The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that December milk production was up 2.5% over year earlier, and for the entire year, climbed 1.8%.
U.S. farms pumped out 196.2 billion pounds of milk last year, a record, up from 192.8 in 2010. Cow numbers were also up 80,000 head (0.9%) over a year ago, and up 12,000 head since November. At this pace, it’s possible (likely?) 2012 production could exceed 200 billion lb. of milk.
California continued to push more milk out the milk house door, up 40 million lb. over a year ago. Cow numbers in the Golden State are up 50,000 head over the past year, but are up just 1,000 head since November.
In terms of greatest percentage gain, Indiana grew milk production 6.3% in December, thanks to 3,000 more Hoosier cows and each cow producing 75 lb. more milk/month than a year ago.
Of the top 23 milk producing states, all showed gains but Missouri (-1.7%), Kansas (-0.5%), Vermont (-0.5%) and Pennsylvania (-0.2%).
Wisconsin was up 2.6% on the basis of 50 lb. more milk per cow while Badger cow numbers held firm. Idaho was up 3.4% in total production, with cows climbing 7,000 head over a year ago. New York production was fairly flat (+0.2%). Texas, which had been going gangbusters for most of 2011, saw December milk up 4.1% with cow number up 15,000 head over a year ago but unchanged from November.