this afternoon that U.S. milk production declined 0.6% compared to a year ago. USDA is also reporting 9.085 million cows were on U.S. dairies in January, down 227,000 head from a year ago.
For 2009, milk production totaled 189.3 billion lb., down 0.3% from 2008. This is the first time this decade that year-over-year milk production has declined. Annual milk per cow in 2009 climbed to 20,576 lb., up 181 lb. or not quite 1%.
California milk production and cows numbers continue to slip. Milk production was down 2.4% from a year ago in January, and cow numbers were down 72,000 head. Number two dairy state Wisconsin saw January milk production up 4.7% and cow numbers up 5,000. New York was down 1.3% in milk production from last January; Pennsylvania was down 1.7%. Idaho, though down 4,000 in cows, showed a 1.5% milk production rebound over last year.
For the year, California milk production declined nearly 1.7 billion lb.--or 4.1%. In contrast, Wisconsin grew its production 767 million lb., an increase of 3.1%. Texas was the other big volume gainer, up 5%. Minnesota was up 2.7%.
The top 10 dairy rankings remained the same, with the exception of Michigan taking over the eight spot from New Mexico. In 2009, Michigan produced 7.968 billion lb.; New Mexico, 7.904 billion lb.