Winter Storm Goliath’s Impact on the U.S. Dairy Industry
Winter Storm Goliath hit New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle in late Dec ’15, likely resulting in heavy death losses in addition to stress and fatigue on the region’s dairy cows. The overall impact Goliath had on regional cow numbers and production figures remains unclear, however the recently updated USDA Milk Production report showed a decline in both the dairy cow herds and milk production within both New Mexico and Texas during Dec ’15. Combined, New Mexico and Texas led all other states in month-over-month (MOM) declines in dairy cow figures and year-over-year (YOY) milk production on a percentage basis throughout the month of December. New Mexico led all states in YOY milk production declines during Dec ’15, finishing 6.2% below the previous year. Texas milk production was also lower on a YOY basis, finishing down 3.0%. New Mexico and Texas were the only states to experienced MOM declines in their milk cow herds, as the New Mexico dairy cow herd declined by 3,000 head and the Texas dairy cow herd declined by 1,000 head. Additional milk production and dairy cow herd figures released within coming months will shed additional light on the overall impact of Goliath, and a full report will be provided once data becomes available.