The numbers on California dairy production for the month of July have recently been released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Total cheese production for California was a little over 213 million pounds, an increase of 2.8 percent from last year. Overall cheese production in the United States was just over 1 billion pounds, an increase of 1 percent from June, but down 0.3 percent from July 2016.
The biggest increase for California was seen in the production of cheddar cheese, with nearly 29.8 million pounds produced. That’s nearly a 10 percent increase from last year and more than 9 percent compared to June. Nationally, cheddar cheese production fell by 0.3 percent year to year.
There were slightly more than 53 million pounds of American cheese produced in California, a decline of 0.9 percent from June, but an increase of nearly 3 percent from last year. Alternatively, U.S. production of American cheese rose 0.2 percent from the month prior and fell 0.4 percent from 2016.
Mozzarella cheese production was the only variety to see an increase from last year on the national level with more than 352 million pounds, up 0.7 percent. California was responsible for just under 125 million pounds of production, an increase of more than 3 percent from 2016.
Biggest losses were evident in butter production, with a little more than 38.1 million pounds produced. That’s a decline of over 12 percent from the month prior and a 6 percent decrease from July 2016. California ice cream production also fell by close to 7 percent from last year, but only a 0.6 percent decrease from June.
There are more than 1,300 families with a total of 1.74 million milk cows who are responsible for the success of California dairy production. Last year Tulare County was the highest milk producer, with more than 27 percent of the state’s milk production. Merced County was ranked second with an increase in production over 15 percent from 2015.