Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

U.S. Milk Output Increases as Higher Prices Spur Productivity

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. milk output increased 1.3 percent in May, the Department of Agriculture said, as climbing prices spurred farmers to increase productivity.

Production rose to 17.27 billion pounds from 17.04 billion in May 2010, the USDA said today in a report. The dairy herd totaled 9.2 million head last month, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, while the average cow produced 1,877 pounds of milk, up 0.4 percent.

“Relative to last year, we’re still looking at more milk per cow and more cow numbers,” Bill Brooks, an economist with INTL FCStone, said before the report. Farmers are “trying to maximize their facilities.”

Class III milk futures reached a 35-month high of $20.27 per 100 pounds on June 6 amid climbing demand for U.S. dairy products. The July contract fell 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $20.04 at 12:59 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before today, the commodity rose 48 percent in the past year.

A cool, wet spring in parts of the U.S. has delayed pasture growth in some areas and is “negatively impacting the feed quality that cows are getting,” Brooks said. This could limit the growth per-cow output going forward, he said.

The average price farmers will get for all milk this year will be $19.85 per 100 pounds, up from an estimated $16.29 in 2010, the USDA said last week. Output in 2011 will climb to an all-time high of 195.5 billion pounds, up from last year’s record of 192.8 billion, the government forecast. Production will continue to jump in 2012 to 198.5 billion pounds, according to the USDA.

Rising overseas demand for U.S. dairy products is boosting exports. Dairy-product shipments rose 38 percent to 429,229 tons in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, with Mexico, China and Canada as the biggest buyers, the USDA said.

To contact the reporter on this story: {Elizabeth Campbell} in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.