Milk Production in Utah: Where Do We Stand?
Milk Production in Utah: Where Do We Stand?

Dr. E. Bruce Godfrey
USU Extension Economics Specialist

    The two figures accompanying this article were recently published in the newsletter of the market administrator for Tulsa milk marketing order. The first suggests that Utah is one of the leading states in milk production per cow (Utah ranks 12th). However, of the eleven western states only Montana and Wyoming rank lower than Utah. It is not known why production per cow is not higher, but it does suggest that producers in most of the states that border Utah have higher producing herds. This difference is also reflected in the changes in production that have occurred over time.

    The second figure shows states� milk production per capita (total milk production divided by the state�s population). Increase in the ratio has been very rapid in New Mexico, Idaho and Arizona which all border Utah. Milk production has increased faster in these states than any other states in the nation.

    As all producers recognize, the high prices that existed for milk in 1998 and 1999 have been replaced by milk prices that are lower than they have been for about a decade. Most of the reason for this decline in prices is associated with increase in milk production. This increase has occurred as a result of greater cow numbers and increased production per cow. The states highlighted in these two charts have been the leaders in this increase. While one cannot blame these states for the decline in milk prices, it does suggest that the West is rapidly becoming the nation�s leading dairy production region. ©