Nationwide milk production up 3% from last year

FILE - Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay in a Thursday, July 23,...
FILE - Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay in a Thursday, July 23, 2020 file photo, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathk, Filee)(Lisa Rathke | AP)
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 6:16 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Dairy cows across the state and across the country were in a giving mood in December. New USDA numbers show production in the top 24 milk producing states reached just over 18 billion pounds in December—up more than 3% from a year ago. Both the number of cows and production per cow were up. In December average production reached 2,027 pounds—40 pounds more than a year ago. The herd size at the end of the year was 8.92 million head –over 100 thousand more cows than last December. California continues to lead the nation in milk production with 3 and a half billion pounds in December.

In Wisconsin, December milk production totaled 2.6 billion pounds—3% more than December 2019. The milking herd numbered 1.26 million head—down 2,000 head from a year ago. But the average cow in the state gave 2,070 pounds of milk during December—55 pounds more than a year ago. Wisconsin still ranks second in milk production, followed by Idaho, Texas and New York.

The new Agriculture Committee in the House is pretty well set as the Republicans have announced who will be on their side of the aisle. This week, ranking member Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania named 7 new members to join the 15 Republicans who will be coming back to the committee, none from Wisconsin. So with no Democrats serving either, it looks like there will be no Wisconsin House members from either party serving on that House Ag Committee.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman David Scott of Georgia laid out his priorities for the next 2 years. These include food security, racial equality in agriculture, starting the process toward a new farm bill, and climate change. Scott also told the media he wants to set up an independent disaster aid fund to help farmers.

China ended up buying a lot of U.S. soybeans in 2020. Those purchases totaled 26 million tons—up 17 million from 2019. But that total is way below what they needed to buy to meet their obligations under the Phase One Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China. And we’ve got a long way to close the gap on China’s number one soybean supplier, Brazil. Last year the Chinese bought 64 million tons of soybeans from the Brazilians.

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