Monthly Archives: July 2011

Online Etymology Dictionary explains where the word milk came from:


O.E. meoluc (W.Saxon), milc (Anglian), both related to melcan “to milk.” The noun is from P.Gmc. *meluk- (cf. O.N. mjolk, Du. melk, Ger. Milch, Goth. miluks); the verb is from P.Gmc. *melkanan (cf. O.N. mjolka, Du., Ger. melken); both from PIE base *melg- “wiping, stroking,” in ref. to the hand motion in milking an animal (cf. Gk. amelgein, L. mulgere, O.C.S. mlesti, Lith. melzu “to milk,” O.Ir. melg “milk,” Skt. marjati “wipes off”). O.C.S. noun meleko (Rus. moloko, Czech mleko) is considered to be adopted from Germanic.


New USDA Milk Production report is out.

June Milk Production up 1.4 Percent
Milk production in the 23 major States during June totaled 15.4 billion pounds, up 1.4 percent
from June 2010.   Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,819 pounds for June, 2 pounds above June 2010. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.46 million head, 106,000 head more than June 2010, and 11,000 head more than May 2011.
Milk production in the United States during the April – June quarter totaled 50.4 billion pounds, up 1.3 percent from the April – June quarter last year. The average number of milk cows in the United States during the quarter was 9.20 million head, 79,000 head more than the same period last year.

In Midwest Dairy Assoc. member states, dairy herd fell by 15.5k cows or 1.2% in 2011Q2 over 2010Q2, while U.S. dairy herd increased by 79k cows over the same period, with two thirds of the increase due to just three states: California 16k, Idaho 18k and Texas 20k.

Dairy herd (1’000 head)

State Apr-June 2010 Apr-June 2011
Arkansas 12.5 12
Illinois 101 98
Iowa 212 207
Kansas 117 122
Minnesota 470 471
Missouri 101 96
Nebraska 59 57
North Dakota 21 19
Oklahoma 57 53
South Dakota 93 93

To obtain the full report, go to the following URL within the Understanding Dairy Markets website: .  Below is a summary of this report.  To obtain the actual values from our database system, access the following URL:  .

Commenting on the report, Prof. Bob Cropp wrote:

Dairy product prices and in turn milk prices remain well above year ago levels due to this
relatively lower increase in milk production and increased dairy exports.

The fairly wide spread summer heat now being experience is likely to effect milk production, especially if it continues for several days. So August prices may actually hold near these levels. Class III dairy futures have strengthened with prices not falling below $20 until October and below $18 until December. Class IV futures don’t fall below $19 until October. We could end the year with Class III averaging near $18 compared to $14.41 last year and Class IV averaging near $19 compared to $15.09 last year. This is more optimistic outlook than last month. But, history clearly tells us the prices can change rather quickly with new market developments. How this year’s crops turn out and their impact on feed prices will be a
key factor affecting cow numbers, milk per cow and total milk production this fall and winter.

Dr. Cropp’s July dairy outlook report has been added to the UW Understanding Dairy Markets website: .