The peak cycle of milk production normally spans the first half of the year. It advances in the first quarter, peaks in April, and then starts to trend progressively lower in the second quarter. This year was no different and the yield curve followed the usual seasonal pattern. 

However, an event in April may contribute to an abrupt conclusion to this year’s flush peak production. A large dairy operator located in Dimmitt, TX suffered catastrophic losses resulting from a massive explosion in their wastewater and methane collection system. The resulting fire was estimated to have killed some 18,000 dairy heifers in the main holding pens where the cows could not escape. Statistics just reviewed by USDA in the May release of the national milk production report confirm that after increasing by some 39,000 head in the first quarter of the year, the national herd declined by 16,000 head, wiping out half of this year’s gains and falling to 9.43 million heifers. 

With peak flush now in the rearview mirror, we are entering the ebb half of the year in terms of milk yield. 

The full version of this commentary appeared on our IQ platform May 23, 2023. Further information, statistics, and pricing for the dairy market are available to IQ subscribers. Learn more about becoming a subscriber.

Source: Texas Tribune
Posted by: Information Services
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