2018-19 USDA milk production forecasts raised

The USDA’s October World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report boosted milk production forecasts for both 2018 and 2019, while also projecting only a slight improvement in 2019 prices.

Citing increased milk output per cow, the USDA’s 2018 milk production estimate now stands at 218.1 billion pounds, up 300 million pounds from last month’s forecast. That would be up about 1.2 percent from 2017’s production total of 215.5 billion pounds.

Based on current estimates, USDA left 2018 projected average milk prices (midpoint of range) mostly unchanged from a month ago. Projected annual average prices for 2018 are: Class III – $14.90 per hundredweight (cwt); Class IV – $14.25 per cwt; and all-milk – $16.40 per cwt.

For 2019, the USDA bumped its milk production forecast to 221.4 billion pounds, about 400 million pounds more than September’s forecast, based on higher cow numbers. If realized, it would be up about 1.5 percent from the level forecast for 2018.

In its price projections for 2019, the USDA forecast (midpoint of range): Class III – $15.75 per cwt; Class IV – $14.85 per cwt; and all-milk – $17.30 per cwt. Those estimates are up about a nickle from last month’s forecast, but remain weaker than prices seen in 2017.


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