Missouri Dairy Business Update Commercial Agriculture
Volume 3, Number 12
December 2003

Positive Points for Missouri's Dairy Industry
December 2003

Looking for something positive about Missouri's dairy industry? Here's some news:

  • Missouri DHIA herds show improving milk production
    • In December 2003, 85 herds have rolling herd averages above 20,000 pounds, up from 60 herds with rolling herd averages above 20,000 pounds in March 2002.
    • 2 top DHIA herds in Missouri have rolling herd averages above 26,000 pounds

  • Milk production per cow is growing faster in Missouri than in almost any other state in recent months, according to the USDA Monthly Milk Production Reports.
    • In September 03 versus September 02, milk per cow was up 6.2% in Missouri versus a 0.4% increase in the top 20 dairy states.
    • In October 03 versus October 02, milk per cow was up 7.1% in Missouri versus a 0.7% increase in the top 20 dairy states
    • In November 03 versus November 02, milk per cow was up 5.8% in Missouri versus a 0.9% increase in the top 20 dairy states.

  • Kentucky and Missouri are neighboring dairy states with very similar industries. In the last year, dairy cow numbers in Missouri have dropped by 10,000 cows, while Kentucky has lost 9,000 cows. However, Missouri's November milk production only dropped 2.0% from year ago levels versus Kentucky's 6.6% drop. The difference is Missouri's growing milk production per cow.

  • Intensive rotational grazing continues to attract dairymen who are converting, starting up, or relocating from other states. According to extension regional dairy specialist Stacey Hamilton, grazing dairymen have expanded by more than 1,500 cows in recent years. He estimates a total of 90 dairymen in Missouri currently practice intensive rotational grazing with more than 8,000 cows.
    • Two grazing dairies have expanded from 75 to more than 250 cows.
    • Many grazing dairymen continue to plan and build new, larger, low-cost parlors.

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