Can exports keep pace with growing milk production?

An extension educator says exports need to continue to grow to support milk production expansions this year.

“Either we’re going to have to be exporting more of our dairy products or we’re going to have to slow down this milk production.”    

Jim Salfer with the University of Minnesota says there’s usually a lag between when high feed costs result in lower milk production, but exports have been able to buoy prices some and support milk output.

“It seems like we’re not building up huge inventories, exports have really just been excellent, so the question becomes can we keep exports up?” he asks.

At the same time, Salfer says it doesn’t seem like areas that purchase a lot of feed have slowed down milk production and he expects that to catch up with growth areas.

“Texas is just kind of going gangbusters, now that Michigan has their new cheese plant—they’re growing pretty rapidly again,” he explains.

He expects milk production to tighten in September and October, especially in states where many dairies purchase feed.

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