Sunday, March 21, 2010

Too Many Cows?

Every month, the USDA issues a new Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook Report.  They can be viewed at this link.  For the last 6 months, the outlook for the projected number of cows has steadly increased.  The timing has also changed, with the lows now forecast later in 2010.  Do we need more cows for a longer period of time?

Below are the forecast by the date they were issued.  The most recent Outlook Report, March, 2010, is the orange line at the top of the chart.

In the last two months, the predicted number of cows has increased 45,000 head and is now expected to  reach a minimum of 9,000,000 by the end of 2010 vs. 8,955,000 in January's outlook. 

In October, 2009, the forecast was for 8,945,000 cows by the end of the 3rd quarter, 2010.  The most recent forecast now predicts 9,040,000 by the end of the 3rd quarter.  This is an increase of 95,000 cows over the forecast made 5 months ago.

Will 2010 be a good year for Dairy Producers?   It looks "less good" by the month as the number of cows refuses to decrease to expectations.  Are there too many heifers?

Exchange rates are no longer helping exports (more on this in a future post to this blog).  Frankly, there is little reason to expect much improvement for the rest of 2010.

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