In a report released this afternoon, USDA estimates that U.S. milk production rose 1.7% in September, and 1.9% in the 23 major states. Total U.S. dairy cow numbers continue to run above last year as well, up 103,000.
For the first nine months of 2008, milk production totaled an estimated 141 billion pounds, up 2.5% from the same period in 2007. But milk production by quarter is slowing. The first quarter of 2008 saw a 3.2% increase. The second quarter was up 2.7% and the third quarter, +1.6%.
Texas reported both the largest numeric and percentage milk gain in September, up 87 million pounds, or 15.2%. Cow numbers in the Lone Star state jumped 41,000 over a year ago. Idaho, with 33,000 more cows, was the next biggest gainer, up 57 million pounds (5.8%).
California production was up just 0.8% over last year, though cow numbers were up 19,000 head. Wisconsin was up 1% and New York, +1.2%. Pennsylvania was down 1.8% and reported 2,000 fewer cows than a year ago.