July heat curbs milk output, but not as much as feared

Although July was the hottest month on record for much of the U. S.—not to mention many other parts of the globe—milk production held steady, up a nominal 0.1 percent from July 2018. The figure may seem unexciting at first glance, but given that milk output was basically flat with 60,000 fewer dairy cows, the number is a bit more impressive.

We are clearly in the ebb half of the year, when both yield and monthly production typically wane. Most of the market expected that both yield and production would necessarily falter as higher temps stressed the herd and the recent flush. Somewhat surprisingly, although cow numbers fell by 9,000 head from the prior month, yield per animal was better by nearly half a pound of milk per day. As a result, total milk output remained flat.

Milk yield: Production per cow per day

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