Milk production in the United States continues to expand, according to a USDA milk production estimate. With February 2012 milk production estimated to be 8 percent higher than in that month last year, the industry is benefitting from both a 1 percent expansion in the dairy cow herd and, more importantly, a 7 percent productivity increase, as measured by milk produced per cow.
"As an agricultural community, we certainly look at growth and gains across the industry favorably," said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. "This trend benefits corn farmers, like myself, directly also though as increased milk production often translates into increased demand for feed, including corn and ethanol coproduct distillers dried grains. I see it as a win-win-win as consumers benefit from a larger milk supply, dairy and corn farmers benefit from increased production and the ethanol industry benefits from the increased demand for the high quality feed ingredients produced along with fuel."
During the current corn marketing year, the ProExporter Network estimates that the nation's dairy cattle will consume nearly 800 million bushels of corn. If realized, this would account for approximately 6 percent of total corn usage.
The market for DDGs also continues to expand as demand from the dairy sector rises due to increasing awareness and understanding of their quality, affordability and other benefits.