s dairy herd as the 24-state dairy total fell by 9,000 head. With the spring flush now over and summer heat curbing milk output, farmers have fewer incentives to keep marginal producers within their herds. Likewise, COVID-19 has pressured overall demand across many items in the dairy space.
The national herd paralleled the continued contraction, shrinking by 10,000 to 9.35 million milking cows in June. From the peak back in March that matched the beginning of the global pandemic’s spread to the U.S., the herd has fallen by 35,000 head.
June 24-state milk output was up 0.5 percent compared to June 2019, but May 2020 was 0.5 percent lower May 2019, essentially offsetting each other.