Larger US dairy herd to support higher production in 2017

Published 14 February 17

The US dairy herd recorded growth of 0.4% in 2016 to 9.35m head, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Plentiful supplies of replacement heifers helped to bolster the size of the dairy herd.

Larger US dairy herd 

The larger herd will help to contribute to further growth in US milk production for 2017. The latest USDA forecasts have predicted a 2.3% lift in annual milk production, equivalent to an additional 2.2bn litres of milk. Milk prices are predicted to be higher, leading to an expected 2% improvement in yields as farmers feed better quality dairy rations.

Despite higher milk production, there is little growth in forecasted export volumes, due to strong domestic demand.