American Cows Are Making Less Milk, Driving up Dairy Prices
November 19, 2021
American milk output has spoiled in recent months, which could mean consumers will be paying more for milk and other dairy products.
U.S. milk production was down 0.5% in October as compared to the same month last year. This marks the third consecutive month that year-over-year output has fallen. This is the first time that output has fallen for such a prolonged period in more than 20 years, according to an industry analyst who spoke to Bloomberg.
The most likely reason for the drop in production, according to Bloomberg, is that farmers are feeding their animals less. The cost of corn and other feed grains has spiked this year amid strong demand, as well as storms and droughts that limited crops. Farmers are also facing higher energy and labor costs, making it more difficult to afford feed grain.
Not only are dairy cows producing less, but there are far fewer of them. Since peaking in May of this year, the number of cows has fallen precipitously, down 85,000. Cow numbers are now at the lowest level since December 2020. Analysts predict that this will mean higher prices for consumers.