Dairy herd declining fast

At least one financial advisor says U.S. milk production is headed for the biggest contraction in twelve years as the drought pushes feed prices higher and more dairy cows to slaughter. Shawn Hackett of Hackett Financial Advisors tells Bloomberg “U.S. dairy cows are being slaughtered at the fastest rate in more than quarter century” led by a number of California dairies forced to sell-out. U.S. milk production is expected to be 198.9 billion pounds in 2013 down from an estimated 199.9 billion this year as the dairy herd shrinks to an eight-year-low.

USDA reports more than 2 million dairy cows have been sent to slaughter in the first 8 months of this year, the most in that period since 1986.

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted five requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America and Darigold to sell 1.056 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and 4,409 pounds of anhydrous milk fat (AMF), to customers in Asia and Central America. The product will be delivered October 2012 through April 2013.

In 2012, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in making export sales of Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gouda cheese totaling 96.9 million pounds, butter totaling 58.3 million pounds, and AMF totaling 127,868 pounds. The product will go to 34 countries on four continents.

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