USDA announced this afternoon that December milk production climbed another 1.5% for the 23 major dairy states over last year. Cow numbers in these states are up 90,000 head over a year ago, and 7,000 head over November.
For the fourth quarter of 2008, U.S. milk production rose 1.4%. Cow numbers averaged 9.28 million, up 85,000 from the fourth quarter average of 2007. For all of 2008, U.S. milk production was estimated at 189.699 billion lb., up 2.2% over 2007.
Kansas reported the biggest year-over-year increase in the December report, up 20%. It counts 12,000 more cows and 135 lb./cow higher milk production. Texas was up 13.7%, and Colorado was up 6.8%.
However, nine of the 23 major dairy states reported less milk in December than a year ago, including three of the top five dairy states: California, New York and Pennsylvania. Of the other top five states, Wisconsin was up 2.3% with 5,000 more cows and Idaho was up 1.7%.