(The Center Square) – There are nearly 12,000 fewer cows making milk in Wisconsin, and the state's milk production numbers show it. 

The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows a drop in milk production in the state. 

"Milk production in Wisconsin during May 2020 totaled 2.58 billion pounds, down 3% from the previous May," the report said. "The average number of milk cows during May, at 1.26 million head, was down 3,000 last month and down 12,000 from last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,050 pounds, down 45 pounds from last May."

Wisconsin is second in the nation in milk production. Other top milk producing states also saw a dip in production. California, which is America's largest milk producer, is down around 4,000 cows and 1.5 percent in total production. New York state is down more than 3.5 percent in total milk production and has 4,000 fewer cows than last May. 

Overall, milk production across the country is a mixed bag. 

"Milk production in the 24 major States during May totaled 18.0 billion pounds, down 1.0 percent from May 2019," the report noted. "The number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major States was 8.84 million head, 50,000 head more than May 2019, but 12,000 head less than April 2020."

Milk consumption is down for the first six months of this year. Many producers say with schools closed, there are a lot fewer companies buying milk, and a lot fewer people drinking milk. 

The Center Square Correspondent

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.