The relatively warm winter may have had an impact on U.S. dairy cattle milk production. According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture milk production estimate, February 2012 milk production is estimated to be eight percent higher than in that month last year. The dairy herd is one percent larger and productivity has increased seven percent per cow.
Garry Niemeyer, President of the National Corn Growers Association, says – this trend benefits corn farmers, like me, as increased milk production often translates into increased demand for feed, including corn and ethanol coproduct distillers dried grains. Niemeyer calls it a – win-win-win. 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.
It has been estimated that during the current corn marketing year, U.S. dairy cattle will consume nearly 800-million bushels of corn. If realized, this would account for approximately six 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.